Venice or as it is popularly known, ‘The Floating City’, has always been regarded as a paradisiacal getaway for those in search of a romantic holiday. However, beyond this coveted title it holds, Venice has a lot in store for travellers of every kind. Be it in the locally churned gelato or in the cosy corner of a hand-crafted gondola, Venice will not fail to surprise you. In fact, there is no city in Italy that can highlight a melange of old-world charm with a modern vibe better than the beautiful city of Venice. On one hand, you can witness the rustic charm of cobblestoned bridges and brick mounted buildings that weave gracefully along quaint canals. On the other, you can marvel at the modern twist of art at the Accademia Museum and Museo Correr. Home to many architectural wonders and shrouded in a rich history, Venice is full of eye-catching creations and aesthetic delights. Stroll through the narrow alleys or glide along the twisting canals to unravel the essence of Venice.
Venice is surely a place that makes the cut in every traveller’s bucket list. But covering every landmark within a short span of time might not be a possibility. So, here’s a list of the top experiences that every traveller ought to encounter when travelling to Venice. Come along and explore Venice in the most Venetian way possible.
Explore St. Mark’s Square
One of the best places to visit in Italy is St. Mark’s Square or ‘Piazza San Marco’ as it is fondly referred to by the locals. It is the most recognised landmark that is located in the heart of the city that never ceases to astonish visitors. For starters, the artistic array of cobblestoned pavements surrounded by imposing buildings is an incredible sight by itself. The grandeur of the square evokes a bewildering sense of awe to simply stroll along lazily watching the beauty of Venice unfold.
The star attraction of the Piazza is the magnificent St. Mark’s Basilica. Featuring an amalgamation of eastern and western architectural styles, the Basilica is adorned with ethereal gold mosaics that renders it’s a majestic look. Also adding a regal touch to the square is the iconic Doge’s Palace. Sporting a refreshing gothic look this structure is an outstanding epitome of Venetian architecture. Its strategic location also makes it an ideal spot to overlook the Venetian Lagoon. Another site worth visiting is the ‘Campanile’ or the Bell Tower. Standing at a whopping height of 98.6 meters, the tower offers spectacular views of the city from the top. After a little bit of sightseeing, there is always an option to relax in one of the many coveted cafes while you soak in the panoramic views of the Piazza.
Gondola Ride through the Grand Canal
No Italy vacation or visit to Venice is complete without an iconic ride on the humble gondola. A symbol of historic tradition and Venetian resplendence, a gondola ride is one of the most anticipated experiences in the city renowned for its romantic fervour. Gliding along the meandering waters is truly a relaxing and enchanting way to soak in the colour, history and charm of the city.
The Grand Canal is the most popular landmark to catch hold of a gondolier. But if you prefer going off the beaten path, the narrow alleys are just your ticket. On every corner where the canals bend into smaller outlets, you will be treated with a row of ancient houses weathered through the centuries yet standing firm as ever. As you serenade through quiet waters, catch a glimpse of majestic architectural buildings like the Gallerie dell Accademia and the Palazzo Barberino. Unwind and lighten up as you immerse yourself in the beauty of these marvellous attractions while the gondoliers entertain you with romantic Italian melodies. For all those who are visiting Venice for the first time, a gondola ride is a must-try experience for a complete immersion into a city built on water.
Take the Vaporetto
As far as Italy travel tips go, there’s no better way to explore a city built on water than by the water. The Vaporetto – or the water bus – is the ideal way to orient yourself with various attractions that lie in and around. With many lines running through the lagoon, the Vaporetto can take you to destinations that are not accessible by foot. Aboard the Vaporetto, you can comfortably weave through a maze of inland waters to discover some of the lesser-known gems of the city.
The most popular stops are the neighbouring Lido and Murano Islands where one can simply enjoy the sandy shoreline. Murano Island is also home to the famous Glass museum where one can get a guided tour of glassmaking and demonstrations of hand-blown glass pieces. Burano is also another popular island lined with an array of bright, colourful houses, the sight of which will transport you to the past. Other major stops include Tronchetto, Piazzale Roma, Ferrovia, Accademia Bridge and Piazza Dell San Marco. These attractions are replete with traditional styles of architecture that epitomise Venetian beauty. The Vaporetto runs frequently which gives travellers ample time and space to explore the city at one’s own leisure.
Wander around the Torcello Island
Located in the northern region of Venetian Lagoon, Torcello Island is a sparsely populated island that makes a perfect getaway from the bustling crowd of the lively city. At first sight, Torcello appears to be untouched with a peculiar rustic beauty to it. Home to the magnificent Santa Maria Assunta Church and many such architectural structures, the small island seems like a cut out from the past. The island is one of the famous places in Italy for the exquisite Byzantine mosaic work that dates back to the 7th century. A few structures that boast of this peculiar beauty include the Ponte Del Diavolo (Devil’s Bridge), Palazzo del Consiglio and the impressive Church of Santa Fosca. The Casa Museo Andrich is also a place worth visiting to get a glimpse into a world of fine art. Displaying over 1000 pieces of different artists, the museum is a unique shelter for discovering masterpieces of talented across the border. For a truly authentic experience, a meal in one of the many colonial styled restaurants is the cherry on the top.
For all the art aficionados who plan on visiting Venice, the annual Biennale is an experience that one cannot afford to miss. The Biennale is an art exhibition that brings out the best in theatre, music and art. Regarded as the most prestigious Biennale in the world, this large-scale extravaganza draws visitors from far and wide to marvel at some of the finest art pieces in the world. Till date, it stands as one of the largest forums in the world where the cutting-edge work of artists is brought together. The exhibition portrays contemporary art and music of artists from various backgrounds making it a visual and audio feast for travellers. You can spend hours marvelling at the creations and masterpieces of the artists. And if you’re lucky enough, you can have an informative session with the participants.
For travellers who have a deepened sense of appreciation for the arts, the annual Biennale in Venice is an experience worth partaking in.
There you have it, the top 5 experiences that will complete your Venice trip.
Try them out, you are sure to have a wholesome and rich experience.