I’ve wanted to go to Venice for as long as I can remember: it’s always had some sort of hold over me, something that makes me want to visit and explore its canals, it’s side streets, get to know it’s people and experience it’s beauty. If you follow me on Instagram and Pinterest you’ll know that last week I finally booked this dream mini-break. I couldn’t be more excited!
So what’s the first thing a girl does when she books a holiday? Buys herself a guide book of course, and for me it has to be Lonely Planet, every time.
Now that I have a little breathing space from work and time to get excited, I’ve spent the last few evenings (and every spare moment in between!) figuring out what I want to see, where I want to go, and most importantly, what I want to eat.
Take a gondola trip
So it might be a little cliched: taking a gondola trip in Venice is hardly unique or original, but some things just have to be done, don’t they?! For a floating city, there really is only one way to get around!
See an Opera
Maybe a bit ambitious for the moment, but definitely on the lifetime bucket list! Italy is one of the best places to see an opera, so when in Rome…! I’ve read that Teatro La Fenice is the best theatre in Venice, but if you’ve been somewhere else I’d really love to know.
Three Sights; One Square
Apart from gondolas, piazza San Marco is probably the most iconic site in Venice. St Mark’s basilica, Doge’s Palace and Torre dell’Orologio all live in piazza San Marco, so no wonder it’s one of the busiest places in this gorgeous city. Easy for tourists in that you don’t have to travel far to see some of the top sites, but a nightmare in that you have to battle through the crowds! Doge’s palace was once the judicial hub of Venice (my inner lawyer is squealing!); combine this with the beauty of St Mark’s basilica and the clock tower and I might have to see this square more than once!
Tour the Grand Canal
When people picture Venice, and when I picture Venice, I either picture St Marks Square or the Grand Canal. Taking a vaporetto seems like the only way to see this canal, and all its beautiful sites. Never mind the fact that I’m a huge James Bond fan and that this canal has been featured in 4 Bond films, but it takes you past some of the real highlights, like the Rialto Market, the Rialto Bridge, some 50 palazzi and the Ponte di Calatrava. It seems you can’t go to Venice without doing this!
Embrace aperitivo Time and Venetian Vino
I thought apéro time in France was a big deal, but it seems that it’s just as popular, if not more so in Italy. I would never say no to a glass of prosecco of an evening! And it would be wrong not to try the local delicacies when you’re in a new city…right?!
See the Bridge of Sighs and the Rialto Bridge
So hopefully, we’ll have already seen Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal tour, but I want to go back for a close up! In a city full of canals bridges are a necessity, but bridges as beautiful as these? Seems like they’re a necessary tourist attraction to me!
Explore Colourful Murano
Murano is best known for its glass creations but is also home to the gorgeous Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta, famed for its cautionary of heaven and hell depicted in its artistry, and these are definitely on the to do list for Murano. But I also want to see the brightly coloured houses along the Burano canals! These houses seem like too good a photo op to miss!
See Venice from on High at Campanile
Whilst I’m not a big fan of heights and lots of stairs, I do love a good view, and it seems that Campanile is the place to go for this. Bye bye vertigo, hello view!
Visit Palazzo Grimani
Palazzo Grimani is meant to be one of the most beautiful palaces in Venice: something that really highlights the beauty of Venetian architecture. I may not be an architect, but I do appreciate beauty. Palazzo Grimani holds temporary exhibitions, so I need to check out what’s on when I’m there! The Foliage Room is covered with plant and bird life: experience the outdoors, indoors. Now that’s something I can’t resist!
A huge part of the beauty of any city is wandering around and just stumbling into places, and from what I can understand, Venice is the perfect place to do this. I’ve always loved people watching: seeing what they’re wearing, wondering where they’re going and generally just watching them go about their lives. Well, how better to do this than to just, walk? It’s the best way to get to know a city and it’s people, so I plan on doing this a lot!
These are my top picks so far based on what I’ve read, but really, it’s your recommendations I want! Feel free to drop me an email, or just leave me a comment below this post, I’d really appreciate your advice – and I promise to get back to each and every one of you. I love chatting with readers, and this is the perfect opportunity!