5 magical reasons to visit Venice
Even if you haven’t been to Venice before, most probably you already have an idea about this city. You have seen it in movies, glamorous magazines and photos of your friends. But seeing it on TV or in pictures is one thing, you have to come and visit Venice to experience it’s magic, so go ahead and add it to your bucket list.
Tiny streets, little bridges, run-down buildings and endless canals with singing gondoliers. Venice is like an elegant old lady, proud and good looking with all it’s wrinkles and imperfections. I’m visiting Venice for the 4th time, I have seen it in early spring, full summer and late fall. And it’s always beautiful and wonderfully surreal.
There are so many reasons to visit Venice, it has plenty to offer to any kind of traveler. History lovers will find numerous museums, buildings, churches to visit and stories to learn, food and wine lovers will be delighted by all the things Venetian cuisine can offer. And romance seekers will go home with plenty of lovely memories. Venice has a very special vibe and it will leave a special place in your heart.
1. Visit Venice for the romance
Romance in Venice is not just in gondola rides. They are extremely romantic too. But even more romantic are long walks, without having a destination. The best thing that could happen to you is getting lost in the tiny streets and corners of the city you haven’t seen before. If you see a sign to the main touristic attractions like San Marko square or Rialto Bridge, go the opposite direction. Its fun not to know where you are going and we are sure you will discover so many beautiful buildings and tiny squares of the city that other tourists will miss.
Another unforgettable experience is visiting St. Marks square in the night. During the day it’s one of the busiest spots, but right around midnight all the beauty of this place is just for you.
2. Amazing Food
Italy’s food scene is very diverse, every region, every city has something special to offer. Food in Venice is made by simple ingredients, but offers fabulous flavors. Due to the location on the sea, there is abundance of fish and sea food dishes. I love the small Cicchetti bars that serve small bite size appetizers, mostly tiny sandwiches, small servings of seafood, meat or vegetables.
Another must try is a Venetian aperitif drink Spritz. Made of Aperol, sparkling wine and splash of sparkling water. It’s one of my all time favorite drinks. Visit Venice
We suggest to stay away from restaurants with menus written in multiple languages and lots of photos. Just stick to where the locals eat and you wont be disappointed. Try some of Venetian specialties like Fish Risotto, Marinated Sardines, Squid Ink pasta or Liver with Caramelized Onions.
If you feel confused with the long restaurant menus, ask the waiters for suggestions. They are proud of their local cuisine and will suggest the best dishes for you to try.
3. Crazy Traffic
The streets of Venice are made for walking. Indeed its one of the few cities in the world where vehicle traffic is not allowed. You can get around with water buses called Vaporetti with eur 7.50 per ride, expensive water taxis and of course romantic gondolas.
Gondolas have been part of Venetian history for centuries. If you want to take a ride, it is beautiful and romantic, but will cost you eur 80 for 30 minutes. But how about an option that costs less money and offers more fun? We decided to learn how to row a gondola ourselves and had an authentic 1.5h class provided by Row Venice, non profit organization dedicated to preserve the tradition of ancient Venetian style of rowing. Little exercise combined with Venetian rowing history lesson and so much fun!
4. More than thousand years of History
The history of Venice dates back 400 AD. It’s built entirely on water, contains 118 tiny islands and is home to world class museums, amazing churches and numerous architectural monuments. No wonder its one of Unesco World Heritage sites. There are tons of ancient sites including Basilica di San Marco, Doges Palace, Grand Canal and Rialto Bridge to name few.
To see the history of Venice, you don’t have to spend all day in museums or churches. Venice is a living historical monument, every corner of the city tells a story. I love checking out the run-down buildings, they are amazing story tellers. Try to have a peek inside their entrances and you will see some amazing art, frescoes and Murano glass chandeliers.
Venetian architecture is gorgeous, I thought that almost every single building was worth a picture. And probably if I would combine all my pictures of the 4 visits, I might have photographed them all 🙂
5. Whats the real Venice like?
I have always wondered what the locals think of Venice. 74 thousand visitors a day versus 60 thousand of the local residents. On any given day in the summer, the locals are outnumbered by tourists. How crazy is that! Some locals say their city has become an amusement park and suggest to call it Veniceland. Others appreciate the tourism industry that’s one of the main income sources for the city and it’s people.
Most Venetians welcome tourists, but they expect the government to set strict guidelines in order to protect the city’s culture and history. They would like the city to limit the number of day trippers from cruise ships that come to Venice, spends couple of hours and leave without spending a dime to support Venice’s tourism industry.
Locals have to keep in mind not just the tourist masses, but us well the fact they live on water. The only way to get around the city is by boat. Everything in the city has to be brought in and taken out by boat. That makes the cost of living in Venice much higher that any other city. People here pay 30% more for their groceries, transportation costs are sky high and meals in restaurants expensive. Venice is loosing it’s inhabitants, in the last 30 years it has lost half of it’s population. Hopefully the city will find out a way to make them stay.
Venice is a well preserved living monument, incredibly interesting to visit and impossible to forget. If you visit Venice for the first time and want to check off your list the main attractions like San Marcos square, Rialto bridge, Doges palace and museums, spend a day to do that. But for the rest of your vacation, try to get lost and don’t make any plans. Visit Venice
Welcome to the magical city of Venice. Here are few more pictures to inspire your next trip to Venice.