Venice, Italy is a very unique city. For travelers and tourists, it can be a beautiful maze of scenic bridges and winding alleyways. Venice is the capital of the region of Veneto. The city is called the “City of Bridges” because it has over 400 bridges, connecting 118 small islands that make up Venice. Once an independent nation and one of the most powerful ports in the ancient world for the spice trade and silk trades, Venice was the home for some of the most important military events in the Middle Ages, such as the Battle of Lepanto and the Crusades.
Venice is one of our favorite places in Italy and for good reason. Venice is a city on the sea; unlike any other city in the world; Venice offers something for everyone.
The savvy traveler knows there are two sides of Venice. The touristy Venice we have all heard of where throngs of tourists flood the streets, cafes and restaurants until they are overflowing.
Then there is the real Venice; the one that the locals know that offers the savvy traveler a look into a city from a different prospective; one that only a local would know. This is where you can find the sleepy alleyways where the local restaurant sits in a dark corner; calling you to a great meal overlooking the reflections in the waters of the canals of Venice.
When you are planning your trip to Italy; if you are a first timer; then you must include Venice because it’s part of The Big 3; Venice, Florence and Rome. Make sure you stay within the popular areas of the city like Realto, St. Marks Square or the Accademia area are all great choices for your hotel.
When arriving to Venice; remember to budget in a private transfer by boat. No cars mean you must take a boat to or from the airport or the car parking area to your hotel and doing it all with luggage can be daunting. Trying to navigate the 432 bridges with luggage to find your hotel is a reason to plan ahead!
A gondola ride is a great idea when visiting Venice; but buyer beware! If you don’t plan your gondola ride in advance you will be bartering with the gondolier for the cost, route and amount of time. Don’t get ripped off and book your private gondola ride in Venice in advance and it will guarantee you a route, a set amount of time at a fixed cost. Include your gondola ride in your travel package and save even more!
For tourists visiting Italy, Venice is a wonderland of sightseeing options.
The church formally known as Basilica di San Marco, is affectionately referred to as the “Golden Church,” and it is one of the top tourist destinations in Italy. Done in the Byzantine style, this church was constructed in the 11th century for the patron saint of Venice, St. Mark. The inside of the Basilica is enormous and every inch is covered in lovely mosaics.
The altar is quite the historic monument in itself; the Pala d’Oro is covered in over 250 panels, with almost two thousand rare gems. They call the altar the “Golden Altarpiece,” because of the amount of jewels and gold used in its construction.
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