We agree with Russian writer Alexander Herzen when he said, “To build a city where it is impossible to build a city is madness in itself, but to build there one of the most elegant and grandest of cities is the madness of genius.” 
Despite its size, Venice manages to attract travellers in numbers nearly double the local population, but don’t let that put you off. Even in the peak season, once you begin wandering those tiny streets and hidden laneways, the crowd always seem to thin out revealing a more secluded and incredibly romantic city; a city that seemingly and famously rises up from the water.
While the crowds swell further for festivals such as the Art Biennale, the Venice International Film Festival or Carnival, visiting at any time still means wandering the maze of streets to find hidden squares, wine bars and incredible views over every bridge you cross (and there’ll be plenty of them). 
The very best travel advice for anyone visiting this city is to wander. Just wander.



Europe is blessed with dreamy seas for cruising, splendid natural landscapes and so many ports that offer the chance to step ashore to see the sights, taste new flavours and get a dose of culture.

Italy feature

In between fashionable Milan and romantic Venice lies a vast stretch of northern Italy worthy of a little exploration.

A gorgeous suite at the Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice

While Venice is a must-see city, it is often overrun by tourists. The challenge is to find a luxurious hotel in an outstanding private location close to the major attractions.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Train Conductor
Most travel advisors have a 'bucket list' of iconic experiences and hotels that they long to experience, and the Venice Simplon-Orient- Express train (one of many trains and cruises by Belmond Ltd) journey would be at the top of the list for pretty much all of us.

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