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Venice, from which the Venetians dominated the Adriatic for centuries creating the most splendid of Marine Republics, leaves you stupefied for the diversity of its beauty, so much so that you wonder whether there is a single place in the city that is not worth seeing. You breathe in the unique atmosphere of a city which was a bridge between the East and the West: all evidence of unequalled cosmopolitanism and commercial wealth, transmitted by Venetians into public works and private houses. It is the case of the Basilica di S. Marco, built in the 9th century, its cupola architecture and mosaic decorations inspired by the church of the SS. Apostoli in Constantinople, as is certainly the case with all Venetian-gothic monuments, including the Palazzo dei Dogi which, with the Basilica, dominates Piazza S. Marco.
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Venice's splendor lasted throughout the centuries, giving rise to immortal works of art, such as the Renaissance grace of the Rialto Bridge. Countless museums and galleries, among which it is worth mentioning at least the Gallerie dell'Accademia and the Museo Correr, preserve an unrivalled artistic heritage.
It is important to remember that Venice is not just the little island on which San Marco's bell tower stands triumphantly, but it is also the Lido, Murano, Burano.
In Murano you can visit the glass factories which make Venetian glass art one of the world's most prestigious. In Burano, as well as searching for the renown lace, you must see some of the most ancient churches in the Lagoon and their splendid mosaics. At the Lido, you can relax strolling along the elegant tree-lined avenues, until you reach the beach's long strip of sand.
Venice hosts many events throughout the year, attracting visitors from all over the world. Certainly an international attraction is the Carnival. Celebrated from the times of the Republic of Venice, the Carnival created a cheerful climate where noblemen and simple folk mingled, protected by the anonymity of the mask. Even today, in the ten days before Ash Wednesday, parades of multicoloured masks cross the city, masked parties are organised in the palaces and artists and jugglers entertain the crowds.
At the beginning of September, the Mostra del Cinema calls to the Lido international cinema stars and lovers, for a week of previews that culminates with the award of a Leone d'Oro to the best film. Autumn also offers the Biennale d'Arte, which hosts in its halls the newest works of contemporary world and European art.
Take a gondola and breathe in the unique atmosphere of Venice!