Venice. Italy’s most famous and iconic city. Made of 118 small islands; romantic waterways and striking gondolas, the most popular image of this major tourist hub. Striking it is. Picturesque bridges, dramatic churches and the renowned Piazza San Marco looming over the boat dotted lagoon: memories from my recent trip to this bustling city.
Three days I spent exploring the masses of alleyways, and popping my head into many great churches. Unable to visit every point of interest, I was pleased to have visited all sights that I had planned to see. Resulting in a composed list of what I believe to be the top must sees’ for when in Venice.
Piazza San Marco. Whether it’s sitting at one of the many cafes or getting an extraordinary perspective from Campanile, a trip to Venice is incomplete without a visit to this famous square. Bustling with tourists, tour groups and pigeons, this piazza appears to be the central focus of when visiting this religious city. With many sights located in and around the square there is no question as to why San Marco is so popular. From the dramatic Basilica San Marco, the gothic Doge’s Palace to Campanille, offering spectacular views over the lagoon.
Academia Galleries. Containing a grand collection of Venetian art. With many famous pieces being housed in this gallery such as ‘The Tempest’ and ‘Supper in the House of Levi’, commissioned to replace the Last Supper by Titian which had been destroyed in the fire of 1571. No understanding of art is needed to enjoy this gallery as even the most uninterested will appreciated the beauty and talent housed within this grand building.
Getting Lost. Losing your way in Venice can be an enjoyable and beneficial experience. By taking the less popular route you may discover a side of Venice you were not expecting to experience. By getting off the main street you can find cheaper cafes, quiet squares and empty bridges. Whilst strolling through the streets of Dorsoduro I came across Zattere, a paved waterfront offering numerous restaurants and excellent views across to La Giudecca.
Grand Canal. Venice’s main water highway and the biggest of 117 canals running through the city. The canal is a great sight to behold, watching the many gondolas setting off with a fresh batch of rosy cheeked tourists to the fast taxi boats creating waves along the water. A great spot to view the activity is from the Rialto Bridge, which also offers spectacular views of palaces looming along the water’s edge. The only downfall with visiting the Rialto bridge is the sheer number of tourists who linger at the top, pushing and shoving for the best ‘selfies’.
People watching. An enjoyable way to spend the afternoon hiding out from the sun is people watching. Whether in the overpriced cafes of San Marco, to the restaurants in Campo Santa Margherita or along the water’s edge by Zattere, there is no shortage of places to stop and refuel. With a glass of Prosecco it makes for an interesting afternoon watching the miserable faced locals and map holding tourists going about their day.