Venice, the historic splendour and architectural delights of this Italian aquatic city are legendary. From the Grande Canal, St Marks Basilica, Rialto Bridge, Piazza San Marco, to the Bridge of Sighs & traditional gondolas, Venice will capture your heart & your imagination.
Arguably Venice is most well-known for its Carnival, this decadent and mesmerizing spectacle is steeped in history and tradition. The 2015 Carnival runs from January 31st to February 17th with balls, parades, shows, fireworks, exhibitions, contests, live music and pageants both on and off the water.
Masquerade is huge part of the carnival and costumed and covered figures can be seen all over the Venetian streets. Some are paid by the city as part of the event, some are self-employed and some are simply revellers getting into the spirit.
It’s an unwritten rule that you must buy at least one mask! Although it’s so hard to choose!
Being a compact place Venice is easy to negotiate on foot and exploring the labyrinth of alleys, lanes, streets and piazzas, throws up delights and curio’s at every turn. Luckily our hotel was across the Grand Canal from the railway station so if at any moment we lost our bearings; we simply had to follow the signs for the Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia.
However some of the best views come from the water. You can take a water taxi, or try the Water Buses, (Vaporettos) routes run all over Venice and its surrounding islands, with regular stops and reasonable fares.
Of course there are always the famous gondolas. The city sets the fare rate; however always agree the price before setting off, as some see the price rates as more of a suggestion. You can find Gondolas all over Venice and tour the main canals as well as the quieter secondary water ways.
As you’d expect in a city build on the water Venice has a lot of bridges, Instantly recognisable is the Rialto Bridge, completed in 1591 as a replacement for an early bridge, inclined ramps lead up to a central portico and on each side the covered ramps carry rows of shops and hundreds of tourists.
The Bridge of Sighs connects the Doge’s Palace with the New Prison (Prigioni Nuove); legend has it the name comes from the sighs of the prisoners, as they saw their last glimpse of Venice before being led to their fate.
Venice has a reputation for being expensive and a drink in any of the cafes surrounding St Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) will cost far more than one bought a few streets back. Often in Venice the question you must ask yourself is, experience or expense?!
All life revolves around the canals and with no cars allowed into the heart of Venice, virtually everything is done from the water.
Venice captured my heart and my imagination; it’s a fairy-tale destination especially during Carnival.
– Lady Sky