Venice: How to Experience The City of Water
A classic Italian city built on water, a Venice vacation gives you a glimpse of an artistic and architectural point of view that has endured for over 1,000 years. In stunning elegance, its waterways and bridges have become some of the most photographed elements around the world. All the while, its architecture and collection of art has continued to captivate the eyes of world travelers year after year. A city full of things to do, day trips from Venice to local islands can provide new opportunities to explore this intriguing Italy destination.
One of the best ways to get your feet wet on what to see in Venice is to venture to its center. This journey will bring you to none other than the striking piazza San Marco. Once referred to as the ‘drawing room of Europe’, it showcases St. Mark’s Basilica (Basilica di San Marco), Doge’s Palace and the Torre dell’ Orologio. If you desire a more personalized experience, take a private walking tour of the city and enjoy these centralized sites with your own personal information center accompanying you.
As part of this Venice walking tour, you will learn that St. Mark’s Basilica was a workshop through the centuries for Italian and European artists. Its Byzantine character is expressed in its mosaics such as St. Marco’s tales which depict scenes of the Old and New Testament in the Bible. Nearby is Doge’s Palace, one of the most important buildings in Venice. Once a political and judicial hub of the city, you will tour its many rooms while hearing tales of how the Venetian Republic was ruled from this monumental structure. Be sure to take a moment to view St. Marco’s winged lion and the Doge Francesco Foscari statutes on the central platform.
Another way to introduce one’s self to this city is by touring the Grand Canal, one of the premier Venice Italy attractions. Hope aboard a vaporetto, water taxi or gondola and experience this main thoroughfare as it was always intended to be seen, from the water. On this excursion, you will experience the inner workings of Venice since the majority of traffic passes along here. In the shape of a large ‘S’, the Grand Canal links the Saint Mark Basin to the lagoon near the Santa Lucia rail station. Along this water path, you will notice the line of buildings constructed during the 13th and 18th centuries by wealthy Venetian families.
However, travel by foot is possible around the waterways and a great way to see another captivating element of Venice, its many bridges. Totaling over 400 around the city and among its neighboring islands, some of its most famous bridges that cross the Grand Canal are: the Rialto Bridge, the Ponte Degli Scalzi, and the Ponte dell’ Accademia. If you wish to experience a little Venetian controversy, be sure to snap a photo of the Ponte della Costituzione (or Calatrava Bridge) built in 2008. Though functional, as it links the Santa Lucia Rail Station and the Piazzale Roma, the cost of its construction and modern appearance of steel and glass has added a new flair to this old waterway.
While passing over the 16th-century Rialto Bridge, take some time to check out the famous Rialto market. A centuries-old, open air fish and produce market, you can select from the local meats, cheeses and other specialty foods available only in Venice. If you are not sure how to choose the best produce, take a private cooking class and a local chef will walk you through the market to obtain the ingredients needed before your meal preparation.
For art enthusiasts, the Accademia gallery will allow you to witness the creations of Venetian masters from the 14th to 18th century. This grand museum contains works from Bellini, Tintoretto and Titian. A main attraction of this gallery is that of a Michelangelo masterpiece ‘Tribuna del David’. However, be sure to take your time to enjoy Veronese’s “Feast in the House of Levi.” Among the popular Venice Italy tours, you can take this excursion privately skipping the lines and enjoying elements of the museum held by advance reservation only.
With Titian’s ‘Assumption’, Tintoretto’s ‘Crucifixion’ and Tiepolo’s ‘Pietà’ on your mind, take your travel in Italy “off shore” on one of this city’s many small islands. As a day trip, try spending some time on the neighboring islands of Murano and Burano. Available by guided tour or by your own design, float across the lagoon and see why both of these locations are frequented by tourists. From the colorful eruptions to the lace and glass museums, each island offers their own perspective on Venetian artistry.
When on Murano, you will discover why it is famous for glass-making. The most popular Venetian island, it was founded between the 5th and the 7th century and experienced its major development after 1291 when glass furnaces were banned in Venice and moved there. Glassmaking is a cherished art of Venice and historical glassmakers were considered royalty giving those many privileges. The master glassmakers of Murano are still able to blow very thin and airy forms that are delicately shaped, using only a few simple iron tools. These tools are virtually the same today as they were a thousand years ago and can be seen along with examples of this stunning art form at the Glass Museum.
After purchasing some Venetian glass from local masters, embark for a different type of experience on the island of Burano. Though famous for its hand-made artisan lace, the true draw to this island is its picturesque canals lined with colorful houses. Ancient legend narrates that fisherman painted their houses in vibrant color to see them from far away while fishing, however they are now enjoyed while milling through the island’s narrow streets and counting their many different hues. A bold experience among the tours of Venice, keep a look out for “la Casa di Bepi Suà,” the most famous and colorful house on Burano.
A vacation to Italy can be made as unique as the water it is built on. Venice vacation packages offer you a chance to tour a grandiose canal, view revolutionary art and explore local islands with individual charm. Travel2Italy’s expert consultants can recommend the best package for you while personalizing your holiday experience. A city with heart and so much to offer its visitors let Travel2Italy guide you through this aquatic masterpiece and open the door to the possibilities available in this great Italian city.