9 of the Spookiest Places in Europe – Happy Halloween

Ever wondered where the scariest, spookiest and most haunted places are in Europe? Does the idea of chasing ghost and ghouls sound like the perfect holiday? This Halloween let us take you around the continent to set the scene for the perfect ghost stories to share this All Hallows’ Eve.

1.

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The Tower of London

Regarded one of the most haunted places in Europe, the tower of London has a history going back 900 years of torture and execution. The most famous of spirits said to be wandering within the walls of this iconic building is the Ghost of Anne Boleyn. One of the fated wives of Henry the VIII, her headless body is said to have been spotted close the scene of her demise.
 

2.

chateau

Chateau de Brissac, France

Built in the 11th century, this castle has spooked many a visitor. A gruesome double murder in the 15th century has left a lasting spirit roaming the halls of this magnificent castle. ‘The Green Lady’ as she is known, is said to have terrified guests with her ghoulish groan echoing around the corridors in the early hours. More terrifyingly, the guests who claim to have seen her have said her corpse-like face features holes where her eyes and nose should be.
 

3.

baracks

Babenhausen Barracks, Germany

Used during multiple wars to house German soldiers whose spirits have never left. It has been claimed the ghosts of World War 2 soldiers in full military gear have been spotted as lights turn on and off by themselves and voices have been heard coming from the basement. Now a museum, soldiers that have visited have picked up a ringing telephone are said to have heard a lady talking backwards. In the town of Babenhausen rumours of a witch was burned at the stake are prominent with her ghost said to have seduced and killed several German Soldiers.
 

4.

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Poveglia Island, Italy

Sat in the Venetian lagoon is the small island of Poveglia. The island became populated when mainlanders fled to escape invaders. By the 14th Century the island was completely deserted, however, when the plague hit, the island was used as a quarantine colony with Venetians sent there to die. Their bodies were said to subsequently be burned on giant pyres. The site was also said to be used as a mental asylum in the 1800’s with stories of experimental procedures with stories of ill treatment and suicide rife in the city. Today, the island sits abandoned with locals daring not to set foot on the island for fear of being cursed. The ghosts of past patients are said to haunt the island with screams and voices often being heard, there has also been stories of violent possessions by evil spirits.
 

5.

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland, UK, illuminated at night in the winter snow

Edinburgh Castle

An outstanding landmark, situated overlooking the city of Edinburgh. Once again the scene of many battles and tortures, it is thought to be one of the most haunted castles in the world. Visitors claim to have been touched and pulled and sightings of ghoulish figures include a headless drummer boy and a piper who had apparently got lost in the tunnels below the castle and subsequently lost his life.
 

6.

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Corvin Castle, Transylvania

Best known to be the home of Count Dracula but also Vlad the Impaler. Vlad was known for his excessive cruelty and his nickname ‘The Impaler’ came about as he was notorious for his practice of impaling his enemies. The Corvin Castle is said to have been where historical figure was held in captivity as strange sightings have been reported of vampire-like figures appearing in flickering candle-light.
 

7.

Leap Castle

Leap Castle, Ireland

Widely regarded the most haunted castle in Ireland, it boasts a history of murders and massacres. It is said to be haunted by spirits seeking vengeance for their untimely murders. The castle is thought to have been built by the O’Carrol family who apparently had a habit of murdering people and dumping the bodies down a hole in the castle wall. Hauntings are said to take place in the ‘Bloody Chapel’ where it’s thought the murders took place.
 

8.

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Convent of St Agnes, Prague

Prague is said to be one of the most haunted cities in Europe and the Convent of St Agnes, situated in the world famous city, does not disappoint. Apparently haunted by the ‘Murdered Nun’, her legacy began when, as a girl, was said to be ordered to the convent by her noble father after falling in love with a poor knight. The night before she was due to leave she decided to follow her heart and met with her love. She was also met there by her father who, in a fit of rage, fatally stabbed her for shaming him. She is said to be seen in her ghostly form covered in blood and weeping bitterly.
 

