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Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy - Cruises from Venice - Mediterranean Cruises -

Located at the head of the Adriatic Sea, an intricate web of tiny islands and canals make for the bewitching city of Venice. In this intimate setting where gondoliers serenade, delicate bridges lead to winding cobblestone streets, and glorious renaissance architecture forms a fairy-tale backdrop, it is no wonder that many think it to be the world's most romantic destination.

At the city's heart, is the Plaza San Marco, which has been called "a great, marble salon" open to the sky. Here you'll find one of Europe's most beautiful churches, St. Mark's Basilica, a masterpiece of Venetian-Byzantine architecture. Next to it stands the commanding Clock Tower with its famous Moors -- giant bronze figures who have been striking the hours for over five centuries.

Take in the breathtaking harbor views from atop the Campanile bell tower, or soak up the history of a long gone empire in the opulent pink and white marble Doge's Palace. Walk the Bridge of Sighs where convicts caught their last glimpse of sun before entering the fortress-like prison. Take the time to browse the luxury shops that ring St. Mark's Square, or seat yourself at an outdoor café to savor an authentic espresso or sparkling Cartizze wine, while musicians serenade the crowds well into the evening.

THE GRAND CANALExperience life at a more leisurely pace while gliding in a gondola down the two-mile long Grand Canal. The Canal is lined with magnificent buildings that epitomize the architectural beauty of Venice, creating a panoramic wonderland of superbly detailed facades. Pass by sights such as the Ca'Foscari, Palazzo Grassi, Guggenheim Museum and the Accademia Bridge. Arched high over the canal is the city's most famous bridge, the Rialto, which spans between two of the most popular shopping districts.

Famous for its quaint, festively painted houses and lace making is the island of Burano, where a casual stroll is a colorful experience. The island of Murano is not only colorful but fascinating to experience. For over seven centuries, glassblowers have been creating extraordinary works of art here, and not only can you purchase glass objects of beautiful designs and colors, but you can see every step of the process as they're made just for you!

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