The city of Venice in northeast Italy is famous for its art and architecture, as well as the series of canals separating the 118 small islands on which it was built in the fifth century. Even the smallest building in Venice contains works by legendary artists, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
The architecture of Venice is a mixture of Gothic and Byzantine styles, with very few modern buildings. UNESCO says Venice's "incomparable series of architectural ensembles illustrating the age of its splendour" makes the city as a whole an "extraordinary architectural masterpiece."
Many of Venice's most famous attractions are located in and around Piazza San Marco, or St. Mark's Square, the city's largest square. Chief among those attractions is St. Mark's Basilica, nicknamed the "Church of God" because of its sheer splendor.
Venice is also famous for its iconic Grand Canal. The canal is believed to follow the course of an ancient river, and it is the island city's most heavily trafficked waterway. Gondola rides along the S-shaped Grand Canal are a popular tourist attraction. The Grand Canal is also the site of Venice's annual Regata Storica, a floating parade and series of boat races with a history dating back thousands of years.