One of the best things to do in Venice is to "get lost" in its narrow streets and discover its most authentic soul. You will find the unique bacari, its typical restaurants: in these small taverns, where you usually stand, food and wine create a perfect marriage, where the traditional cicchetti (appetizers of various kinds) are served with the ombra (shade), or a good glass of wine.
Naturally defended by the water, Venice organised the defence of the lagoon and the heart of the Serenissima Venetian Republic through monitoring the main mouth of the harbour up to the Lido, building the two opposing castles of S.Andrea (1571) and S. Nicolò (1574).
Subsequently the mouth of the Chioggia harbour was guarded with the Forte S. Felice, the lidos with the octagons Caroman, S. Pietro, Alberoni, Campana and Poveglia (seventeenth century) and the mouth of the Malamocco harbour with the 1646 Alberoni and S. Pietro forts. The Arsenal (twelfth century), which for centuries was the largest in the world, should be visited. On the city walls the bust of Dante Alighieri recalls the poet's visit to Venice in 1321.
Portogruaro is a "little Venice" that continues to unveil all the charm of a walled city. Here the majestic town hall, the mills on the river with the Pescheria oratory and the Pilacorte well with the two cranes sculpted by Turchetto are a must-see.
This is followed by Noale whose symbol is the twelfth century Rocca fortress, defended by ramparts and moats and by two fortified gates within the wall. Visitors entering the city will be welcomed by the sixteenth century Colonna della Pace and can admire the Castle piazza and the fifteenth century parish church of SS. Felice and Fortunato.
Venice is made up of over 100 islands, from the best-known to the lesser-known, connected by over 400 bridges. Its streets are called calli, from the Latin callis - path, and there are over 3000.