Birmingham may apparently have more canals, but Venice is the ultimate romantic destination, whatever the size of your family. The Serene Republic is the birthplace of, among others, the infamous libertine Giacomo Casanova and the celebrated explorer Marco Polo. Once a major maritime and military power, Venice has used its wealth to create one of the most beautiful cities on Earth, and inspired several major cultural movements, including the Renaissance. Venice has been a major tourist destination ever since the days of the grand tour, and it can become overcrowded and expensive as a result. For an affordable and comfortable family holiday in the city, you'll need to pick your time and accommodation carefully.
Venice has a wide array of apartments which you can rent right in the city itself, often in the Castello region. At the high end these can come with period fixtures, or incredibly chic interior design. It's all a lot more upmarket than staying in the equivalent of the local Travelodge, but with a large family willing to share rooms, you can make a considerable saving. Alternatively, if you feel you need a bit more space after putting up with the crowds in tourist hotspots like St Mark's Square, you might want to consider renting a villa outside the city itself, somewhere like Mirano or Mestre - areas where Venetians have been forced to move due to the cost of accommodation in Venice itself! Using a holiday rental villa in this way can give you the full picture of life in this part of Italy - from Venice's car-free urban bustle, to the more relaxed pace of life out in the countryside.
Whether you decide to explore villas or apartments for your holiday rentals, you will certainly have a packed stay in the Venice area. From world famous sightseeing landmarks such as the Doge's Palace, the Piazza Saint Marco, the Grand Canal and the Bridge of Sighs to the simple (but expensive) pleasure of hiring a gondolier to punt you down the waterways, you will have an unforgettable holiday. One of the highlights is to take a tour of the Doge's Palace which includes the infamous prison cells under the roof known as The Leads. As part of the tour you will see the cell from which Giacomo Casanova is supposed to have escaped through the roof after spending almost a year behind bars. Venetians deny his account of his escape to this day, but records do show that they had to repair his cell after his disappearance. Get a good deal on a holiday rental villa or an apartment and you will certainly never want to escape!