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Venice Italy

Venice Italy

DESTINATIONS, EUROPE, ITALY

Venice is one of those cities that no matter how many times you visit, you never get tired of it.  Most people say it’s one of the world’s most romantic destinations and I have to agree.   Venice has so much more to offer than just its gondola rides and canals.  It’s a city bursting with art galleries, historic buildings, winding alleys, fascinating museums, monasteries, synagogues, and churches.  One of the great things about Venice is that there are no vehicles.   Be prepared to walk and walking with no cars is what makes the Venice experience special. Be prepared to get lost and enjoy the experience.

 

The Grand Canal

The Grand Canal is the ancient waterway around the city, lined with about 170 buildings.  Most of the buildings  were built between the 13th and 18th century by wealthy Venetian families.   The majority of the city’s “traffic” cruises up and down the canal, on private boats, water buses, water taxis or on the famous gondolas.

 

On the gondola in Venice
On the gondola in Venice
Grand Canal, Venice
Grand Canal, Venice
Grand Canal, Venice
Grand Canal, Venice
Santa Maria del Rosario (St. Mary of the Rosary), commonly known as Gesuati
Santa Maria del Rosario (St. Mary of the Rosary), commonly known as Gesuati

 

Venice Bridges

If you decide to walk around the city, there are a few ways to cross the Grand Canal.  The three famous bridges that cross the canal are Rialto Bridge, Ponte Degli Scalzi, and the Ponte dell’Accademia.  Recently, they added a fourth which has been a huge controversy because it’s designed in a modern style which does not match the Venetian style, the Calatrava Bridge.

The Rialto Bridge opened in 1591, and was the only way to cross the Grand Canal on foot.  The first three bridges were build out of wood and collapsed.  In the 16th century they decided to build the bridge out of stone which is what you see today.  It’s probably one of the most visited and photographed bridges in Venice.

 

Rialto Bridge, Venice
Rialto Bridge, Venice
Rialto Bridge, Venice
Rialto Bridge, Venice

 

The Ponte Degli Scalzi Bridge (bridge of the barefoot monks) is right by the train station and it’s the first bridge you see when you arrive into Venice.  It’s a great place to take your pictures overlooking the Grand Canal at the very start of your visit to Venice.  Lots of hustle and bustle around here as it’s the main pedestrian bridge from the edge of the island that has the auto bridge, rail and parking stations. 

 

Ponte Degli Scalzi in the background, Venice
Ponte Degli Scalzi in the background, Venice
Ponte Degli Scalzi, Venice
Ponte Degli Scalzi, Venice

 

The Ponte dell’Accademia Bridge is the best one to stand on to see the views of the canals. Lovers put locks on the hand rails and usually have some personal note written on it. I prefer this bridge over Rialto because it is typically not as crowded and from here you can cross the bridge going north and then right to St. Mark’s Square or left through a maze of shops and follow the signs to Rialto Bridge. Very centrally located for a nice walk around Venice.

 

Ponte dell'Accademia Bridge, Venice
Ponte dell’Accademia Bridge, Venice
Ponte dell'Accademia Bridge Locks, Venice
Ponte dell’Accademia Bridge Locks, Venice

 

The Calatrava Bridge also known as (Ponte di Calatrava) which opened in 2008.  It’s a long, sweeping curve of glass and steel that was designed to complement both the historic buildings on the Piazzale Roma side of the canal and the 1950s modernity of Venice’s main railway station.  Since it’s been opened, travelers don’t have to go out of their way to cross the canal via the Ponte dei Scalzi or pay to ride the water bus. The Calatrava Bridge makes it very easy to cross the canal with your suitcase.

 

Calatrava Bridge, Venice
Calatrava Bridge, Venice

 

The famous Bridge of Sighs was built at the beginning of the 17th century.  It was intended to connect the old prison to the interrogations rooms in Doge’s Palace to the new prison, which was situated directly across the river. There are two theories on how the bridge got its name.  The first one is when the prisoners walked the the bridge on their way to the executioner, the prisoners would “sigh” as they crossed the bridge, catching their last glimpse of the outside world.  The second theory is that if a couple kisses under the bridge while on a gondola ride at sunset, they will enjoy eternal love.  Thus, the “sighs” are said to come from lovers who are overwhelmed by romance.

 

Bridge of Sighs, Venice
Bridge of Sighs, Venice
Bridge of Sighs at Night, Venice
Bridge of Sighs at Night, Venice

St. Marks Square (Piazza San Marco)

Piazza San Marco is the center of town and one of the most beautiful squares in the world.  It sits next to Doge’s Palace and the Basilica di San Marco.  St. Marks Square is a focal point when visiting Venice. There are several cafes on the square which afford a relaxing venue to admire some of the architectural details of the surrounding buildings.  At night, you can listen to music from some of the restaurants. The sheer beauty of the place is remarkable, and simply watching all the people come and go throughout the day can be a source of entertainment. The Square is always worth a visit, whether it’s early in the morning, when it’s deserted, or in the middle of the day, when it’s teeming with life.  It’s especially beautiful when it’s floodlit at night.

 

Basilica di San Marco, Venice
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

 

While we have been to Venice several times, we have never taken the tour inside Doge’s Palace because the lines were so long.  I have now read about “The Secret Tour of the Doge’s Palace“.  This is a fantastic tour that takes you behind the scenes of the Doge Palace. Not only do you skip the long lines to enter, you go into the private parts of the palace and are given the history of Venice political rule, law and civil life. You are shown the offices, libraries, secret court areas, original prison, interrogation rooms and secure passages of the palace.