9.

norway

Nidaros Cathedral, Norway

This imposing cathedral in the town of Trondheim is said to house the spirit of a Monk who has been described as a tall figure with a dark habit, a monks tonsure, glowing eyes and blood dripping from a cut in his throat. He reveals himself to church goers and is said to often sever his head from his body and walk straight through church goers.
Happy Halloween!
Fancy seeing some ghoulishly gorgeous scenery for yourself? Take a look through our European tours for a fangtastic time.
 

Both Sides Now – A look at the Fritz and Tommy tour by Paul Dimery

Exploring war from the perspectives of opposing sides can be an engrossing and enlightening experience. Giving you the opportunity to do just that is a new battlefield tour – Fritz and Tommy. Paul Dimery decided to take a look…

When it comes to learning military history in school, there is often a problem of impartiality – or, rather, a lack of it. Here in Britain, it’s rare to study war accounts from anything other than our own side’s perspective (whether this is down to ignorance on the part of the teaching staff or a lack of knowledge is open to debate). And some US schools have gone one step further, bending the truth entirely – I remember meeting a student from Kansas City who was adamant that the Second World War began with the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941!
iStock_000047763776_LargeThe downside to this bias, of course, is that we miss the opportunity to garner a well-rounded appraisal of certain conflicts: the tactical approaches of Britain’s foes; the cultural impact war had on those countries; not to mention the personalities of the soldiers fighting for the other side, who are often demonised as cold, emotionless killers, when many – like our own men and women – were thrust into the field of combat against their will and better judgement.
The battlefield visit we are looking at this month goes some way to correcting the balance. Called Fritz and Tommy (the nicknames German and British soldiers gave to each other during the First and Second World Wars), this brand-new tour is at once poignant and fascinating. It takes in three key First World War sites on the Western Front – Flanders, northern France and the Somme – and explores how the conflict evolved on both sides of no man’s land. In this, the centenary of the start of the war, there’s no better time to expand your knowledge while paying tribute to those who lost their lives in a conflict that seemed to never end.
Departing Britain by coach, the five-day tour begins in Flanders in northern Belgium. This area saw some of the greatest loss of life during the First World War, and the “Flandern” operations are still a byword for sacrifice in Germany today. The excursion explores how the nation commemorated its dead here, with visits to the German cemeteries at Vladslo and Langemarck. There will be time to appreciate the moving “Grieving Parents” statues by German sculptor Käthe Kollwitz, and also learn about the “Langemarck myth”. This was a story published in German newspapers to raise morale in the country, at a time when many citizens were opposed to the war effort. According to their reports – which were later “corroborated” by Adolf Hitler in his 1925
book Mein Kampf – “young regiments broke forward with the song Deutschland Uber Alles against the frontline of enemy positions, and took them. Approximately 2,000 men of the French infantry line were captured, along with six machine guns.” This has since been widely dismissed, however. For a start, Deutschland Uber Alles did not become the recognised German national anthem until 1922. And besides, it’s unlikely that soldiers charging through a battlefield with fixed bayonets would have been in any position to break into song.
From here, the tour continues along the Menin Road, examining the pivotal skirmishes around Gheluvelt, where future führer Adolf Hitler fought in 1914 and may have been taken prisoner by a British Victoria Cross hero! After lunch at Hooge, it takes in German bunkers on the Ypres battlefield, their trench system at Bayernwald and their mining operations on the Messines Ridge. Then the focus returns to Hitler with a visit to the crypt where he sheltered and the farm he visited after his armies had conquered Europe in 1914. The day ends with an in-depth look at the story of the infamous Christmas truce, exploring some of the myths from both sides, as well as a visit to the grave of a German officer buried in a British cemetery. His story is a fascinating one, and ties together much of Germany’s history from the 20th Century.
