Nicole Burns returns to one of her favourite cities, Venice. She has some great tips on which sights are the best to see if you have limited time. San Marco Square and gondola rides are just the beginning. Nicole tells us about her time in Venice.
I am in love with Venice! I have had people tell me they were disappointed by it but I cannot see how! It did take me a day to get used to the smell (a mix of seawater and fish) but it is an incredibly beautiful and unique part of the world. Venice was my last stop on my first visit to Italy and my first stop on my last visit! I have visited with a friend and then again with my fiancé. Whichever way you plan your itinerary and whoever you travel with, you will not regret visiting Venice!
If you have limited time in Venice, either a one or two night stay, there are some main sights that are a must see. If you can get your hands on a city map or take a city tour this will be a big help as the labyrinth of backstreets, bridges and canals that make up the city can be a little hard to navigate on your own. This being said, detours in a city this interesting are certainly not the end of the world!
San Marco Square
The heart of Venice Island - San Marco Square was my first stop on both visits. It is a huge public square surrounded by beautiful buildings and filled with people and, strangely enough, pigeons – hundreds of pigeons! You can feed the pigeons but I suggest this at your own risk! Once they see the food in your hands you can end up with birds sitting all over your head and arms!
The main attraction of San Marco's Square is San Marco's Basilica itself. It is absolutely beautiful inside if you have the patience to line up. The line will move quickly and it took my breath away so I was glad to have made the effort. It is quite different to the other churches around Europe as it is all gold and incredibly ornate. Unfortunately, no photography is allowed. Once inside the basilica you can move up to the roof where you can look down over the square and out to the ocean for an unbeatable view.
San Marco's Square is also a great place to grab your gelato for the day and the surrounding alley ways hold many a pizza place to grab yourself a delicious slice! If you're in the market for a lovely restaurant meal there are plenty of options along the edge of the island that face out to the ocean. This stretch is worth a look for the photo opportunities and street performers even if you are happy with pizza for your dinner.
The other must do of any trip to Venice is the gondola ride. Yes, it is an incredibly ‘touristy' thing to do! But I am a tourist and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Floating through the canals our gondolier gave us the history of the surrounding buildings and the city of Venice itself including love stories, ghost stories and some celebrity gossip. It is a lovely way to see parts of the city you just can't see by foot! It was a fun experience with my friend and a romantic experience with my fiancé. You can try to talk your price down on these rides, as there are operators all over ready to offer their service.
If you spend just one day and one evening in Venice doing these things you will have gotten to experience the beauty of the island and if you have an extra day on your hands I have some more suggestions for you in my next blog instalment!
Looking for more information about visiting Venice? Contact Nicole Burns, a Manager with Flight Centre based in the Indooroopilly Mega Store, Queensland who can be reached at 1300 290 848.