Venice takes visitors on a gondolier's journey back in time, into a world of glamour and glorious architecture. Palaces line the canals and cathedral domes rise above red-tiled roofs, making it hard to find a panorama that isn't enchanting. This city is built upon a lagoon and is made up of 118 islands, with the Venice City Centre coming to signify the six districts that make up the historic city. These are known as “sestieri” and incorporate Cannaregio, Castello, San Marco, San Polo, Dorsoduro, and Santa Croce.
Evocative landmarks fill Venice City Centre. Admire the glorious facade of Doge's Palace, gaze across the canals from the Bell Tower of St. Mark, walk across Rialto Bridge, go shopping on San Marco Square, then get lost in some sublime churches and basilicas. Running through the heart of the area is the Grand Canal, Venice's signature waterway is surrounded by Venetian glories. While the city centre and attractions are busy with tourists throughout the year, Venice doesn't lose its charm. Marble palaces blur into the fog, windy backstreets quickly take visitors off the beaten track, and there is an awe and mystique just about everywhere.
Getting around is part of the pleasure in Venice City Centre, with every few steps bringing another Renaissance building, gelato shop, or aromatic little cafe. Water taxis are a romantic way to travel but the vaporetto water buses are much cheaper and a great way to traverse the Grand Canal. Marco Polo Airport is on the mainland, and it's possible to transfer into Venice City Centre by water taxi, or by shuttle bus to Piazzale Roma, on the edge of the pedestrianised centre.
Venice has historically been divided into different “sestieri”, or districts. Many centuries ago each sestieri was ruled by a procurator who had a huge degree of autonomy, although they now all come under the same city governance. Confusing yet charming, each house doesn't have a street address, but merely its own unique number within the sestieri.