Day two sees the tour veer into northern France. You’ll get to see the ground near Wervicq-Sud where Adolf Hitler was gassed in October 1918, before exploring the Fromelles battlefield from both sides – the German defences as well as the Australian quarters. Following lunch in Bethune, there’s time to pay respects at the grave of First World War British fighter pilot Albert Ball VC, who crashed behind German lines and was buried by his foe with full military honours, with many senior German officers in attendance. The day ends with a recollection of the fighting that took place near Arras and Vimy Ridge, as well as a visit to the vast German cemetery at La Targette.
iStock_000047758910_LargeThe final full day takes in the Somme, where some of the bloodiest battles of the war took place (during the initial Battle of the Somme – fought between July and November 1916 – it’s estimated that more than a million men were wounded or killed). The tour starts at Copse 125, a wood where German soldier-writer Ernst Jünger (see right) fought in 1918 opposite a force of New Zealanders. These included “the King of No Man’s Land”, Dick Travis – so named because he was said to know the neutral territory (“every sap and shell-hole”) better than he knew his own trenches. On Hawthorn Ridge, the tour looks at how Württemberg troops repulsed the British attack from this position in the early stages of the Battle of the Somme. Following lunch at Thiepval and a look at the German 180th Regiment that resided there in 1916, it’s on to Poziéres to visit the German “Gibraltar” bunker, captured by the Australians that same year. At Courcelette, the tour looks at the use of British tanks against the Germans, and there’s a visit to a forgotten German headstone. Then it’s a drive to Guillemont, where the focus returns to Ernest Jünger, contrasting his experience of the fighting there in 1916 with British soldier-writer Francis Hitchcock (who immortalised his recollections of the war in Stand To – A Diary of the Trenches 1915-1918. The day – and the tour – finishes with a visit to the Museum of the Great War in Peronne, paying particular attention to the German side of its collection.
The Fritz and Tommy tour can be an intense, emotional experience. It’s one thing reading about the devastation that occurred in places like Flanders and the Somme; it’s another to actually stand where those brave men fell, with the sound of bullets and the screams of their comrades ringing in their ears. Whatever the weather, it’s an all-encompassing experience – in the heat, one can imagine what it must have been like to lay wounded in a shell-hole in the baking sun, not knowing which would come first: help or death. In a downpour, you can almost hear the sound of raindrops pinging off the soldiers’ steel helmets. Then there’s the story of the Hawthorn Ridge mine – 40,000lb- worth of explosives detonated by the Royal Engineers on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. You may have seen the film footage, but what that doesn’t reveal is the Germans’ experience of the explosion: how those who survived reacted, and the physical and psychological impact they suffered. This is something the tour explores in detail using eye-witness accounts and contemporary findings.
Helping out with this is German historian Rob Schafer, whose expertise – not to mention his collection of rare First World War photographs and other objects – is combined with that of Head Battlefield Guide Paul Reed to present a colourful and balanced depiction of what happened during those few fateful years.
Says Reed, “If you want to use the centenary period to discover new angles to the Great War, the Fritz and Tommy tour is for you. It presents the conflict from both angles, giving us the chance to bring in lesser-known battlefield locations
and examine existing ones in a fresh light.”
Visit History of War at https://www.historyofwar.co.uk/ or check out their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HistoryofWarMag
All content Copyright Anthem Publishing Ltd 2014, all rights reserved
 

