Discovering Venice – where the city is the sight to see
Venice is like no other place I have visited. From the moment I stepped out of the train station I fell in love with this beautiful place. You can wander the narrow streets, cross tiny bridges and find beauty everywhere you look.
The best way to get around Venice is to walk. It can take an hour to walk across the city and everywhere is accessible. It’s easy to get lost in the narrow streets but what a place to get lost in!
The water bus ‘Vaporetto’ is a great and cheap way to get around the main canals and to the islands. Buy a ticket at the offices or at some of the stops. A single ticket costs around 7 euros but if you are planning to take a few trips it may be worthwhile to buy a travel card. (Make sure you validate your ticket before boarding)
Water taxi’s are a much more expensive way of getting around. However it offers a way to get directly where you need to be, so are more convenient. You can pre-book or hire at a pier stand. A trip within the city can cost 40 – 70 euros and from the airport can cost around 110 euros. All licensed water taxis have a yellow stripe with the licence number so check they are official before getting in.
Gondola’s are a very expensive trip. For many it’s a must-do when visiting Venice and I agree that no romantic trip would be complete without it. Take a Gondola for the experience and not for traveling. Make sure you shop around to find the best deal, it can cost 100 euro for a 40 minute ride. To get the best deals pre-book online if you can.
Tragehtto’s are Gondola ferry crossings. They take you across the grand canal at certain points and cost a few euros. If you want to have a standing Gondola ride for two minutes then try this!
Things to do
Apart from the canals themselves the main sight to see in Venice is St Marks square and Basilica. The square is usually full of people and pigeons! ‘Piazza San Marco’ is the main square in Venice. Here we found the beautiful St Marks Basilica the cities only cathedral. The cost to enter is 2 euros and a visit lasts around 10 minutes. To avoid the queues I would advise to book ahead! Visits to the clock tower are only accessible by guided tour where prices vary. Climbing the tower is worth the exercise for the views across the square and over the Basilica.
The Scuola Grande di San Rocco is a magnificent historical building containing many works of art. Browse Tintoretto’s collection and don’t forget to look up at the ceilings!
There are more than 14o churches in Venice. So this is a great place to visit if you love churches and many of them are full of amazing architecture and art. Remember that most churches in Venice are functioning for the parish, so check the mass times before wandering in.
Santa Maria Dela Salute is a baroque building which dominates the view from the grand canal. Another beautiful example of Venetian architecture and art inside.
Eating and Drinking
Eating out in Venice can be expensive, especially when eating in a restaurant for every meal. Of course due to the location, the seafood is great in Venice ( I love my seafood). You will see different names for restaurants which means you will get a different type of meal. A Ristorante is generally a more formal, higher end choice. A Trattoria is a simpler more traditional restaurant and an Osteria will serve plates or lighter snacks along with your drinks. There are also the fast-food and take away options. My favourite lunch on the go is to grab a pizza slice for a couple of euros..
Popular dishes in Venice are traditional risotto, gnocchi, and of course for dessert tiramisu.
And of course drinks in Venice. Pinot Grigio and prosecco are the most popular wines to drink,for aperitifs try Limon Cielo or Veneto Grappa. The cocktail to try, and the ‘drink’ of Venice is the Ventian Spriss which contains white wine, fizzy water, red-orange Aperol, SanBitter or Campari. Its strong but a must to try when in Venice. We saw locals sipping this orange coloured drink during the afternoon and had to try it!
Venice is a city that is like no other and graces many a bucketlist. In my experience you can enjoy discovering Venice no matter what your budget. Many of the top sights are free to see and getting around by foot is easy. Food is available for all budgets and remember the city is the sight to see!
Discovering Venice…..what do you think?