Venice is the most beautiful of cities. It’s captivating and impossible not to fall in love with the place…. Built on more than 100 islands, it has no roads… just canals. From tiny watery passageways to the majestic Grand Canal… a motorway of a canal if ever there was one, lined on both sides by the most stunning architecture. There is, quite simply, nowhere else like it on earth. From the moment you step onto the water taxi to head into the city…
You know you are somewhere very, very special!
Venice is a city where you don’t have to ‘do’ anything particular…. there is something amazing around every corner. Just wander through the city really is enough! Perhaps the only downside is that the rest of the world know just how special this place is, so I’d definitely recommend getting up that bit earlier to catch the city when it’s a little quieter!
What are our five top recommendations in Venice!?
- Get lost!
We’re really not joking when we say one thing you must plan to do is not plan to do anything in particular. This is one place where you don’t want google maps! Don’t rush in order to get to a specific location. There is so much joy to be had getting lost in charming alley ways which – quite unbelievably – lead to a magnificent piazza. Away from the crowds at St Marks Square (which is lovely and not to be missed!), you will find a sereneness which is almost palpable.
- Take a Gondola!
You simply must take a gondola in Venice… but (like everything else!) remember that everyone is going to be doing the same thing! The gondolas take a set route from which they cannot deviate, so it resembles a mass procession at times! Go later… it’s quieter (though we still got stuck in a few ‘traffic jams’ – much to J’s displeasure!), and easier to lose yourself in the romance of the city.
- Visit a museum… and a church.
There isn’t a city in the world that doesn’t offer a whole array of museums and Venice is no exception! There are so many to choose from! We chose the Natural History Museum of Venice, simply because that’s what J enjoys most.. It was very good and well worth a few hours to explore… But, whatever takes your fancy, you will find something to suit you.
Similarly, there are hundreds of churches… Venice is unashamedly Catholic, and it was important to us to at least take a look at the local culture. I have no idea which ones we went to but we very much enjoyed looking around and lighting candles.
- Check out the beach.
While some people will say that Venice should be avoided in July and August because of the sheer number of tourists, I disagree! There is plenty to do to get away from the crowds and one of our favourites was Venice Lido. It’s perhaps not the thing Venice is most famous for, but it has a wonderful 11KM long beach – perfect for catching some rays!!
- Burano and Murano.
One thing we’d highly recommend is getting off the main islands of Venice and going to check out Murano and Burano. Murano is famous for it’s glass blowing, and Burano for it’s lace. Both are picture-perfect and the examples of craftsmanship are exemplary! You don’t have to buy anything (though there are lots of craft stalls offering a whole range of products)
And then there is food…. We simply had to try the pizza… (I can’t say J was TOO impressed though!!!)
and the ice-cream (G was VERY impressed!!)
And of course……..
Venice is a beautiful city, one of the most enchanting places we’ve ever been. Italy is certainly a country I’d like to take the children to more!