Venice is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, and arguably the most romantic. An independent city-state and major power during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, it was a center of commerce in silk, grain, and spices, and home to a wide range of interesting characters from Marco Polo to Casanova. Consisting of more than 100 small islands connected by arched bridges, its thoroughfares are canals, and transportation options are limited to boats and your own two feet. After the requisite gondola ride, do stroll the winding traffic-free streets along the canal sides – prime real estate for the palaces of the aristocracy of old.
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