Venice is a city of opulence and prestige, grand feasts and pristine palaces, enchanting culture and captivating history. Priceless churches hidden in the narrow backstreets of the city contain Veronese facades and sculptures. Master artwork crafted by Titian and Tiepolo decorates ceilings and palatial walls. Elegant masks stare out the storefront windows of artisan craft shops, depicting mythical figures of the Commedia dell’ Arte. Your flight lands at Marco Polo International Airport, where you meet your private transfer at baggage claim, eager to view the iconic city rising out of the lagoon. Venice is a collection of more than 115 islands connected to one another through a network of bridges arching over the renowned canals.
You meet your private boat on the edge of the world-famous Grand Canal for your introduction to the city along its most popular waterway. Gondolas glide beneath the Rialto Bridge. Vaporettos cast a wake behind them as they ferry locals and visitors to and from St. Mark’s Square. The marvelous extravagant façade of Ca’ Rezzonico glints in the sunlight. The structure was erected between the 17th and 18th centuries with Baroque embellishments. Gondoliers wade in the water, passing the thin marble columns adorning the second and third stories.
The interior contains upwards of 40 rooms, each decorated to demonstrate the style and affluence of Venice’s former aristocracy, from lacquered furniture to bronze treasures, along with a collection of original 18th-century Venetian costumes. The culture of Venice brims along the walkways beside the canal, filled with the daily, ongoing life of locals. Women open their windows and chat over the stone divides. Workers replace rotted wood plinths by pounding new mooring piles into the sea floor. Cats sleep on windowsills, which are open to allow the refreshing breeze into the house. Exploring the Grand Canal puts you at the heart of a romantic city and makes you feel as though you’ve stepped into a painting.