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Photo courtesy of Rob Schafer, to see more follow our hashtag on Twitter #FritzandTommy

Remembrance – Annamarie Vickers-Skidmore

Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres

With Remembrance day now less than a month away, on such a poignant year, the sacrifice of World War One is highly present on all of our minds.

We’ve recently received a phone call from a customer of ours thanking us for listing one of her ancestors names on page 14 of our Battlefields brochure. The name, Mr E. Payne, is etched into a panel at the Menin gate and you can see the picture on the right hand panel of the brochure. You can view the brochure here.
A member of our reservations team, Annamarie, was so humbled by the call and that one name was recognised out of so many, that she was inspired to write the following poem of remembrance.

Remembrance.

Thousands of names,
Carved into the wall,
On Armistice Day,
We remember their fall.
 
The young and the old,
A battlefield of hate,
The bugles will play,
To honour their fate.
 
Names embedded,
Their graves unknown,
Fighting for our country,
Feeling so alone.
 
Their legacy lives on,
As their ancestor’s wait,
Heads bowed in respect,
At the foot of Menin Gate.

We would like to thank Annamarie for sharing this beautiful poem with us and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
We are forever being impressed by these displays of talent from customers and staff alike, if you have something you’d like to share, email us at social@leger.co.uk.
 

Love Scenic Cruises? We

Cruising tours with Leger

If packing your sea legs is an exciting start to a new adventure, you’re not alone. With an annual passenger growth rate of 7%, cruises are becoming an ever popular way of touring.

With a wide variety of ocean and river cruises now available, the choice of locations is a wide and varied. It’s not all about the sailing the Med and seeing coastal towns with a big enough dock, with river cruises you can get up close and personal from a different perspective inland. Even taking on the Ocean can lead you to new and exciting locations.
Cruises can really offer a fantastic adventure covering a much larger area than a coach tour and they really are a fantastic experience from start to finish.
Here’s some of our favourite Leger cruises available to book now.

Cruising the Christmas Markets of the Rhine Valley

Cologne at duskComing up shortly we will begin our Christmas Market tours, and this is one not to be missed. Cruising down the Rhine valley stopping off at the markets of Rüdesheim, Koblenz and Cologne you really will be in the Christmas spirit.
Rüdesheim is transformed from a little romantic town to a place buzzing with festive cheer. With over 120 stalls there’s plenty to do but we would suggest trying their coffee made with locally distilled Asbach Uralt Brandy, whipped cream and traditionally served in an authentic Rüdesheim coffee set. After making your way back to the ship you will be invited to the Captain’s dinner and party evening to warm up and let loose.
Kolblenz market will give you the perfect opportunity to pick up some fabulous hand-made gifts and decorations to bring home with you. There’s an array of stalls making fresh German Christmas cakes and biscuits right in front of your eyes.
And to top it off, the magical Cologne. There are several markets you can find around Cologne but the most impressive would have to be the market at Cologne cathedral. With a dramatic backdrop, there’s nothing more quintessentially German than sipping mulled wine and indulging in an unlimited array of sweets.
Click here to view this tour.

New Year Festive Celebration Rhine Cruise

Fireworks in KoblenzBringing in the New Year cruising on the Rhine River. Starting in Cologne you will board the M.S Rhine Princess for a four night cruise. You will have your chance to visit the beautiful city of Cologne. The home of the Kölner Dom, there’s plenty to see and do. You could treat yourself to a shopping spree in the elegant Belgian quarter, leave a love lock on the Hohenzollern Bridge or visit the chocolate factory to pick up some treats for your journey.
Of course, as it’s a New Year’s trip, you won’t miss the party. After cruising to the beautiful Roman town of Andernach then onto Oberwest, you will enjoy a day time coach trip to Rüdesheim then re-joining your ship in Koblenz for your Gala dinner party. You can view the fireworks in style as they light up the town around the river.
After partying the night away, you could indulge in some hair of the dog as we take an optional excursion to Moselle Valley for wine tasting at the Anton Hammes wine estate which has been family owned for over 150 years.
You will spend your last night in the town of Bonn, the former capital of West Germany. For anyone interested in classical music, Bonn is best known for being the birthplace of Beethoven. You can enjoy your final dinner before heading off home from this fantastic trip.
Click here for more information on this tour.

Iberian Peninsula Cruise & Lake Garda

MarseilleIf you’re looking a bit further ahead and a warmer climate is more your style, the Iberian Peninsula Cruise & Lake Garda cruise could be the one for you.
You will stay for ten nights cruising on the Costa Fortuna, spectacular in every detail. This superb vessel offers four restaurants and eleven bars, which include a Cognac and Cigar Bar. The ship includes a choice of swimming pools, jacuzzis, a theatre on three levels, a Casino, shops and a disco.
You will greet the Costa Fortuna in Savona for a 10 night cruise but not before you’ve stopped off at Lake Guarda for a full day tour and the beautiful city of Venice where you can enjoy the spectacular sights mentioned in our Venice blog.
The first stop on your cruise will be the beautiful town of Marseille where you can visit the Notre–Dame de La Garde and get your hands on a bar of the traditional Savon de Marseille soap, scented with lavender, verbena or honey, to take home with you as a gift or a treat for yourself.
You will then make your way to Spain stopping off at Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and Cadiz. You will then head on to Portugal where you will stop off in Lisbon where you can visit the world’s most expensive chapel, Sao Roque and head up the Santa Justa Elevator for sweeping views of the spectacular city.
Heading back through Spain, stopping off at Vigo and La Coruna, your final stop will be in La Havre in France where you can sample some famous Normandy Cider and Cheese to top off this fabulous 15 day trip.
You can view this tour here.

