The Monocle Travel Guide Series – Number 20: Venice

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The Monocle Travel Guide Series reveals our favourite spots in each city, from the ideal route for an early-morning run to the best streets for independent retail.

A maritime city, Venice has long lured travellers to its shores. Set sail and discover the romantic and magical charm of a city built upon the water.

Like the tide that laps knee-high against its fine palazzos, Venice is ever-changing. Since its bog-like beginnings as a collection of mini islands in swampy marshland, the city has been forced to use its initiative. Today, faced with floods of day-trippers and acqua alta alike, it continues to rely on innovative ideas. Whether it's a museum with groundfloor channels to cope with high water levels or a theatre in a warehouse once used for stretching sails, it capitalises on its lagoon location and spouts ingenuity.

The Monocle Travel Guide to Venice looks beyond the teeming tourist traps to discover La Serenissima's true charms, from classical and contemporary architectural wonders to galleries brimming with both Venetian and international works of art. We've wended our way through the city's willowy calli to find the trattorias offering the finest seafood, as well as the best bàcari to visit when you're craving a spritz. Venice is made for walking so we've mapped out four neighbourhood trails that will show you the way, as well as our favourite independent shops and the plushest hotels.

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