What you need to know about Venice
Language: Italian is the national language so a few key phrases will be polite to learn (hello, goodbye, please and thank you at a minimum), but as Venice is geared towards tourism you will find that a lot of the locals speak very good english. With a few key phrases in your back pocket you will be fine.
Currency: Italy uses the Euro (€) as their currency, which is normally traded as one of the stronger currencies in the world.
Banking: ATMs are typical in shops, super markets and on most streets. All major bank cards are accepted by retailers generally.
Weather: The weather in Spring is warm without being oppressive. Summer can be scorchio and winter will have you reaching for a coat and scarf.
Epic adventure awaits
Never was a stretch of water so suitably named as the Grand Canal, mirroring the wonders of Venetian engineering covering its banks. At one side of Venice's main conduit, the Palazzo Ducale and Basilica di San Marco are the most incredible examples of Venice's centuries old buildings; once the focal point of Christian worship and now still a place for Mass but also a timeless monument to the wondrous building projects of days of old.
Yet that is not all the city has to offer. Hold up until the point when you see what's hidden away in the many backstreets: tiny neighbourhood places of worship with insides covered with invaluable stones, relics and a solitary Titian painting that strangely illuminates a whole basilica.
Garden islands yield unique watery wares you won't discover anywhere else so dig in – a feature in innovative Venetian cooking throughout the city tempting you with flavours and scents emanating from its many kitchens.
A city that once hosted France's King Henry III knows how to entertain all its visitors over dinner. Today the bars most luxurious spreads of cicheti (Venetian tapas) give you small parcels of joy to tuck in to. Spare some space for supper at a canal-side eatery and toast your day with Veneto's mark sparkling wine, prosecco.
A local lifestyle to envy
The best bit of advice when you travel to Venice is not to do a day trip. There is too much to see to do it all in one day, and local hotels can be very reasonable if time is not the priority. San Marco (both basilica and piazza) alone offer enough to fill a whole morning up. If you want to see the other parts of Venice then you will need some time to go exploring around its winding streets. The locals enjoy 'la bea vita' (the lovely life) starting with a morning spritz in a radiant campi (square), lunch in a swarmed bacaro (bar) and a float around the watery canals on a gondola awaiting you if your itinerary allows. Sites such as Murano show of the glassware that the area has become famous for, the whole process of making unique, beautiful pieces being viewable and just a short boat ride away.
Venice historically challenges convention
Eyeglasses, stage shoes and poorly-corseted dresses are pieces of shocking Venetian sartorial style that pundits sniffed could never be worn by decent Europeans. Venetians are accustomed to setting patterns, regardless of whether it be with questionable craftsmanship in the Punta della Dogana, shocking musical dramas at La Fenice or radical new workmanship at the Biennale. On a local level, this capricious innovative streak produces lively modern-day examples in the showrooms of nearby craftsmen where you can discover specially designed shoes fit for a celebrity film premiere, bags formed from silken velvet and gems more brilliant than regular jewels available on the high street. In a universe of cutout mass-market culture, Venice's inventiveness still emerges.