Ah, Venice. Where do I start? Typically, I’ve got hundreds upon hundreds of photos of our trip to the floating city, so I’ll start with the things you must see when you visit.
We went to Venice in March, which is a good time to go. The annual carnival takes place in February, so the city gets really busy. Then there’s a bit of a lull before April marks the start of tourist season. Venice is a collection of narrow streets, so when there are three times as many people battling for pavement space as there as should be, it can get quite daunting. On the contrary, it’s quiet in March and similarly towards the end of September into October, so if you can plan your visit then, you’ll enjoy it much more.
Pretty much all roads in Venice lead to Piazza San Marco and there’s a very good reason for this; it’s breath-taking. When you arrive at the Piazza, take a moment to stand back from St Mark’s Cathedral and admire it. Its structure, beauty and grandeur is a site to behold.
It’s free to enter St Mark’s Cathedral, however there is an entry fee for certain elements. One such is the museum and viewing platform – €5. This is well worth paying for. The museum is interesting, the information is well laid out and the viewing platform is pretty spectacular. It wraps around the front and one side of the cathedral, providing views of the Doge’s Palace, the canal and St Mark’s Square. We happened to luck upon a really sunny day when we visited so we sat on the viewing platform for around an hour, entertained by the street theatre below.
Next door to St Mark’s is the Doge’s Palace. Entry for adults is €16 and there’s plenty to keep you occupied inside. A tour of the palace isn’t complete without a walk across the Bridge of Sighs and a visit to the Palace’s prisons. There’s also the debating chambers and one of the largest communal halls in Europe. The architecture is stunning and the palace, as you would imagine, reeks of history.
From the Doge’s Palace, we ventured towards the Rialto Bridge. You can still walk across the bridge, however it is currently being restored so you can’t quite see it in its usual splendour. If you end up on the Riva Del Vin side of the bridge, it’s worth sitting outside one of the many eateries and enjoying a glass of wine while the gondolas go up and down the canal. Traditionally this is where the barrels of wine where brought into the city off of the boats, hence the name.
If you only had a day in Venice, these are the things I would recommend doing. It’s a fairly compact city, so you could easily see all of these landmarks and still have time left over for gelato.
I’ll cover food and where to stay in upcoming posts, but if you have been to Venice before, would you agree these are the highlights? Or, did I miss any? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this wonderful city.2 likes