If someone asks me which city is your most favorite – I will just say Venice B-) We visited Venice just four days after we came back from Paris. Still I love Venice more than Paris. Such a cute city, so much beauty, such lovely places.. I don’t think mere men could have created this city. But looks like that’s what the Merchants of Venice actually did.. A city with just salt water and some islands – transformed into a heaven on Earth by the intelligent merchants of Venice to serve as a major economical ports since ages.. Now you can relate to the play of Shakespeare – ”The Merchant of Venice” The city never had a real royal family. The merchants ran a democratic government and made sure power never concentrated in the hands of one person.
Venice can be seen only by boat or foot. The city has a wonderful tourist map with even the tiniest of the lanes marked clearly, so no one can get completely lost here. Private bridges leading to individual houses, which are decorated with grand railings, public bridges of various sizes.. Venice is all about walking on the bridges or moving on boats below these bridges.
We went on a walk tour in the morning with an elderly man who had been the curator at the famous Accademia museum, which houses wonderful pieces of art just like the Louvre in Paris. This is also the house to the Vitruvian man ( But they have a weird practice of displaying this painting to visitors only during selected days of the year. In Paris, we heard the story about how the Italians made desperate attempts to steal the Monalisa from the French. Good that they didn’t succeed !! Else we would have needed special appointment to see that too)
Our guide took us around the lovely secret spots of Venice, sharing the story about its growth and fall as we walked. We also got to know best places to try the local cuisine, taste gelato, travel on the Ghetto and buy local produce. Our tour ended at the most scenic spot of Venice, in front of the town-hall. After a good photo session, we proceeded to the St.Mark’s Basilica. The square is filled with tourists and the salty breeze from the sea. A climb to the top of the Basilica, gives mesmerizing views of the square beneath.
One less sung about spot is the Phoenix – the Opera house of Venice. After several fire accidents and severe damages, this hall has been re-constructed in a better way every time and today it stands as a place of beauty – no wonder the name ”Phoenix”. The hi-tech facilities in the opera house are a true wonder – the stage can be re-sized as need. How cool is that 🙂
I can write a whole new article about the Gandola ride – a must do in Venice to see the narrow lanes and experience the real beauty of the city. Floating along the cosy winding water path, the huge buildings around you, the bling turns.. An experience to get lost into a different world, to fall in love all over again.. and follow the tradition to kiss under the bridge of sighs.. Ohhh.. my thoughts are flying to Venice..
Nights are best spent strolling along the Grand Canal, eating yummy pastas and buying souvenirs. We traveled in Feb and the nights were cold enough to need a nice warm jacket.
The next morning, we took the ”Secret tour of the Doges’ Palace”. The beauty of this Palace is well hidden. The tour revealed various secrets of Venice including the story of the famous Casanova.. Not just a womanizer, a smart and intelligent man who escaped from the prison of the Doges Palace and walked out of the palace pretending to be a guest – right under the nose of the security guards 🙂
The little islands – Murano and Burano add beauty to your Venician experience. Murano is famous for glass works. They have free demonstrations at frequent intervals(matches with the boat arrival timings). Volunteers guide you to the glass factories and you get to see how molten glass is converted into beautiful pieces of art. Mesmerizing and not to be missed !!
Then comes the fishing village Burano – the best place in the world, according to me. Wonderfully colored houses, shops selling beautiful laces and the quiet little town by itself is a thing of beauty.
We also found some time to stroll in the beach. Chilly and not many people around – perfect time for a love-filled stroll.
The day pass is cheap – 24 hours in any public boat around Venice. Gandola rides are costly. Try to make group trips if you are not looking for a romantic setting or something. If you just want the experience, take the Ghetto near the huge food market. Works for 2 euros.
We were robbed on our way to Venice, in the train. My husband almost did a cinema style fight and saved the day 🙂 Italy is not a very safe country. Beware of thieves. Venice is not a very well lit place. At nights, it is wise to stay in the crowded areas. Exploring at night may not be very safe. Venice is a day trip for many. But a couple of days here is a definite need to enjoy the place better.
Its a heaven on Earth city – no doubt. Among all the cities I have seen so far – Venice is my city of choice.