12 Most Classical Reasons to Visit Venice
As you land at Marco Polo airport and board a launch to take to you to Venice, nothing can prepare you for the excitement of your first sight of Venice from across the Laguna. From its iconic spires and domes to little backwater canals with lazy gondoliers enjoying a siesta, Venice is charming and familiar.
I wished I had looked at information about the tides when I crossed Piazza San Marco on a bobbing board because there had been a flood but now you have one of my top tips for the city. I bought one of my favorite Furla pink leather handbags in Venice so be prepared for some great shopping as well as sight seeing.
1. Piazza San Marco and of course the Basillica di San Marco and Palazzo Ducale
You may have a long queue for these attractions but they are worth it as they link Venice to Byzantium art. Even a glass of water is very expensive in the Piazza so beware but it is worth it simply to sit and admire this wonderful square. Dont forget my top tip and check out the weather so you are not soaked when trying to sip a coffee.
A wonderful island in the Laguna with only 100 inhabitants and with a fabulous Basilica which is covered in gold mosaics, The Church of Santa Maria Assunta.
Another must see island where the famous glass is made. I defy anyone not to come back with a bowl or dish because visiting the factories is impressive enough but seeing the actual product is a love affair waiting to happen.
4. Guggenheim Museum
Not only the art is special here but the gardens are wonderful as is relaxing in a very formal and Italian style. The collection reflects a genuine love of 20th century art and can be a break from some of the more ancient treasures of Venice.
5. A Gondola with a difference
Don’t do the tourist thing but queue with real Venetians and use one of the gondola taxis to cross the Grand Canal for a few Euros.
6. Walk about and get lost
Following the winding lanes and little bridges over the canals is one of the best ways to see the connection between water and city. Explore some enchanting streets and wander around getting lost, you will always find your way back and it is really worth it.
7. Eat a gelato
Venice is ice cream heaven with lots of wonderful little parlors to choose from and flavors beyond your wildest imaginings. It has half the fat of a normal ice cream so you can consider yourself eating for health as well!
8. Scuola Grande di San Rocco
Gaze at the amazing Tintorettos here. If you are lucky enough, combine the Tinorettos with music as the School hosts some fabulous Gregorian chant and organ music in its baroque music concerts.
9. The Ponte dei Sospiri and Rialto
These bridges are both so romantic and iconic that they are must see venues. But then stroll some of the other canals and enjoy their little bridges some of which are charming in miniature. Of course if you are with a lover there is a local fable that if you kiss underneath The Bridge of Sighs at sunset on a Gondola you will be granted everlasting love.
10. Santa Maria Della Salute
Another Baroque church but it is an iconic part of Venice seen in nearly every film set there. Enjoy the art Titian and Tintoretto (including a rather badly restored Titian) and the architecture.
11. Take a Vaporetti to the Lido
Whilst you are in Venice, do take advantage of this water taxi transport service, buy a pass and zoom about or visit the Lido. It’s a nice place to stay if you want peace or to relax on a day off from sightseeing, enjoy the beach or hire a bike and explore the wild dunes or the little squares.
12. See a film in Arena di Campo san Polo
As you can probably tell by now, I love open air cinema and where better to see it than Venice with its historic film festival and links to film. This large square is usually quite crowded, only open in July to September but you can get programs from the city council website www.comune.venezia.it
Venice is both an intimate city and instantly recognizable from film, paintings and novels. Share your special memories and top ice cream flavors with us here and let me know if you go and try some of the things I suggested.
Featured image courtesy of Peg Fitzpatrick.