“Il segreto per andare avanti è iniziare”
As if you haven’t heard enough of Venice – some heard about it so much that they felt like they already had been there. The place is famously known as the floating city, where it consists of more than a hundred of islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. Imagine small islands with hundreds of thousands of visitors each year flocking to see the wonder of Venice – yes this city is very crowded all year round.
We drove off from Portofino after lunch where the driving took us around 4 hours so we reached Venice quite late as the sun was almost setting. We parked at Garage San Marco Venezia and it cost €32 per day which was quite expensive but that’s what the daily parking will cost you in Italy, more or less. From the car park, you can take the water taxi to your hotel.
Because I was there during the peak season, everything was extra expensive but we managed to get a nice hotel last minute with a gorgeous view of the canal. The hotel was quite central, minutes away from the St Marco Square. There were tourists everywhere scrambling to take photos of the picturesque city – it was definitely a workout to drag my luggage through the crowd and to make things worse, it started drizzling and everyone was using umbrellas in narrow streets.
We thought the weather was going to get worse, but it stopped raining just before we went out for dinner. If I haven’t mentioned this already, did you know what I had been eating throughout my trip in Italy? Yes, I had the same dish at least once every single day without fail! I couldn’t help it, I was obsessed with Italian spaghetti marinara and I have an album filled with pictures of ’em pastas. I might share with everyone on a special food post dedicated to seafood spaghetti lol.
The golden hour in Venice is crazy beautiful because the city is surrounded by waters, so when the sun was setting, the water glitters from the reflection of golden hues. This was the exact moment where I realized I was really in a foreign place.
There are many things to do in Venice, besides shopping and eating. I didn’t do much as I was only there for a night – although two nights may seem more reasonable but I didn’t want to miss out on exploring other cities. I would much prefer to spend my days in Italy by the coast because small cities and huge crowds are not my favourite. I skipped the gondola because I felt like they are incredibly over-priced but since my husband is a museum buff, we wouldn’t mind spending on museums. We went to Doge’s Palace and Fondazione Giorgio Cini – a must visit because they’re filled with amazing history.
It’s been evident that Italy works hard to preserve their old buildings and I love it. My first trip to Italy was a couple of years back, to Rome (read on Rome here). It’s definitely one of my favourite Italian cities, and I like it better than Venice but I also like being in a city where no cars / motor vehicles at sight – it sure gives a different kind of city vibe that can only be explored and experienced on foot.
Piazza San Marco is filled with tourists and the spot in Venice where everyone flocks to – mainly for the surrounding architectures. It’s a wide open courtyard with majestic buildings. It’s the only public square of Venice – all the other spaces in city are calli and campielli.
The Piazza San Marco is one of the most beautiful in the world and thats why Napoleon called it “the world’s most beautiful drawing room”. The most famous buildings in the piazza are: St Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, the Museo Correr and the Campanile (the Basilica’s bell tower) and the Torre dell’ Orologio.
Although falling in love with Venice was harder than I thought, I still appreciated how beautifully messy this place is. It’s definitely a must visit, at least once in your lifetime (and before the whole island sinks underwater and becomes Atlantis). The people you meet who work and live there are nothing but wonderful – they look happy and content, although it’s not easy to handle hundreds of different people everyday.
Things to do
- Doge’s Palace: The site was one of the first things those arriving in Venice saw as their ships sailed through the lagoon and landed at St Mark’s Square.
- Murano: It’s easy to forget that Venice has several neighbouring islands, many of which are similar to the main island – but with far fewer tourists. Murano is one of the island you must visit.
- The Rialto Bridge: Famous for its canal view.
- Bridge of Sighs: Yes Sighs, not sights – but it’s the most photographed sights in Venice.
- Marco Polo’s House: Honor Italy’s most famous adventurer while visiting the Floating City.
Where to Stay
Hotel Al Gazzetino: €120 / night for room with canal view
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