Norwegian Fjords Cruise

Norwegian FjordThe last of our featured cruises is certainly not least. The Norwegian Fjords Cruise. Setting sail in June, you will be taken on a breath-taking tour of western Norway.
Once again you will take sail on the Costa Fortuna
You will start off your tour with a day in Amsterdam where you can visit the fantastic museums and the world famous coffee shops. In such a vibrant city, you will wonder where the day has gone when you board the ship and head off for your Norwegian adventure.
Spring time in the Fjords is when they really come to life, as the sun starts to shine on the mountains turn spectacular colours. The temperature will typically vary between 14-16 degrees Celsius, so be sure to take some warm clothes.
You will stop off in Bergen, Hellesylt, Andalsnes, Olden, Flam and Stavenger. The Fjords are canals reaching inland from the coast where the mountains emerge from the ocean. You will sail through the fjords taking in the breath-taking natural beauty.
Be sure to take your camera on this 12 day break as the photos will be treasured for a life time.
To view the itinerary for this tour click here.
 
For more information and even more Leger Cruises visit our website www.leger.co.uk
 

Let the Festive Fun begin! – Top picks for a perfect Winter break.

Let The Festive Fun Begin

Autumn is kicking in, the nights are getting longer and there’s a notable chill in the air. There’s one thing that is creeping ever closer, Christmas!

That hectic mad rush to find the last turkey in the supermarket, cooking for a small army then the mountains of washing up.
Whilst some may shudder with the thought of Christmas, here at Leger we couldn’t be more excited. With mulled wine and minced pies just around the corner, we’ve just launched our Festive brochure with a glorious choice of the perfect festive getaways.
From beautiful Bavarian markets to secluded picturesque forests, you really can just get away from it all. With more and more people choosing to spend their yule-tide away from home, the tourism market around the world is now booming with festive delight. With Christmas markets, ice rinks and beautiful scenery, Europe really does have it all. Our tours have taken you to some fabulous destinations and to get you into the spirit, here’s a list of some of our favourite cities to visit this festive season.

Strasbourg

Christmas tree
The Capital of the Alsace Region in eastern France, Strasbourg is well known to be the host of the oldest Christmas market in France, Christkindelsmärik.
Christkindelsmärik has been held annually since 1570, it is located close to Strasbourg’s magnificent cathedral. It is thought to be the most famous Christmas markets throughout Europe. Its enchanting aroma of warm wine and spices and the sight of the 100ft tree is enough to warm the heart of any scrooge.
Known as the village of sharing, its local residents, as part of a long standing tradition, place gifts under the tree for the town’s most disadvantages citizens. Strasbourg really is the home of Christmas Spirit.

 

Salzburg


Salzburg Christmas MarketThe fourth-Largest city in Austria, Salzburg really is a work of art.
Its old town is famous for its baroque architecture and is one of the best preserved cities in the northern Alps. The birth place of Mozart, music lines the streets. Situated just north of Salzburg lies the charming town of Oberndorf, the town where the world renowned Christmas carol, Silent Night, was composed.
Around Christmas time, the city really does come alive, with plenty of Gluhwein (mulled wine) and Lebkuchen (Christmas cookies) served in a variety of places you really can experience the true meaning of Christmas is Austria.
If you’re lucky enough to stay over New Year, you won’t be disappointed. You can drink Champagne, enjoy the fireworks and waltz your way into 2015.

