You’re instantly transported back into another era when you step into Venice. It’s one of the most interesting and majestic places in the world. This city on a lagoon is virtually the same as it was six hundred years ago, which adds to the mesmerising character unique to this city. Despite having decayed significantly in the last hundred years with the massive influx of tourists, the romantic idea one has of the city isn’t destroyed in the slightest bit. Take a ride in a Gondola, enjoy the sunsets by the water with a pitcher of sangria on the table, while away time by watching the absurd amount of street performers or immerse yourself in the venetian culture by walking around window-shopping. There’s a lot to do in Venice and it’s the perfect place to unwind and relax.
Gondolas in Venice
Initially, when one enters Venice, the urge to hire a gondola for a romantic or unique experience overcomes them. Restrain yourself and walk around the city for a while through the winding, narrow streets with the tall buildings that look as if they’ll keel over or be submerged in water at any point. Once the urge to ride a gondola passes through you, hire one as the deeper you get into the city, away from the tourist spots, the better, cheaper gondola drivers will show themselves. Make sure you reach an agreement on price and time before you start! If you go as a group, it might be cheaper, though the number of people that can be accommodated on a gondola varies, usually up to a maximum of six seated passengers. These locals know the city inside and out and will, if you’re lucky, sing a song or take you through the backwaters of the city regaling you with the history of the place, which no tour-book can match.
Saint Mark’s is crucial on any itinerary
Saint Mark’s Basilica on the Piazza San Marco is an important highlight on a visit to Venice. Just like with any church in Italy, one must be dressed appropriately to be allowed in: no short skirts or bare shoulders. The symbol of St. Mark’s Basilica is a masterpiece of the Greek Hellenistic sculpture: the famous gilded bronze horses. It is renowned worldwide for its priceless treasures and fascinating secret places. Some of them, such as the Baptistery and the Zen Chapel, are usually closed to the public. Admission to the basilica is free; however, the museum upstairs costs 5 EUR (approximately 6 USD) and to view the high altar and treasury costs 2 EUR (3 USD). The visit inside the basilica lasts ten minutes or so and with lines for tickets lasting five hours or so, it’s advisable to reserve a ticket beforehand. Once you have a reservation, you can take the group entrance on the left. These online reservations are only available from April to October, so keep that in mind if traveling outside that time period.
Shopping in Venice is a delight
If you’re a notorious shopper, ensure that you don’t miss the Rialto market and the Rialto Bridge. Both appeal to shoppers from all over the world. To the east is a neighbourhood of small shops and restaurants; to the west is the Rialto farmers’ market. Streets filled with souvenir shops that sell unique Venetian artifacts to wholesale manfactured goods, Rialto markets is slightly less expensive than in the tourist-filled Piazza San Marco. The bridge has become one of Venice’s most recognisable icons and has a history that spans over 800 years.
Venice is easy to love
While going through Venice, make sure you take in the beauty of it all. Walk through the alley ways, and take the water taxi to different parts of the island, sometimes at night you can just go sit in an open area and watch locals and tourists passing by. It is wonderful. There are many museums and churches around the city that welcomes tourists. The food itself will keep you absorbed, as it’s hard to come across a dish that isn’t made to perfection. Italians really take care of guests, so don’t be surprised when restaurants and cafe owners go out of their way to make you feel welcome in their hospitable establishments.
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