Venice, Italy, the wonderful city of waterways and gondolas, is sinking into the ocean at a rate of 0.08 inches annually. That equals about eight inches every 100 years. Now is the time to see this great city in Northeast Italy which is comprised of approximately 118 small islands connected by canals and bridges. Gondolas, bus boats and water taxis provide transportation to citizens and tourists as they travel from one section of town to another. The grand canal of the Venetian Lagoon leads to the Adriatic Sea.

While in Venice you’ll definitely want to check out the Rialto Bridge. All Venice visitors need to walk across the Rialto Bridge, the oldest of the four bridges that cross the Grand Canal. Flea market type shops now flourish in kiosks across the bridge where you can buy trinkets to send home as souvenirs.

A great souvenir for friends and family back home is artistic glass products. Venice is famous for Murano Island where you can see glassblowers plying their craft. Some art pieces are truly beautiful and can be purchased in any glass store in Venice as well as in the glassblowing factories on Murano.

Your trip isn’t complete if you don’t take a gondola ride. Gondolas hold up to six people along with the gondolier who sings as he poles the boat around the canals.

You should also try voyaging by vaporetto. A vaporetto is really a boat bus that carries nearly 250 people at a time. Some smaller ones may be described better as water taxis. It is an economical way to travel around Venice and if you ride the entire circuit, you will have a fine tour.

The last scenes of the 2006 James Bond movie, “Casino Royale,” starring Daniel Craig were filmed here. If you have seen the movie, you will recognize many of the sites. Particularly noticeable is St. Mark’s Square viewed from the Hotel Cipriani. St. Mark’s square is home to thousands of pigeons who delight in being fed by tourists. The hotel is where Bond moored his yacht in the movie.

Of course you can’t visit Venice without seeing the Basilica. Sitting on the west end of St. Mark’s square is the Basilica. Legend has it that the remains of the biblical St. Mark are here, stolen by two Venetians during the middle ages from their original resting place.

Have a glass of wine, appetizers or dinner at Florian’s at St. Mark’s square. This was the favorite lingering place of author Henry James. Other writers found their muse in Venice, including Lord Byron, Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway.