Venice (Italy)

Venice: a city of great potential, opportunities and possibilities. It is home to one of the biggest carnivals in the World. Because of its wide culture, grand architecture and beautiful tradition, it may become European Capital of Culture in 2019, being given the opportunity to organize a series of cultural events
that can lure tourists into its beauty and wonder.

Situated in the North of Italy, it is one of the most-visited cities in the country. It is the capital of the region Veneto, and along with Padua, it forms the Padua-Venice Metropolitan Area, having a population of more than one and a half million.

If you’re  wondering how to get there, opportunities are pretty vast, taking into consideration the fact that either you’re a plane-person, someone who likes the traditional train-rides or prefers travelling by bus, you can get there either way! It’s easily approachable, and depending on where you come from, i’m positive that if you look closely, you can find something at a low price. Of course, if you’re into luxury, you can definitely get something suitable for your expectations and needs.

Bridge of Sighs, Venice

The other problem you may wondering about is the accommodation. Where to stay is one of the most frequently asked questions before we commence on our journey. Venice has plenty of accommodation offers whether you’re into luxury, or prefer something cheaper. It is said that the city is pretty expensive, but if you look after it in detail, you will most certainly find the perfect housing for you. Hotels range from 2 to 5 stars, with a price interval between 10 to 350€ per night. If you’re a more bohemian person, then a camping is the place for you! The stay there is very low cost, starting from about 8 € per night. Youth Hostels are also very cheap and can offer you a very satisfying stay.

While in Venice, eat as the Venetians do! You should definitely try the traditional Italian cuisine, especially their original pastas: ravioli, spaghetti, tortellini, lasagna and so on. Also, I advise you to taste real Italian pizza while you’re there- it’s delicious and not at all the same as any other restaurant in the world- it is unique. But be ware: asking for ketchup is considered to be a real profanity, in case you’ll be wondering why you’re getting looked at. As the accommodation, restaurants and bars can also be chosen by any range you want to.  Another thing about cafe’s and restaurants in Venice is that in some they even make you pay for the music you listened to while you were eating/drinking. So you should really check out the place where you want to go. A little bit of advice: cafe’s and bistros in the city-center are much more expensive than the ones who aren’t close to it, so if you don’t want to spend that much money you should walk a few extra blocks and save a few extra bucks. Seafood and traditional gelato are also some great food experiences which need to be savored during your stay.

St. Mark's, Venice

St. Mark’s, Venice

Everybody knows that Italians have loud voices and when they speak, it’s like they’re singing. Being a Mediterranean country, Italians are very friendly and very kind to strangers and tourists, and they’re very talkative so you won’t be having any trouble communicating with them. Also, they are very patient if you don’t understand the language or don’t know how to speak it properly. Italian culture is one of the oldest and richest so you probably won;t get bored during your stay. There’s plenty to see and visit, that’s why you should plan your trip for more than a few days, at least a week. Believe me-it’s worth it!

Visit one of Venice’s signature bridges, the ravishing Rialto! It is the oldest bridge in across the Grand Canal, constructed in the late 16-th century and it was an important factor to the Rialto Market, which lies on its eastern bank. It is one of the most beautiful stone arch bridges in Italy, and a must-see during your venetian stay. Take a walk in Saint Mark’s square, where you can have a refreshing time by feeding the pigeons and just sitting on a bench, staring at gondolas and other tourists. The Basilica di San Marco, a grand cathedral which was built to house the bones of St. Mark, whose remains had been stolen from Egypt by a pair of Venetian merchants is another wonderful monument to admire, and the good news is: the entrance is free! You should also live the Grand Canal Experience, taking a vaporetto, observing the beautiful venetian architecture and feeling the Italian breeze on your cheeks. For a little price, you can also visit the Doge Palace, the Gothic building which was the residence of the Doge of Venice. It is very interesting to see where and how a person at this state lived his days, so I would advise everyone to visit it. Besides this historical and monumental places, Venice has a number of museums worth visiting, fit for everyone’s interest and personal choice. If you’re in the mood to travel by boat, you should definitely visit Venice’s famous surrounding islands: Murano, famous for its glass working, and Burano, known for its amazing quality in lace making. It’s definitely worth the trip. In Murano you can visit the glass factory, where they demonstrate how they make the glass, and you can also shop from the boutiques taking home some original glass artworks. In Burano, besides admiring its small, brightly-painted houses, you can find and buy the most beautiful lace works.

lace of Burano

lace of Burano

As for entertainment, besides the number of bars, clubs, sports and cultural activities, the city’s most famous event held every year in February, is the Venice Carnival. You can find the full program of the event here. Participation is pretty expensive, but at least once in a lifetime- participate! This is one of those things that you don’t get to do everywhere, every day, and I think that it would be a great experience for anybody.

To speak of shopping, I know that souvenirs are indispensable, when visiting a foreign country or city, but look at what you buy first. The rule of the center being more expensive is valid in this case too. You can save up to 10€ if you buy the masks, postcards, prints, gondolier hats and maps a few blocks away from the city center and Saint Mark’s Square.

If you’re looking for what kind of events and programs there will be in Venice in the near future, here’s a list which you can check out and which can help you choose the best event for you, depending on your personal range of interest.

Finally, if you’re in no possibility to visit this wonderful city anytime soon, I have something for you: a virtual map of the city, including most of the sites and even some of the museums, which you can “visit” from your chair at home. Enjoy!

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