Prague

Christmas in PraguThere’s a certain romantic charm to Prague that comes alive during the festive season. There are plenty of Christmas markets to choose from where you can find traditional Czech products such as Christmas ornaments, wooden carved toys and you can even treat yourself to a real piece of frankincense.
With Ice Skating in the old town and carols being sung around the beautifully lit markets, you really will feel the festive spirit. You can treat yourself to a grog or maybe even a medovina to keep your hands warm as temperatures in Prague around this time of year rarely rise above 2 degrees Celsius, it will be sure to leave you merry this Christmas.
If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, or just wanting to get away from it all. Europe really is your oyster.
 
 
We have tours that feature these destinations as part of your itinerary, take a look at our festive page for more information about where we can take you and take care of you this Christmas.
 
 

A Great War Journey

Tyne Cot Cemetary, First world War

We love to receive feedback from our customers when they’re back from their trips. We always take the time to read through everything we receive, however, we have recently received a wonderful letter from Ralph Ellis who had attended one of our Battlefield tours that we thought was too special not to share.

Ralph has sent us a collection of poems after being inspired whilst on our Battlefield tours. He states he does not profess to be a poet but we think they are fantastic.
He has kindly given us permission to publish his work and we would love to share them with you.

A Great War Journey

I spent my days in Flanders fields,
I passed through heroes graves that yield,
“What brings you here?” I hear them say,
To Flanders field so far away.
You gave your lives through strife and pain,
That I might live my life and gain,
To witness truth that knows no lie,
Why mothers weep and children sigh.
The poppies sway from breezes by,
They seem to whisper “Not Goodbye”,
Blood red their colour, black their eye,
As mothers weep and children sigh.
And though my journey now must end,
The memories I will append,
Of futile waste I know not why,
Make mothers weep and children sigh.
I know no glory, only lies,
Of glories past as glory dies,
Farewell my brothers, not goodbye,
Your mothers weep, your children sigh.
-11.11.2010

An Ode to Tommy Atkins

(Missing – 1914-18)
Where have all the Tommies gone?
Long time passing …..
Where have all the Tommies gone?
Long time ago ……
Where have all the Tommies gone?
Gone to ‘Glory’ everyone.
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?
-12.04.2014
(Adapted from ‘Where Have All The Flowers Gone?’ by Pete Serger)
Our Battlefield tours are avaiable to view online, click here for more information.

We Cannot Lord, Thy Purpose See

We cannot Lord, thy purpose see
The price we pay for victory.
A battle won, a battle lost,
Won’t countenance against the cost.
When strife is left the only course,
And sets mankind upon a cause.
Lives are lost for freedom gained
Yet new lives grow but feel not pain.
The sacrifice of those we lose,
Gives new life a chance to learn and choose.
Will our future live or die,
Upon a deed, upon a lie?
I am a soldier, and tho’ I’m free,
I cannot Lord, thy purpose see.
 01.07.2013

Sleep, Sleep, The Battle Ends

Sleep, sleep, the battle ends,
The sleep that some will not transcend,
The weary time that comes but next,
When fear will sometimes conquer rest.
Sleep, sleep the battle ends,
But who will wake to face again,
The light of day, the fear of dark,
Return again the songbird lark.
Sleep, sleep the soldiers cry,
For those who weep or those who die.
Whilst fear is constant, sleep is a lie,
Some will wish their last goodbye.
For some to sleep, a last bequest,
For some to wake to fear the test.
A battle won, a battle lost,
We sleep whilst others count the cost.
And now to sleep, perhaps goodbye,
But sleep I must before I die.
– 11.11.2011

Macmillan World's Biggest Coffee Morning

Macmillan Coffe Morning at Leger HQ

If you follow us on social media, you may have seen that last Friday, the 26th September, Leger HQ took part in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Macmillan offer support for everyone affected by cancer. Last year £20 million was raised through the coffee morning for a fantastic cause and, as you can imagine, can really make a difference.

Our team pulled together and baked us all lots of delicious cakes, some of which we’re still tucking into now. We don’t need an excuse for a cake break.
So far we’ve managed to raise over £150 from our cake sales and we would like to thank all staff and bakers for participating and everyone who donated.
Here’s a few pictures of a lovely staff tucking in for a good cause, here’s to the next one.
 


