Why You Should Visit Venice

Venice is the city of lovers and it certainly has its fair share of romantic eateries, beautiful backdrops, and quiet little spots along its canals and beautiful streets.  One of Italy’s most visited cities and a place millions of tourists flock to each year so they can experience the romance and soak up the atmosphere of this magnificent place.

If you’re a big fan of Italy like I am you should spend a day or 2 in Venice the next time you find yourself in the country and who know? You might fall in love with it too.

When I visited Venice for the first time in September 2008, I was instantly taken with its beauty, pretty café’s, and restaurants on the edges of the canals.  The city was bustling and had a cosmopolitan feel for being such an ancient place with its stunning architecture heritage.

If you decide to addVeniceto your itinerary whilst staying in Italy, (why not stay in one of the pretty towns onLake Gardasuch as Malcesine like I did) then here are my top recommendations for things you should see and do whilst you are there (along with some of my holiday snaps):

Rialto Bridge Grand Canal, pictures of venice

Rialto Bridge

A particularly stunning bridge crossing the Grand Canal (now the only bridge crossing it) and a superb photo opportunity.  The bridge usually is pretty packed with tourists but it is definitely worth seeing since its one of the most iconic sights of Venice.

Originally opened in 1591, there are now 4 bridges crossing the Grand Canal. The Rialto Bridge is considered to be the most beautiful and certainly the most famous, although it is worth seeing the Scalzi Bridge and the ultra modern Calatrava Bridge (opened in 2008).

Bridge of Sighs

A beautiful example of Italian Renaissance architecture, the Bridge of Sighs was completed in 1602 and linked the Doge’s Palace to the new prison across thePalaceRiver.

It makes for an odd yet exquisite sight perched so high above the river with only a 36ft span, but it will certainly take your breath away with it’s beauty (see if you can spot the smiling cherub sculpture hidden amongst the more stern faces of the others).

There are a variety of stories involving how the bridge came by its name; the most logical is that the prisoners being escorted across it for execution would sigh as they caught their last glimpse of the outside world.  A more fanciful tale suggests that couples who kiss underneath the bridge on a gondola at sunset will have eternal love and will sigh at the romance of it all.

Grand Canal

An s-shaped canal (and the largest in Venice) that winds through Venice for around 2.4 miles lined with stunning examples of Venetian architecture ranging from the 13th to 18th centuries.

The best way to experience the Grand Canal is of course via water bus (Vaporetti) from one end to the other so you can take in all of the sights and get some brilliant photo opportunities (you’ll get to travel under the Rialto Bridge too).

St. Mark’s Square

The largest square inVeniceand the only one big enough to be designated a “Piazza”, St. Mark’s Square is home to some of Venice’s other most popular tourist attractions such as the Doge’s palace and of course the magnificent and truly awe-inspiring St. Mark’s Basilica which gives the square its name.

Perhaps one of the most recognisable of Venice’s many landmarks is the Basilica’s bell tower (Campanile) which stands at 323ft tall (originally built in the 9th century and rebuilt in 1912 after it collapsed).

The Square is of course also home to the many pigeons which cause so much damage to the mosaics of St. Mark’s Basilica but a law has now been passed which makes feeding them illegal.

Gondola Ride

What trip toVenice– the city of lovers – could be complete without a Venice gondola ride along the beautiful canals that this destination is so famous for?

It might set you back a bit, but the best way to see Venice is from the canals and you’ll get to experience at it’s best as you travel slowly along the “streets” with the gentle (and I’m told romantic) sound of the water lapping against the Gondola.

Interestingly, the job of gondolier has to be passed down from generation to generation and it is considered a noble profession – perhaps part of the reason it costs so much…

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