So you finally did it. You have booked your ticket to the most romantic city in the world – Venice, Italy.
Characterized by its many canals connected by hundreds of bridges, Venice is the main character of many works of pop culture. Romantic getaways in ornate black gondolas guided by serenading gondoliers are the iconic image that the most eager travelers imagine. But what else does Venice have to offer?
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With millions of visitors each year, it is one of the main European tourist destinations. Venice is rich in culture and history. For this reason, there is no shortage of what it has to offer its many tourists.
This list of things every traveler must experience when visiting will ensure you get the most out of your visit and see all that Venice has to offer.
Take a gondola ride
There’s a reason you’ll find it on every Venice must-see list. Gondolas are the symbol of Venice. They are the most well-known means of transport in the whole city.
Seeing the city from the canal offers a different vantage point from walking the streets. You really feel like a Venetian on the water.
There are two main areas where the rides can be hailed – along the Grand Canal and the lagoon. Where you choose to start is just a personal preference. Both routes offer some of the best views of Venice from the canals. Keep in mind that Venice is full of tourists. Prepare to wait in a long line. Each ride costs between €80 and €120 depending on the time of day and length of the journey, and each gondola can accommodate up to 5 people.
Take in Venice’s most famous view from the Rialto Bridge
This district is the heart of the city. The bridge spans the Grand Canal and offers iconic views from both sides.
From here you can enjoy the bustle of the city below you. The view is simply indescribable. This place is extremely popular, so be prepared for hundreds of people on the bridge itself at any time.
Learn the true story of the Bridge of Sighs
The Bridge of Sighs is another well-known and photographed landmark in Venice. It is an enclosed bridge that connects the New Prison to the interrogation rooms inside the Doge’s Palace.
According to an urban legend, if couples kiss while passing under the bridge, their love will be eternal. But the story of the bridge is much less romantic than this legend.
The name derives from the sighs heard when crossing the prisoners; getting their last views of Venice through tiny windows as they finally walked to their doom.
Walking on the bridge is only possible with a visit to the Doge’s Palace. If history museums are something you enjoy, I highly recommend this tour. Otherwise, it is easy to take a picture in front or under the bridge. And maybe even get a kiss from your lover just in case.
Enjoy an aperitif and people watch in St. Mark’s Square
Happy Hour in Italy is my favorite time of day. You could easily waste hours sipping spritzes, eating bites, and watching the hundreds of people take in the sights of the square.
Here you will find St. Mark’s Basilica, St. Mark’s Clock Tower, St. Mark’s Campanile, museums and various cafes. With so many points of interest, the possibilities are endless.
Get a spectacular bird’s eye view of the city and lagoon from the Campanile de Saint-Marc
Climb or take the elevator over 300 feet to the top of the bell tower and enjoy the most unforgettable view of Venice. Learn the history of the bell tower. The current standing one is not the original. It’s a popular attraction, so again be prepared for long lines, but the views are well worth it.
Get “lost” while walking through the streets of Venice
Venice is made up of over 100 small islands connected by over 400 bridges. It is a relatively small place. Each corner features another picture-worthy scene. Each deck has Instagram-worthy backgrounds that are sure to captivate your followers. Let Venice be your guide as you wander aimlessly enjoying the beauty and romance.
Important things to know before your Venetian holiday
During the summer months, Venice is very hot and humid, with early to mid-August being the peak. Light clothing and comfortable walking shoes are strongly recommended. Venice welcomes millions of visitors every year, most of them during the summer months.
Be prepared for long queues and hundreds of people walking through the extremely narrow streets. Mosquitoes during summer in Italy are vicious. Be sure to buy a repellent that works against tiger mosquitoes for the best protection.
Venice could easily be a day trip. I honestly wouldn’t recommend spending more than 2 days here. Again, the town is really small.
Consider taking the train to Milan, Verona or Bologna to maximize your time in Italy. Every city you encounter in Italy has a lot to offer in terms of beauty and history.
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