By now you will have noticed that we have a strong desire to explore Italy with some of our featured Dream Destination posts focusing on Pompeii and Rome. Keeping in this same tradition, our next location in this series is the romantic city of Venice.
I am sure we all associate this part of Italy with a romantic gondola ride down the Grand Canal but of course there is so much more to do in Venice and hopefully this will give you a few more ideas of attractions worth exploring when you plan your trip there.
Here are some of the top reasons we want to visit Venice.
Ok so I mentioned that Venice is the stereotypical city of romance especially when you see in all those movies the gondola rides drifting along the river but the reality is that not all of these trips along the Grand Canal are all that romantic. But one thing for sure is that taking a ride along the Grand Canal is quintessential Venice and is an iconic representation of this beautiful city.
Not only is this a must in terms of experiencing a true gondola, but this is actually one of the best methods of public transportation to get around the city and see some of the amazing attractions that Venice has to offer. The myriad of buildings and bridges that ooze architectural genius are all visible on a gondola ride along the Grand Canal, so I would urge anyone visiting Venice to take advantage of this great service.
Piazza San Marco
The Piazza San Marco is the heart of Venice and is where all of the day to day business, relaxation and mingling takes place for locals and tourists. The piazza is lined with local cafes, shops and bistros along with a variety of museums that offer visitors with a perfect hangout spot. At the heart of the Piazza San Marco is the central focal point – St. Mark’s Basilica which was commissioned in the late 11th century.
Another interesting spectacle in this piazza is that it is a hub for pigeons which is great for capturing a great nature shot as they fly by the gorgeous architecture but of course it is also a problem for maintaining the square. Only recently has Venice passed a law where feeding the pigeons is prohibited and attempts have been made to control the pigeon population though with little success. So for now, it’s a case of nature and humans coinciding together and I personally think this just adds to the beauty of the Piazza San Marco.
One of four bridges that cross the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge is the most popular of all due its gorgeous design that also makes this the most visited and photographed of all bridges throughout Venice.
The Rialto Bridge connects the districts of San Marco and San Polo and in the past this was a popular spot for local merchants whereas nowadays it is densely populated with tourists flocking to capture a perfect photograph from this iconic landmark!
The Venetian Lagoon is an enclosed bay within the Adriatic Sea that Venice is part of. This lagoon comprises of a series of islands, the most popular being Murano which is linked by a series of bridges. These countless numbers of islands are all situated in close proximity but Murano along with Burano and Torcello are the most significant due to their beauty that portrays the Venetian lifestyle.
Murano in particular is famous for being the ‘Glass Island’ as one of the primary industries here is glass making that has taken place in this location for over 700 years.
Bridge of Sighs
Another of the infamous bridges in Venice is the Bridge of Sighs which passes over the Rio di Palazzo. Connecting the New Prison to the Doge’s Palace, it was designed and constructed in 1600. The name derives from the thought that prisoners would give a last minute sigh as they took in the gorgeous views of Venice, before being taken down to their cells.