'IoS' competition: win a dream break in Venice



Saturday marks the 40th anniversary of the great flood that caused much devastation in Venice. On the night of 3 November 1966, a violent storm flooded the city's canals to a depth of up to 2m above sea level. This single event highlighted the need to protect the city's architectural heritage and inspired Sir Ashley Clarke to establish The Venice in Peril Fund.

This registered British charity works towards safeguarding Venice by restoration, research and lobbying for the city's long-term protection. So far, Venice in Peril has restored more than 40 monuments and works of art, working with the Italian Heritage authorities and Unesco. Completed projects include the restoration of the Madonna dell'Orto church. Another side to its work is the funding of a feasibility study that led to the sensitive conversion of a Venetian building for social housing. Flooding in Venice is an ongoing and more frequent problem. Venice in Peril also financed a research project at Cambridge University addressing the complex issues that contribute to the rising water levels ­ global warming, climactic conditions, the ecology of the lagoon, human intervention ­ and exploring possible solutions.

The debate about Venice's future rages on ­ from how to control the number of visitors to the spiralling costs of the £4.5bn barriers planned to protect the city from the waves. But whichever direction it will take, Venice in Peril will continue to play its part in working to protect the city's cultural and architectural legacy. For more information see: veniceinperil.org.

The Independent on Sunday, Orient-Express and Venice in Peril have teamed up to offer one lucky reader and a friend the chance to win two nights at the Hotel Cipriani followed by an overnight journey from Venice to London on board the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

Back in the early 20th century the Orient-Express, right, was deemed the only way to arrive in Venice. Today, the distinctive blue and gold wagons-lits carriages still trace their way across Europe from London and Paris to recreate this golden age of travel.

Orient-Express is a proud supporter of Venice in Peril. It has recently set up an ongoing donations policy in conjunction with its Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train packages to Venice, offered in its Journeys of Distinction brochure. A donation of £10 per person is made for every booking on one of its three packages; Venetian Rhapsody, Venetian Overture and Venetian Serenade. The Serenade package costs from £1,850 per person and includes flights with BMI, two nights' b&b at Hotel Cipriani, a return overnight journey on board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and transfers. It is fully inclusive of all meals on board the train. Around £15,000 has already been raised and Orient-Express hopes to generate a significant donation each year, which will help the charity with its good work. For further information call 0845-077 2222 or visit orient-express.com.

HOW TO ENTER

Answer these questions about Venice:

1. Which 13th/14th-century Venetian explorer made a journey to a land he called Cathay?

2. One of Venice's most famous painters lived and worked in London between 1746 and 1755 because he couldn't find enough buyers for his pictures at home. Which painter?

3. Which poet ­ one half of a celebrated literary marriage ­ died in Venice in 1889?

4 . The winner of the best film at the annual Venice Film Festival receives what award?

5. When the 20th-century American humourist Robert Benchley first set eyes on Venice, what six-word message did he send in a telegram back to his office?

6. In which one of the following films was Venice NOT a backdrop: Death in Venice, Don't Look Now, The Italian Job, Tomb Raider?

7. In 1999, which former Venezia footballer was transferred from Lazio to Inter Milan for £32m, a then world-record fee?

8.Which Venetian composer was known as the Red Priest?

9. Which word of Venetian origin describes a densely-populated slum area of a city?

10. Which American, who died in 1979, is buried alongside her beloved dogs in the grounds of the Venetian museum that bears her name?

Send your entry with the answers written on a sheet of A4 paper to: Venice in Peril/Orient-Express/IoS Competition, The Venice in Peril Fund, Hurlingham Studios, Ranelagh Gardens, London SW6 3PA to arrive no later than 24 November 2006. Entrants may also wish to make a donation of £10 to the Venice in Peril Fund. The winner will be the first correct entry drawn at random. They will be notified by telephone by Friday 1 December 2006.

Terms and conditions

No purchase necessary. Competition is open to UK residents aged 18 and over, except employees of Orient-Express, Venice in Peril, Independent News and Media, their families, agents or anyone else connected with the promotion. Although a donation of £10 to Venice in Peril is suggested, the winner will be chosen at random from all entries whether or not accompanied by donations. The prize is valid for travel from 5 April to 7 November 2007, is non-transferable and subject to availability. There is no cash alternative. Accommodation at Hotel Cipriani is on a bed and breakfast basis and full board on board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. The winner and their companion will be required to make their own outbound travel arrangements to Venice to take up the prize. Standard Independent competition rules apply, see independent.co.uk/legal.

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