Venice. The City of Canals. The City of Bridges. The City of Love.
This little city sits on the water as 118 tiny islands connected by over 400 bridges. Seems huge, but you can explore a lot of it in a short time period. I’ve been to Venice twice, both times for only 24 hours, but I saw both the most popular places and those hidden by the tiny streets.
Here are a few things you must do when coming to Venice, especially for a short time period.
Firstly, visit the markets around the city. There are markets for food, clothing, souvenirs and gorgeous venetian masks. I love wandering around the markets and taking in the delicious smelling fruits, meats and even fish (not the best smelling though). Venice is also known for their art and masks. I’ve always used carry-ons so don’t have room for a proper full face venetian mask, but I did get a keychain version!
One of the best places for the most markets is the Rialto Bridge. The most famous bridge in Venice. Motorboats, motor “buses”, and of course gondolas travel underneath this tall standing white bridge through Venice’s largest canal. This is the centre of many movies filmed here. This area is also full of restaurants, so enjoy a fresh plate of pasta or pizza!
Take an hour out of your day and take a gondola ride through the city! Its a great way to see the city and a must on your bucket list! Some gondola’s even have musicians on board to sing or play violin, or the gondolier himself sings as he brings you through the city. It is very romantic! As a disclaimer, gondolas are expensive (25 euros per person for 30 minutes to an hour) and flow very slowly, but it’s a great experience. I’ll write a separate post next week about my experience and highlights of the trip so stay tuned!
If you don’t have time to go to the islands of Murano or Burano, make sure to check out some of the shops or museums that sell or showcase Murano glass. These pieces are colourful and they can make anything out of it! if you get a chance, sign up to watch them blow glass! It’s amazing to watch the skill and technique involved in creating vases and glass sculptures. We saw them make a little horse figurine! Below is a photo of a man making a vase (which spins so quickly). The room they do this in is extremely hot and humid so photos most likely won’t turn out as the camera will keep fogging up.
Go to the Piazza San Marco, the highlight and most touristic area of Venice. Here sits a square piazza, St. Mark’s Basilica, a huge bell tower, Doge’s Palace, and a few museums. This square tends to flood during heavy rain season and they’ll actually bring the gondolas through the piazza. If you’re okay with waiting a bit in a long line up, I highly recommend going inside the Basilica. No photos are allowed, but the whole place is decorated with stunning gold mosaics from the floor to the ceiling. You can pay a bit extra to see the old horse stables, a museum and get access to the rooftop which gives a great view of the piazza.
I’ve also seen a tour group of nuns walking around the square feeding bread to the bird which was cool.
There are so many other things to do like museums, little churches, shops, the royal garden, so take a look at what else you want to visit!
I’d highly recommend getting lost in the streets, because there is so much to see off the beaten path here. I’ll write another post next week about getting lost in Venice and why you need to do it!
Check out my video about my recent 24 hours in Venice!
If you’ve gone to Venice, let me know what your favourite part was! If not, is it on your list?