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DISCOVER / A hidden delight in Venice

I could never tire of Venice, there is always something more to discover or a slightly different route to take through the criss-crossing streets and array of bridges. On my last trip I discovered a fabulous way to see a panorama of the city which cost nothing and even better avoided the queues of say Campanile di San Marco.

Just down from the famous Rialto bridge you will discover the Renaissance building of Fondaco dei Tedeschi. Built in 1228 this was home to the city's German merchants until the 20th century when it became Venice's postal headquarters and finally and somewhat controversially under the ownership of the Benetton group.

I would advise leaving the credit cards at home as in order to reach the spectacular roof-top terrace you must first navigate your way past some of Italy's finest design and produce. This building is home to the likes of Prada, Armani and Valentino but I certainly enjoyed the window shopping in a welcoming atmosphere.

I particularly enjoyed browsing the food such as in the stores own From Venice With Love collection.

Climbing up through the store there was plenty to delight in the form breathtaking displays on the same theme. I loved these captured Manolo Blahnik shoes.

Upon reaching the top floor there was more to learn about Italian design with some intriguing installations.

And finally, it's out through the doors and up to the roof terrace for your 360' panorama of Venezia! Here's just a couple of images to whet your appetite but I won't spoil it...

Booking is advised in peak season as there is limited capacity on the roof terrace but when we visited in January we could walk straight up and there were only a few other visitors. A perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle.

Fondaco dei Tedeschi is open every day from 10 until 8.

It can be found right beside the Rialto Bridge, at 30124 Venice (Nearest Vaporetto Stop: Rialto)

+39 041 3142 000

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