Venetians tend to consider themselves a separate country from Italy itself, and it is easy to see why when one examines Venice’s canal system and its policy prohibiting personal vehicles. Venice has a reputation as a romantic city to explore on foot, crossing canal bridges to move from one island to another while discovering the sights. Venice’s low crime rate encourages both daytime and nighttime expeditions, and the numerous city squares and outdoor cafes make excellent places to sit down, take a breather, and simply soak in the beauty around you. For longer trips, or when simply seeking a change of pace, seek out the Vaporetto (waterbus) to cruise the canals.
The waterbus will also journey to many of the further-out islands, like Murano, birthplace of glassmaking in the year 1291. In Murano, glassmakers continue to create beautiful and unique glassware, and can be observed by the public. For those very interested in glassmaking or in the lovely pieces created by this craft, museums like the Harvester & Toso both showcase and sell amazing glasswares.
Brightly colored Burano is a fun place to visit and sightsee, taking in the vividly-painted houses. Burano is also home to Venice’s lace-making industry and a related lace museum. Finally, Tocello houses a beautiful cathedral featuring gold and stone mosaics and a tower offering a spectacular view of the islands and lagoon. A nice shopping district and an Adriatic beachfront top off Tocello’s main attractions.
On the Venice “mainland,” traveling on foot or on the Grand Canal will take you to central locations like the Piazzo San Marco (St. Mark’s Square). The Piazzo is home to Doge Palace, and is a hub of people-watching, eating, drinking, and merriment. Listen to the chimes of the hourly bell, take in the breathtaking architecture, hear the competing orchestras of local cafes, and view the square’s thousands of pigeons from right in the center of things. Be sure to bring an umbrella when visiting this lowest island, which can often be rainy.
Even in a city such as Venice that contains a shocking 354 bridges, one is still most famous. The Rialto Fish Market, a massive market with a nearby vegetable and flower market as well, is at one end of this bridge, the Bridge of Sighs. The Bridge of Sighs was so named after the sighs of prisoners who marched across the bridge en route to their own executions.
The Peggy Guggenheim Museum is an excellent repository of contemporary art by Picasso, Duchamp, Pollock and more. Peggy Guggenheim dedicated her life to the collection of modern art for her museum, and purchased the unfinished Venier House of Lions Palace in the 1950′s.
More historical art can be found at the Gallerie dell’Accademia, which houses a collection of important art by Venetian artists from the 1300′s to 1700′s. The Correr Museum also features many important works of art.
Numerous palaces line the Grand Canal, and some are open for public tours. Perhaps the most magnificent of these palaces is the Ca’d'Oro, or Golden House, which offers stunning balcony views and a large collection of fine arts and wares.
Small appetizers, locally called “cicchetti,” are a favorite of Venetians, and include filled rice balls, fried crap, a type of salami called “soppressa,” and boiled egg with anchovies. Cicchetti, like any food in Venice, is best enjoyed while seated outdoors on a bridge overlooking a canal with a glass of delicious wine.
But appetizers are far from all that is available. From seafood to pasta served in a variety of ways, the food in Venice is delectable and, again, best enjoyed with a fine glass of wine and good company.
Before leaving Venice, be sure to take a fun and romantic Gondola ride, particularly at night and with a serenading Gondolier.
Just one trip to Venice is rarely enough to see all the sights and truly experience all this amazing Italian city has to offer. It is easy to fall in love in Venice and with Venice, so most who have visited will want to return again and again.Enjoying All Venice Has To Offer,