The history of Venice began in the 5th century when hordes of murderous Goths and Huns swept down the Italian peninsula, laying to ruins 1200 years of Roman civilization. With little possibility of escape frightened inhabitants along the northern coastline of the Adriatic Sea fled to islands in the lagoon where barbarians, ignorant of seafaring, could not follow.
Over the following centuries, as more and more refugees arrived, millions of posts were sunk into the shallow lagoon and used to support an artificial surface that would connect most of the 117 small islands. While the rest of Italy receded into the Dark Ages Venice grew into a powerful and prosperous seafaring republic. Enduring one thousand years the republic at times teetered but did not fall until the arrival in 1797 of the forces of Napoleon, who personally never saw the place.
For most of its long history the only entrance to the city was by sea and transport was through its 150 canals. Train service was initiated in the 1860s and the auto causeway completed in 1933. Both take you only as far as Piazzale Roma from where you have the choice of entering via water taxi or by crossing a pedestrian bridge into the maze of winding alleys and additional 400 bridges
Afternoon arrivals to the luxury Hotel Bauer Palazzo (two nights) a short walk from Saint Mark’s Square. Your tour manager will be expecting you for a late afternoon welcome meeting and aperitifs at the rooftop hotel bar Settimo Cielo followed by an included dinner.