Venice, Italy – City of water and bridges – June 2014
From Cinque Terre we took the train to Venice with a stopover in Milan (beautiful building at the train station). When you start walking in Venice you immediately realise you are in a different city, a city full of water and many many petite and larger bridges. The buildings are beautiful, big piazzas, a city where you could walk and get lost in and explore.
We had a short stay in Venice and after all the art that we’ve seen on our trip we decided we just want to explore the city, walk around, eat, relax, take it all in. Be sure to have a good map showing all the small streets, every alley way is a street, whether it is water or concrete – do not get confused by this. We came across the Rialto market where they sell fresh fruit, vegetables, meats and amazing seafood, every fish or shell you can think of and the urge to start experimenting might get the better of you here. Try to get to this market and make some home cooked meal with the interesting seafood available. The markets are inspiring, bright colours, fruit ripe and ready to use, perfect, not at all like you find in massive retailers. If I have not said it before, Italy has the reddest sweetest tomatoes, indulge in these!
The bridge of sighs is really pretty to see. Apparently it used to connect a palace to a prison and the story is that the prisoners crossing it would look out the window and sigh at their last look of the outside world before their execution.
Definitely visit San Marco Square, it is unfortunately flooded by venders selling nonsense and they are extremely annoying pushing roses into your face constantly. It is a beautiful square and if the construction on the church is done it will be magnificent. You must visit the square at night. It comes alight, light surrounding you on all the walls of the building. The various restaurants have seating outside and a mini stage where an orchestra plays. You can follow the crowd and watch them play wonderfully, a must in Venice.
Gondola rides… to do or not to do? Do it, you are in Venice and even though only tourists do it and it is ridiculously expensive you will enjoy it. Especially over the weekend when the water streets are more quiet with no restaurant supplies coming in. You see the city from a different perspective.
Walk the city at night, go stand on the bridges like the Rialto and just watch the scenery over the grand canal. Get a Bellini (even though it is totally over rated) and buy a chocolate or fresh strawberries or cherries at the market and go sit on a jetty and watch the sun set (not that we really saw the sun behind the buildings), watch the day turn to evening.
Also know at 6pm the dress code changes, out come the small black dresses, red lips and high heels. I still don’t know whether it was for Opera shows, orchestras, restaurants or what the occasion was, but everyone in Venice dress that way that time. The men you can also pull through a ring. Wish I knew that before visiting! Very pretty!
Enjoy Venice, it is a beautiful town.