16 Very good excuses to visit Venice, Italy

In Europe, Far, Featured, Italy, Mini Breaks, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, Unesco by Janis0 Comments

Amongst the canals & gondolas

It’s understandable why Venice is on so many folks bucket list; it’s a city that must be seen, to be believed.

With its seeming never ending web of waterways, weaving in and around Venice’s 118 islands, then being crisscrossed by its 400 bridges.

When you first arrive in Venice, it’s so easy to get lost, because all you want to do is go and discover what is hidden around the next corner or alleyway, but surely that is all part of the fun.

Narrowing down our list was quite tricky as there is so much to see & do in this historical city, we could have easily spent a few more days uncovering further what was hidden below the surface.

An iconic view across the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

In 1987 Venice and its Lagoon was inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage List and it’s easy to see why. So why not don your comfy shoes and go and explore.

I’m sure you’ll have your own shortlist of favourites, but these were ours.

1

St Mark’s Square

The Piazza San Marco has to be on every visitor’s list, it’s such a wonderfully elegant square and encased with stunning architecture.

Campanile di San Marco, Venice, Italy

It really does have the wow factor when you first enter it, but not just for the amazing Basilica, or the intricate detail of Doge’s Palace, or even the imposing Campanile, but the view across the lagoon is breath-taking.

Parked gondolas, Venice, Italy

You feel like you have been transported onto a movie set, it one of those moments when you say to yourself “am I really here”.

2

Grand Canal

Through the heart of Venice snakes the iconic Grand Canal, this busy waterway is not only for visitors, but it is also a working canal.

The view from the Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy

As Venice is not accessible by car, the canal is used by locals to go about their day to day business; it’s a great place to watch the world go by. The elegant buildings & villas that line the canal are stunning, also search out the Pescaria (fish market) just along from the Rialto Bridge.

3

Rialto Bridge

One of only four bridges that span the Grand Canal and the oldest is the Rialto Bridge; it is a magnificent piece of architecture.

The Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy

Although admiring it from the banks of the canal is probably the best way to appreciate it, you should definitely have a wander up to the central portico and discover the little shops & boutiques that line the arches.

4

Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

Guarding the entrance to the Grand Canal stands the Baroque Basilica of Saint Mary of Health, built in 1681 as a dedication to Venetian plague survivors.

Santa Maria della Salute at dusk, Venice, Italy

It’s easy to see why this iconic view inspired artists like Canaletto.

5

Get lost amongst the lanes

Evening on the Rio del Frari, Venice, Italy

One of the greatest ways to discover Venice is just to wander and immerse yourself in all that is Venetian. Take a stroll along the tiny lanes, across the plentiful bridges, you never know what you may find

6

Bridge of Sighs

Although quite an icon it is a wonderful site, the enclosed limestone bridge spans the Rio di Palazzo and connects the interrogation rooms at Doge’ Palace with the New Prison.

The Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy

7

Colourful islands of Murano & Burano

If you have the time you really must visit the wonderful islands of Murano & Burano, honestly you won’t be disappointed, in fact, add an extra day to your break.

The connecting islands of Murano are famous for its glass making, like me you may be able to sneak back a pair of earrings.

Wandering towards the clocktower, Murano, Venice, Italy

Where the smaller Island of Burano is well known for its lace making and its colourful buildings lining the canals and streets.

So brightly coloured, Burano, Venice, Italy

Our Tip

These islands are accessed by Vaporetto (water bus) which can get very busy on your return journey to Venice. If so, from Burano catch the Vaporetto onto Torcello (the next stop), stay on the boat, and it will turn around and complete the journey in reverse. This should cut down on your queuing.

8

Gondolier Ride

Before we went to Venice I said that I didn’t want to take a gondola ride, as it seemed a bit gimmicky, well yes, it is, but I changed my mind when I arrived.

The view from a Gondola, Venice, Italy

It’s a great way to explore little canals & buildings you could never see on foot & you appreciate the elegant Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance buildings that line the canals so much more.

9

Piazza’s

Campo Santo Stefano, Venice, Italy

Venice wouldn’t be the same without its plentiful Piazza’s, some of them stylish and grand & others just hidden away around a quiet corner.

10

Venetian Ghetto – Jewish Quarter

This is a very interesting area of Venice and not quite as busy as some other spots around the city. It was designated the Jewish quarter from the 16th to 19th centuries and is still the centre of the Venetian Jewish community today.

Did you know?

That the English word ghetto was derived from the Jewish Ghetto in Venice ‘Venetian ghèto’.

11

Architecture

The entrance to Saint Maria of Gesuati, Venice, Italy

I know this really goes without saying, but the mixture of the imposing elegance and the rustic nature of some of the buildings is wonderful.

12

Bridge of Fists

The Ponte dei Pugni, otherwise known as the Bridge of Fists, was named due to rival Venetian clans or factions fist fighting on top of the bridge.

The Bridge of Fists, Venice, Italy

Although a fairly small bridge it is worth taking a detour to see it and also the floating fruit and veg stall next to it.

13

Isola di San Michele – Cemetery Island

The isolated walled cemetery island is located in the lagoon close to Venice. If like me you have an unusual fascination with cemeteries, then it is worth the visit, it is the resting place of Igor Stravinsky, the Russian composer.

Cimitero di San Michele, Venice, Italy

You can catch the waterbus to it on your way to Murano.

14

Gondola Boatyard

The Gondola boatyard, Venice, Italy

A fascinating glimpse into a piece of Venetian history is the Squero San Trovaso, where you can see gondolas being made and repaired in the workshop.

15

Elegant Water Taxi

Although it isn’t cheap, when we flew into Venice I had arranged for a water taxi to take as to our hotel along the Grand Canal.

A taxi in front of Ca' d'Oro, Venice, Italy

The stylish wooden taxi cruised across the lagoon and through the canals, Gary’s face was a picture, he felt like James Bond.

16

Aperol Spritz

Aperol Spritz - a bit of Italian evening sunshine in a glass

What better way to soak up the Italian atmosphere of Venice than with an Aperol Spritz – Cheers!!!!

Our Accommodation

Our accommodation while we were in Venice, was at the wonderful Al Ponte Antico Hotel. It was our bit of luxury for the break, we had a room that overlooked the Grand Canal & it even had its own pontoon.

What made the hotel extra special was the balcony that overlooked the Rialto Bridge, from here you could enjoy your breakfast in the morning and an ice-cold glass of Prosecco in the evening.

Looking across the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

Although we seemed to spend the whole break discovering the city on foot, there was plenty more for us to see, I’m sure we’ll return again.

Inspired?

To visit Venice? Of course you are 🙂

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The Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy

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Have You

Visited Venice? Is there anything you think is a must see or do?

About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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16 Very good excuses to visit Venice, Italy was last modified: August 11th, 2017 by Janis