Venice, Italy is a beautiful island and definitely as must visit places in Italy. Venice is definitely is in the top 3 places to see in Italy. I am not too sure whether it’s me or Italy is just so mesmerizing that makes me want to come back for more. On my previous trip (which was a long time ago in 2005), I was fortunate to have visited Rome, Florence, Siena and Pisa. So I was looking forward to visit the other places such as Venice and Milan to complete my must visit in Italy. Look out for Milan write up soon but for now, let’s focus on Venice.
Venice is a city in the north-eastern of Italy which consist of 118 small islands. How amazing is that. It is a small island however it has been pretty much the same since a long time ago. Venice is listed as one of World Heritage site. Venice is also one of the most romantic places to be especially with your special one.
Here is my take on what you can’t miss in Venice!
~ Get lost in Venice
It’s very easy to get lost here so it’s important for you to get your directions right. Get a map from the hotel and try to spend a little bit of time to understand what’s where. If you are a smart phone user (which I am sure you are one) then it’s a good thing. I downloaded a few offline map and city guide on my Iphone6+ which turned out to be a great help. The function ‘locate me’ in these apps helps to identifies where you are at and you can figure how or where to go from there. Do note that the street / road name are on the building itself.
~ Grand Canal
The Grand Canal is the entry point to Venice. If you are travelling by bus, train or car, you will end up here being the main access point. Since Venice is free of any motor vehicle, you will be traveling by water buses, taxi or gondolas. The Grand Canal stretches for about 3800metres till Saint Mark Basin. The banks of Grand Canal are lined with many buildings which are mostly from 13th to 18th century. You will find many luxurious hotels along the Grand Canal. It’s also a beautiful area to check out especially at night despite being a busy spot.
~ Piazza San Marco
Also known as St Mark’s Square is a public space surrounded by St Mark’s basilica, clock tower and Doge Palace. Saint Mark Basilica is cathedral church of Roman Catholic since 11th century. The interior of this building is fascinating however we choose not to visit. Anyhow, should you choose to enter, do be prepared for a long queue for tickets. Otherwise check with your hotel on how to buy tickets in advance which will save you a lot of time.
The buildings here are beautiful and with lots of amazing structure. It’s a pretty good are for photo moment and perhaps hang out. Florian café is just around the corner. This café has been around since 1720 and one of the oldest café still in operation. Do note that the prize is steep considering its prime location. We were here and hoping to try it out but unfortunately they only serve light food and pastries which was not what we wanted.
~ Venice cuisine
Seafood is a must have here as it’s easy to get and fresh. Spritz is a common drink here in many cafes and restaurants. It is a combination of white wine, bitter and sparking water. Do not skip Tiramisu, yes the must have dessert in Italy. Many say that this delicious dessert is actually originated from Venice. The list doesn’t stop here. There is so many other things you should try, from Venetian wine, pasta dishes, the Bellini, pastries, coffee and so on…
~ Rialto Bridge / Market
The Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto) is the oldest bridge across the canal. Also famous for the Rialto market which is a must see place. The market has been in operation for 7 centuries. The vegetable and fish market are open from early morning till about 12pm. This is a place to sight fresh vegetable and vivid seafood which makes good photo opportunities. The fresh fruits are so tantalizing.
~ Island hopping; Murano, Burano and Torcello.
Murano is a small island next to Venice. They are made famous for being a world class glass producer which is known as Murano glass. Burano is made famous for its lace and also for its fisherman houses painted in bright colours. Torcello is the first centre of civilization. The main attraction is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta which is founded in 639.
Firstly, I have to declare that I didn’t take any gondola ride. Let me share with you that it will cost 80Euro for a 40minutes ride in a gondola that can fit about 4-6 adults. Since it was only two of us we decided to skip this and spend our money elsewhere. There are many places that you can hire a gondola however the rates are about the same. Beware that by taking gondola at popular places which end up being stuck a little longer in traffic congestion. Nonetheless, it is a very popular among tourist.
Well there you go a summary of Venice. Despite all that Venice expects about 3,000,000 tourists recorded in year 2006. Can you imagine how many tourists would have visited in 2015?