Made of velvet-padded gondolas, scenic bridges & canals, beautiful balconies with matching flowers, architectural masterpieces of floating palaces, cicchetti & bellini gatherings… We had begun to feel La ‚Dolce Vita‘ the moment we arrived.
When figuring out the itinerary for our Italy trip, the most romantic city in the world was not to miss. When we finally arrived, it was different than anything we have seen before. Not only because of the fascinating and dreamy scenery but also because of the whole atmosphere. When thinking of Venice I think of the velvet-padded gondolas. It is an obvious and cliché choice of experiencing Venice. The ride through the winding Grand Canal was elegant, slow, with unusual silence permitted by the absence of cars and beautiful views of pastel old buildings with entrances on the canal’s side. That is because the canals have been main routes of communication for centuries. They did not care much about the land transportation and therefore you might find Venetian streets often really narrow, weird and without any logic. So, while you explore the city on foot you wanna wear a pair of good shoes. And if in Italy, buy some more. 😉
The city is pretty much exactly the way it was 600 years ago, but what’s new in town is T Fondaco Dei Tedeschi – department store which has the most mesmerizing panoramic view over Venice that can be accessed by pre-booking within the in-store concierge – oh, and it is free! But we are just a couple of rooftop-chasers, so if you are not that into roof-mance, I guarantee you that you will not want to miss the world’s best ice cream at SuSo Gelateria on Calle della Bissa. Nope, they did not pay us to write this, this is our genuine recommendation, but we do hope we will get an extra big scoop of New York Times’s no.1 choice Manet Pistachio tomorrow after posting this, hehe!
You might want to check out as well the most classic ones: famous bridges Rialto and bridge of Sighs, also St. Mark’s Square, but expect it to be overrun with around 50 thousand tourists and cruise ship day-trippers.
A bit less crowded places are Ponte Chiodo (a bridge with no parapet) and Libreria Aqua Alta, a bookstore that redesigned itself due to constant flooding (they keep their books in boats aka. gondolas – super cute).
The highlight of our trip to Venice was visiting one of the most colourful islands in the world – BURANO. Pastel picturesque houses with coloured walls and gelaterias of all shapes and sizes – how could you not like such a vivid place? We literally explored every corner of it and fell for this special place instantly.
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Interesting fact: Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs) got its name from the sighs of prisoners crossing this exact bridge and looking at the sea and sky one last time before reaching jail forever.
WHEN TO GO
As soon as possible. It is beautiful and charming any time of the year, but you might want to avoid the main summer season or the peak time during the carnival with more than three million visitors. Also, if you are visiting in winter, keep in mind that some of the hotels and restaurants are closed.
Have you been to Venice? We’d love to know your must-see spots.