The beauty and elegance of Venice lured me back to its shores. I had last visited Venice twelve years ago and was completely mesmerized by it and I had promised myself to return back. So in the summer of 2018, I landed in Venice for a 3 day stay along with my family.
My first visit to Venice was a rushed one, though I saw all the famous landmarks, I couldn’t relax and enjoy as it was with a travel agency. But this time we went on our own and we didn’t have any itinerary as such. With a map in our hand, we explored Venice at our pace.
From Dubai, we took the Emirates airline flight to Venice and it took us 6 hours and 40 minutes to reach. There is a time difference of 3 hours and Dubai is 3 hours ahead.
As Indian passport holders, we had to apply for Schengen Visa to travel to Italy. Summer being the peak tourist season, we had to wait for almost 3 weeks to get our visa.
The unique city of Venice was built on the waters of the Adriatic and it is the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region. The city consists of 118 small islands that is separated by canals and linked by many bridges.
Venice was a major financial and maritime hub during the medieval period. It is known for its beautiful architecture, churches, ancient bridges, canals and monuments.
The city of Venice is known as ‘The floating city’, ‘Queen of the Adriatic’, ‘City of canals’, ‘City of bridges’, ‘City of masks’ etc.
What is the best time to visit Venice?
Both the times I visited Venice during peak summer time in July and August. And it was too packed with loads of tourists. I think September to November will be the perfect time to visit as the tourist season will be over and the temperature will be pleasant and the hotel rates will be low.
Where to stay in Venice?
Venice has top luxury hotels, medium-range to low budget hotels, hostels, hotel apartments, serviced apartments etc. As the accommodation is expensive in Venice, lot of tourists stay in hotels outside of Venice.
We stayed in a 2-bedroom vintage Venetian-style serviced apartment in the centrally located San Marco in Venice. It was the perfect location as we could cover everything by walk.
Getting Around Venice
Inside Venice, motorized vehicles are not allowed. It is very pedestrian-friendly and best way to explore the city is by walking. The other ways to get around the city is by boats, gondola and vaporetto or water bus.
Things to see and do in Venice
As I said before, we did everything on our own and we didn’t have any itinerary. To some of the attractions we booked the tickets online so that we didn’t have to waste our time standing in the queue.
The places you cannot miss in Venice
San Marco or Piazza San Marco or St. Marks Square in English is the city’s main public square. It is the oldest and main quarter of Venice filled with galleries, boutiques, restaurants and bars.
In San Marco you can Visit :
- St. Mark’s Basilica
- For the breathtaking view of the city, climb the Campanile di San Marco
- Walk over the Bridge of Sighs
- Doge’s Palace or Palazzo Ducale
- Giardinetti Reali
- Canale Grande
Take a stroll to the arched Rialto Bridge which is the oldest bridge in Venice and it is one of the four bridges that span the Grand Canal.
When in Venice a Gondola ride is a must and it is a wonderful way to explore the waterways in the city. Gondolas are one of the traditional and unique transportation methods.
Visit squares in Venice like Campo San Luca, Campo SS Giovanni Paolo, Campo Santa Margherita, Campo San Barnaba and San Polo.
Take a half day trip to Murano and Burano. Visit the famous Murano glass factory and get to know the art of glass making. After that head to the neighboring island of Burano which is is popular for lace making.
For live music or ballet enthusiasts, Teatro la Fenice is a great spot. If you’re interested in traditional work of art from the Renaissance period then you can visit Galleria dell’ Accademia and for modern art collection there is the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.
Go on a Food Tour and enjoy the fabulous Italian food and wine. The coastal influenced Venetian cuisine is amazing and if you’re a discerning foodie you’ll love it. There are many small-group food tour where you can visit 5-6 restaurants and bars and try local delicacies.
Shopping, whether it is luxurious products or souvenirs is great in Venice. The city offers world-class shopping with local designers and many boutiques. I bought a lovely locally made bag and footwear apart from Murano glass and Venetian mask.
Stunning, spectacular and romantic Venice is a little Italian gem and must be in every traveler’s bucket-list. Priceless art, architecture, history, heritage and beauty that sums up the city of canals. Venice is an exquisite masterpiece like no other city in the world. And my love affair with Venice is not over and I’ll be back.