Certainly one of the unique cities on the planet; an entire city built on the water. No roads, no cars, busses, motorcycles, bicycles, no motor vehicles of any kind, just boats and walking. The police, ambulances and fire vehicles are all boats. Excellent mass transit; large bus/boats ("vaporeti") run regular shedules cheaply and reliably, and are generally very crowded. Get off your flight at Marco Polo airport and hop on a taxi boat and go straight to your hotel. An amazing place...narrow sidewalks lead to large piazzas where kids are playing soccer, and canals everywhere.
The "Grand Canal" runs through the center of the city. It is a wide, "S" shaped canal that cuts the city in half. Three large bridges cross the Grand Canal (remember, these are pedistrian bridges, there are no vehicles), and hundreds of smaller canals run off the Grand Canal. The Vaporeti (public bus boats) run on the Grand Canal; access to hotels and restaurants on the smaller canals require smaller boats (gondolas and taxi boats).
The Vaporeti, cheap and crowded mass transit. Buy a pass good for a day or a week and ride an unlimited number of times. A great way to see the city from the water.
St. Mark's, the tourist epicenter of Venice.
The Rialto bridge, one of 3 bridges across the Grand Canal. There are restaurants and shops and gondola rides EVERYWHERE around here.
Venice at sunset.
Venice has it's own leaning tower; in fact just about every building in the city is leaning to some degree. St. Mark's square spent 108 days underwater in 2005. Not the entire day, just the high tide part of the day.
Narrow canals and bridges are everywhere. We spent half our time in the city lost. One night it took over an hour to find our hotel and we were never more than 1/2 mile away from it. We just couldn't get to there from here.
Many of the restaurants are built over the water
A few of my favorite shots...
The way the "locals" cross a canal. They don't sit down on the gondolas ("only tourists sit down").