 
For more information on the Macmillan Coffee Morning, click here.

That’s Amore: Fall in love with Venice.

When it comes to the perfect romantic getaway, it would be hard for you to not picture the gorgeously crafted gondolas floating down one of the many water ways of spectacular Venice. It’s most certainly one of the most alluring places on earth. Gondolas, masked balls and beautiful palaces are a few things that may come to mind when picturing a Venetian experience.

Located in the Venetian lagoon it is a part of a group of 180 small islands connected by canals and bridges. The city, in its entirety including the lagoon, is listed as a world heritage site and is famous for its canals, architecture and its unofficial mascot, the pigeon. Known as one of the world’s sinking cities, Venice is thought to still be suffering from subsidence which, along with the ‘elegant decay’ of its opulent buildings really does make Venice one of the most popular tourist destinations on the globe.
Here at Leger, we offer a variety of Italian escapes that include Venice as part of the itinerary so we thought we’d compile a list of some of our favourite things to see and do to really make the most of your time here.

Get lost in Venice

Beautiful house on a narrow street in Venice, Italy
It’s extremely easy to get lost in Venice, some would say inevitable. A combination of the narrow streets and the tall buildings could confuse any seasoned tourist. The best way to get around Venice is to truly get lost and see the sights that you didn’t expect to see. Do not fret, the locals are extremely friendly and you will be surprised how easily they will get you back to where you need to be. Of course, if that doesn’t take your fancy, we have some excellent tour guides to show you around.
 

Visit the piazza San Marco.

Venice, Italy. Doge's Palace and Basilica di San Giorgio MaggiorNapoleon referred to it as the ‘drawing room of Europe’. St Mark’s Square (as it is known in English) is the principle public square of Venice and attracts thousands of tourists each day. Flanked on the eastern end by the Saint Mark’s Basilica and leaving you in prime positions to view the Doge Palace, one of the major Venetian landmarks. It really is a sight and experience not to be missed.

 
 

Take a tour of the Grand Canal.

Venice Grand CanalThe Grand Canal snakes right through Venice, lined by 170 buildings, it is the main water way in the city. Whilst the waterway may now full of tourist boats, it does not take much imagination to value the importance of the water way in past times when it was primary to the wealth through trade and commerce. Why not climb aboard a Vaporetto to get the best view of this famous canal?
 

 

Take a ride in a Gondola.

Gondolier in VeniceA feature on many a person’s bucket list, floating down the canal on a gondola is one of the most iconic things to experience whilst in Venice. One way to really enhance your gondola experience is to opt for a singing gondolier alongside a musician. It’s one of the prime ways to see the famous sights of this exquisite city.
 
 
 
 

Visit Casino Venier

Venetian masksCasino Venier dates back to 1750 and is one of the best of its kind. In its prime attracting Venice’s elite to flirt, dance and gamble, it’s a great way to get a feel of how the Venetians used to live. It is located on the first floor of a nondescript building over-looking the Barateri Canal and, best of all, it’s completely free to visit.

 
 

Take in Santa Maria della Salute

Gondola in VeniceOne of Venice’s most iconic buildings, dominating the entrance to the Grand Canal it is known simply as the salute. Built after 150,000 venetians were tragically killed by the plague, the church was built as promise to god to honour the Virgin Mary in return to stop the plague. In turn, the plague was stopped in its tracks. On the 21st November, The Festa della Salute begins, the citizens of Venice lay a pontoon bridge over the canal from the San Marco district to honour the Virgin Mary. Many Gondoliers will bring their oars to be blessed by a priest who recites his incantations from the church steps, a magnificent sight.

 
 

And finally… Try some Gelato

Gelato Shop, VeniceA hard earned treat, after all that walking the best way to tie up your trip around the iconic city is to sample the famous Italian ice cream. Why not visit Gelataria Nico known to be the oldest ice cream shop in Venice.
 
 
 
 
 
 
For more information regarding our tours including Venice, take a look at our Italian Tours page.