City of romance: words that describe Venice perfectly. Sun glints off the canals, while the smell of fresh fish wafts through the lanes. Ancient buildings, docked gondolas and the breathtaking landscape will command your attention everywhere. Venice’s beauty lies in its intricate canal system, they bring a great sense of serenity to the surroundings.
After a hour long boat ride, we checked into L’Orologio hotel, a few minutes from the Rialto bridge. Our agenda for the evening was to explore the city and taste some Venetian cuisine.
Post a somewhat disastrous meal, we headed towards Piazza San Marco, a magnificent square that truly enchants. This usually buzzing space was completely empty, saving a few people taking selfies.
At dawn, we set out to explore the majestic Saint Mark’s Basilica. It is regarded as one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in the world. We were especially awed by the ornate architecture and the gemstone studded altar inside the basilica.
No trip to Venice is complete without a gondola ride. It is possibly the best way to see the city. You can explore various Byzantine and Baroque landmarks at your own pace. Also, never give your camera to your gondolier, he will probably run away with it. He did with ours but we were faster than him. Ha!
Since we visited Venice during the off-season, we paid only €60 for the gondola ride. Don’t be shy to negotiate with them, as they quote anywhere between 90 and 150 euros.
As the city bathed in splashes of gold, we walked around exploring popular sights like Doge’s Palace, an imposing gothic structure converted into a museum; Gallerie dell’Accademia – a museum showcasing pre-19th-century art, bridge of sighs and San Giorgio Maggiore, a basilica with a gleaming white façade.
Next day, we jetted off to Venice’s neighbouring island, Murano. This unassuming island is the perfect place to experience classic, old-world Venice. You can go on a tour of the glass-making industry or sit down to relish Venetian fare at a trattoria.
Places to see: Campanile di San Marco, St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, Peggy Guggenheim Museum.
Places to see: Grand Canal Gondola Ride, Murano (where you can visit the glass museum and workshops) or Burano (known for lace making and colorful houses) and if you still have time head to Punta della Dogana and you won’t regret it.
1) Take the Alilaguna from the airport to your hotel. There are many private boat operators best to avoid them as they’re way too expensive. You can buy tickets for this at the airport’s information desk.
2) Once you’re in the heart of Venice the best way to get around is the Vaporetto which is the Venetian water bus.
3) It’s advisable to stay close to the Rialto bridge as all the touristy attractions are at a walking distance.
4) If you are looking for offline navigation then Here maps is a handy app to have. Download links for Android and iOS.