 

Doge's Palace in St. Marks Square, Venice
Doge’s Palace in St. Marks Square, Venice
St. Mark's Square, Venice
St. Mark’s Square, Venice
St. Mark's Square, Venice
St. Mark’s Square, Venice
St. Mark's Square, Venice
St. Mark’s Square, Venice
Basilica di San Marco, Venice
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

 

Dining in Venice is fantastic.  We frequently would just wonder down a little alley way and pick a restaurant based on the view or how hidden away from the crowds it was.  We were either very lucky or the Venetians just have extremely high food standards, our meals were all fantastic.  Delicious Italian food.

 

Venice Waterways, Venice
Venice Waterways, Venice
Streets of Venice
Streets of Venice
Italian Pizza, Venice
Italian Pizza, Venice
Family photo in Venice, Italy
Family photo in Venice, Italy

 

It was sad to say good-bye (Arrivederci!) to the city of Venice Italy.  We had a enjoyable stay and hope to travel back one day.

 

 

 

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

17 Comments

  1. Michele {Malaysian Meanders}
    July 28, 2014 at 5:37 am
    Reply

    We just visited Venice last month and also absolutely loved it. Your family photo was taken just across the canal from the apartment that we rented while we were there. I can tell from the background. We entered the Doge’s Palace late in the afternoon, and there wasn’t a line at all. Reading this post is like wandering through Venice again.

    • Carmen
      July 28, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      Hi Michele,

      Thanks Michele, That’s a great part of town to be in. My girls loved some of the shoe stores around there. We’ve been to Venice three times and all three times we couldn’t get into Doge’s Palace because the line. Maybe, next time.

  2. Travis
    July 28, 2014 at 3:04 am
    Reply

    Great post and photos Carmen. My family is from the Veneto region and has conflicting feeling over the direction the city has been going, but it looks like it has bee turned in the right direction over the past couple year. Despite this, there’s no debating that the city is absolutely one of the most breathtaking places on the planet and has so much to see and do. Glad you enjoyed yourself and safe travels!

    • Carmen
      July 28, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      Hi Travis,

      We’ve been to Venice several times and I love it. There’s lots of turmoil going now in the city of Venice now on the ban of cruise ships traveling thru the canal. I can see why, they want to protect the foundations of some of the buildings. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. Jenn Turnbull
    July 28, 2014 at 10:54 pm
    Reply

    I somehow haven’t made it to Venice yet but love walking cities (and more importantly, Italian food) so think I’d really like it. Looks like there’s so much history there. And the romantic feel…you can just see it in the photos.

    • Carmen
      July 29, 2014 at 10:14 am

      Hi Jenn,

      Venice is everything you mentioned. One of my favorite things about the city is that they have no vehicles and people walk mostly to get around. They had plenty of restaurants and the food was delicious.

  4. Katie
    July 29, 2014 at 12:05 pm
    Reply

    We weren’t able to make it Venice on our Italian adventur. We made the rookie mistake of fitting too much in during our Europe trip – we could have spent the whole 3 week in Italy! Just another reason to go back. I really love your shot of Calatrava Bridge – breathtaking!

    • Carmen
      July 30, 2014 at 11:58 am

      Hi Katie, I know the feeling. We tend to do the same thing. We pack to much in and not spend enough time in the towns we should be spending more time in.

  5. Ming L. @OnALim1
    July 29, 2014 at 12:49 pm
    Reply

    really lovely place. the first picture of you and yours in the gondola is perfect!

    • Carmen
      July 30, 2014 at 11:59 am

      Thanks Ming, My husband loved riding on the gondolas. If it was up to him we would of done that everyday.

  6. Adelina | PackMeTo
    July 30, 2014 at 1:53 am
    Reply

    Ugh, I’m so green with jealousy! Venice has been on my to go list since I was a little girl. Great overview.

    • Carmen
      August 6, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Hi Adelina, Hopefully, you get a chance to go one day, it’s so worth the trip. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Natasha
    September 5, 2014 at 9:15 pm
    Reply

    Great piece , did you make if out to the islands ? Venice is one of my favourite places to people watch with a very expensive coffee lol

    • Carmen
      September 5, 2014 at 11:23 pm

      Hi Natasha, No, we stayed in Venice for a few days prior to our cruise. Once we got back to Venice we drove to Lake Como. We enjoyed sitting outside in the local restaurants and watching the people walking by.

  8. Max-Cro
    March 25, 2015 at 9:46 pm
    Reply

    Hi!
    Nice, but Venice is NOT a birthplace of Marco Polo! At least it is very doubtful. It is sure that he was born in Republic of venice… a lot of evidences pointed about Korcula as his birthplace. Polo is just latin version of his name. Originaly it was Pol and that suggest about his Croatian origins.
    Croatia is very small country… maybe you know just a little about this hidden gem of Europe.
    If you are interested in visiting Croatia, in private guided Tour… 1 week, 2 weeks… more… check this website
    http://destinatour.eu/

  9. Jill BARTH
    May 11, 2016 at 10:18 pm
    Reply

    Ahhhh, Venice. The stuff of dreamy dreams. Thanks for sharing this virtual album!

    • Carmen Edelson
      May 14, 2016 at 5:49 pm

      Venice never gets old in my book. It’s such a romantic city.

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