The Jewel of Italy, the Most Beautiful City in the World, the City of Masks, the City of Bridges, Queen of the Adriatic… or quite simply – Venice. If you are yet to visit, this city promises to offer arguably the most fairy-tale, surreal and romantically hued experience. Here’s what’s not to miss when you go.
A short paragraph will never do the presence of art in Venice justice, but the fact that just one building, the Santa Maria dei Miracoli, was built to house just one painting gives you an idea of how art is celebrated, respected and revered in this glorious city. Art of all forms and eras can be found here, welcomed by a culture that lives and breathes creativity!
Piazzas, palazzi, priceless marbles, churches, and basilicas line the streets of Venice, testament to centuries of opulent architectural experimentation and devotion to creating exquisite spaces. The uniqueness of the style here can be found in the fact that Byzantine mosaics sit beside Islamic arches and Latin influenced gothic buildings. Enough to send history buffs bonkers, and fill the hearts of any visitor with utter joy.
There are NO cars in Venice at all. It is an archipelago of over 100 islands set in a lagoon connected by around 400 bridges. This means wherever you go, you have to walk, or go by boat. Gondolas are not the only option! Venice is home to a number of styles of boat, from traditional wooden boats, through to powered ferries. Hiring a kayak is a great way to get around, and yes, if you do want to do the Venetian thing and go by Gondola – be prepared to pay for it!
Golden sandy beaches aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Venice, but, there are several! Blue Moon is a public beach on the Lido – a 7 mile long sand bar, and free to use. The others will cost to access, but the price you pay is well worth it for a luxurious beach experience! Remember – it is illegal to swim in Venice’s waterways, so definitely head to the beach if you want to cool off in summer.
Bacariare simple bars where you can go grab a glass of wine, beer or maybe a cocktail and tuck into some tapas standing up. They are usually small, dark spaces where people can enjoy a beverage or two, and when the space gets full people quite simply spill out into the street outside.
The food in Venice is unique thanks to its aquaculture and influences from the spice routes back when the city dominated marine trade. If you are pushed for time in this stunning city go and get yourself Venetian tapas aka chichetito sample as much as possible. The Venetians are also known for producing some tantalising sweet treats too, the frittelle, which appear around carnival time, are not to be missed!
If you like flamboyant, velvet, and especially flamboyant velvet, Venice is the fashion centre for you. Hit up Pied a Terre for gondola slippers and Nicolao Atelier for something suitable for carnival. Don’t forget your plague death masks either – they are a must if you plan to go full Venetian with your flares!
The Museum of Madness is a delightful example of the Venetian penchant for the weird, the wonderful, curiosities and oddities – packed full of psychiatric paraphernalia from back in the day. The Natural History Museum is also worth a visit for its diverse and impressive collection of bizarre specimens.
Don’t forget your travel insurance! Whether you need insurance for water sports while you are in Venice or just want to make sure you are covered should something go wrong – we offer competitively priced comprehensive single trip and annual travel insurance, and on family policies kids go free!