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Venice consists of a group of 118 small islands in the north east of Italy. They are connected by a series of canals and bridges and the whole area is a World Heritage Site. The city was first inhabited by the Veneti people in the 10th century BC and now has a population of around 60,000. Throughout history it has served as an important centre for the arts, music and architecture and is regarded as an extremely beautiful and romantic city. Many tourists flock to Venice to experience the gondolas and historic buildings. The main attractions include St Mark's Basilica, the Grand Canal and Piazza San Marco. If you're looking for the perfect Venetian experience, then have a meal at one of the many restaurants along the canal sides. The city is also the starting point for the Orient Express, which provides a service to both London and Paris.
The majority of hotels in the centre of Venice are luxury options. However, the area is well connected by public transport so if you look further out of the city you'll find a good choice of mid-range and budget hotels. Venice can be enjoyed throughout the year as it has cool winters and hot summers. It holds a number of international festivals, including the famous Venice Film Festival, which takes place at the end of August or in early September and the Venice Biennale, a contemporary art festival held every two years.
Venice has Europe's largest car-free area and the main form of public transport is by boat. There are excellent road and rail connections towards the north of the city but once inside Venice you can walk, crossing the canals by a series of bridges or ferries, or use the regular water buses.