Roaming around Venice

Venice is mostly known for their Romantic Gondola rides across the city canals but only on foot you get to experience the real Venice. Although its not as big as Rome but don’t be fooled by the small-town image. This place is overflowing with tourists all the time and most of the tourist checkpoints are actually very crowded.

So, we reached Venice by taking a high-speed train (once it touched 300km/h!) from Florence. It takes around 2 hours but not in time for our check-in so we got some time to roam around the place and check out a few really interesting cafes.

You can start the day by having Gelato from the numerous ice- cream stores around but I guess one of the best one’s is at St. Mark’s square.

St. Mark’s square:

You need to start the Venice tour from St. Mark’s square which is the most important Piazza or square at Venice and is surrounded by the popular sights of the city. It is surrounded by water so the square is the heart of tourist crowds, markets, gondola rides and other attractions.

St. Mark’s Basilica:

It is the most popular visited places in Italy considering it was built around 11th century and the artwork and architecture has withstood the perils of time. The church is reflection of Italian architecture and even though you are not religious, the art specially the mosaics are worth looking at. There are guided tours available but try to go during non-tourist times such as early morning so as to avoid the long queues.

Doge’s Palace:

We didn’t get time to see the place from inside but there are entry tickets to visit the museums and palace from inside. This is quite close to the St. Mark’s Basilica and is usually clubbed with it in the tour packages offered. It is a must for all history fanatics.

Gondola ride through the Grand Canal:

Although Venice can easily be explored on foot but you need to experience the city through their famous Gondola rides. There are several Gondola tours being offered around including private romantic tours so choose wisely. It can cost anything from Rs. 2000- Rs 4000. Usually its around 30 min ride offered but we had gone during the rush hour and couldn’t believe when we saw that there are actual traffic jams happening in water due to multiple Gondolas on their tourist trips.

Ponte di Rialto:

It is one the most famous bridges of Venice encompassing the Grand Canal so quite popular with tourist wanting to get a selfie here. You get a good view of the city as well as the canal as you stand on this bridge but getting it crowd free is bit of a task. It is a stone bridge now but it is said that it was built entirely as a wooden bridge and survived for hundreds of years.

Bridge of Sighs:

Another bridge but quite smaller in comparison and the tourists are not allowed to walk over it. Gondola can go under the bridge for a better view or picture for tourists. The bridge mainly connects the Doge’s palace to the prisons of those times.

Tour of Murano, Burano and Torcello islands:

You can buy visiting tickets for these islands- they have guided tour of fixed times specially in afternoon so plan accordingly. We actually narrowly missed the last trip which was around 2pm as our train to Venice was late. Murano is famous for glass blowing and you can in fact find the Venice markets full of glass based decorative items which tourists flock over to buy as a souvenir. These islands are actually a group of islands encompassing multiple museums and markets giving you a glimpse of Venice’s past.

There are few more historical structures, churches and museums around St. Mark’s square depicting Vatican culture. You can easily visit most of these places in a day so pick and choose accordingly.

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