Shutterstock Ca d’Oro | Venice, in its golden age as a maritime power, was a place of almost unrivaled glamour, power and luxury. Get a taste of what life was like for Venice’s elite during that era by visiting Ca d’Oro (House of Gold), one of the ornate palaces that line the Grand Canal. Built by a family that boasted eight doges (dukes), Ca d’Oro illustrates the height of Italian gothic splendor with its filigree arches and airy appearance. The palace, completed in 1430, now houses an art museum that’s worth visiting as much for a chance to see the interior of the building as the paintings and sculptures on display.
Shutterstock La Fenice | Like its namesake, the mythical phoenix, La Fenice has risen from the ashes, again and again. The theater has burned and been rebuilt an extraordinary three times – in 1774, 1836 and 1996 – and was most recently re-opened in 2003. Despite that turbulent history, the theater’s interior still instantly transports visitors to another time. The theater’s opulent 19th-century style makes it simply one of the best places in the world to see opera.
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