Top tips

Don't just visit the tourist hotspots... will get a totally false impression of Venice, as do the thousands of one-day tourists who arrive each year en masse and never get beyond St Mark's Square or the Rialto Bridge.

A water taxi from Marco Polo airport... a similar price, but much better value, than a gondola ride. Once across the Lagoon your route to Giudecca passes through the canals of Central Venice. 

This way your holiday experience effectively starts at the airport. There is no better, or more magical, way to arrive in Venice than this, especially for the first time. Agree a price with the water taxi supervisor before you set off.

Get off the beaten track...

Arsenale Lion...Venice is a small place and you can't get really lost. Wandering through the backwaters of Venice, not knowing what will meet your eye round the next corner, is the best way to enjoy this aesthetically dazzling city.

Bring comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk a lot.

Don't forget to enjoy what Giudecca has to offer...

red gondola Giudecca...including some of the best views of Venice, and the peaceful southern lagoon. Some of the best restaurants in Venice are on your doorstep. Good local shops mean that you can taste fresh produce from all over Italy. It will certainly be the most relaxed part of your stay.

Venice from above...

San Giorgio Maggiore....for aerial views of Venice, those from the bell tower (with lift) of the church of San Giorgio Maggiore, just beyond the eastern end of Giudecca, are even better than those from the Campanile in St Mark's Square - and no need to join a long queue! 

Look out for the jars of honey made by the monks from beehives in the grounds - on sale inside the church