Venice– the most romantic city in the world charms its visitors with its magical atmosphere. Let’s find out what you can see and experience in a couple of days in this fabulous city!
One of the most exciting places to visit is a workshop in Murano. Book your visit and don’t miss the chance to see glass makers at work: you’ll feel like you’re taking part in a magic show. Starting from a shapeless piece of incandescent glass, glass makers create wonderful and unique objects. Children will enjoy this show too because they’ll think they are in a transfiguration class at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Based on my experience, the easiest way to get to Venice is to arrive in Mestre by car and continue by train to the Santa Lucia station. You can visit Venice on foot and by vaporetti (water taxis). Sailing between the canals and the islands of the lagoon will give you the opportunity to fully appreciate the uniqueness of the Serenissima urban structure. Walking through the alleys you risk forgetting that Venice is “suspended” on the sea. If you are traveling on the vaporetti you can enjoy the view of the city from the water. Not to mention that you will also have the opportunity to admire all the domes and bell towers of the city along the way.
What to See and Do
Piazza San Marco is the first place to visit. Why? Because it holds the most famous buildings and monuments of the city: the Clock Tower (on the top there are two statues called Mori di Venezia: two bronze shepherds which strike the hour); next the Procuratie (they hosted the procurators, the most powerful men after the doge); then the Bell Tower; the Basilica (it is worth a visit!); finally, the Doge’s Palace; and a small square, called Piazzetta San Marco, which overlooks the sea.
Take a nice walk under the porticoes on the ground floor of the Procuratie Vecchie and peek inside the windows of the historic Caffè Quadri, founded in 1755. Across the square is the equally historic and famous Caffè Florian. Don’t be discouraged by the price list; after all, you may only be in Venice once in your lifetime!
After that, I suggest walking to Punta della Dogana. From here, you can take beautiful pictures of the Doge’s Palace, the Bell Tower and the Basilica’s cupolas.
Walking through Venice also means crossing many bridges. The city center has about 121 islands linked by 436 bridges. They are all different: little, big, narrow, wide, and made of iron or stone. In my opinion, Ponte di Rialto is the most beautiful one, especially in the evening when you can enjoy the reflection of the city lights on the water below.
For us, visiting Venice was more about strolling around (rather than entering churches and museums). By day, window shop through the narrow streets and in the evening, venture out in search of the perfect bacaro. A bacaro is a rustic pub where you can eat the famous cicchetti. Similar to Spanish tapas and usually accompanied by red or white wine, cicchetti shouldn’t be underestimated based on their miniature size! Marinated anchovies, fried fish, grilled cuttlefish, sarde in saor (sardines cooked with onion, raisin and pine nuts) and meatballs– all delicious and cheap.
This is the real Venice- the rustic Venetian taverns where you can breathe in the true soul of the city.
photo credits: Silvia Mazzola (photos 1, 3, and cover); ulivita.it (photo 2)