You are absolutely right: Venice has nothing to do with jazz; it states so, because my time in Venice was very inspirational, adventurous and bubbled up by a glass of good Italian wine. Looking back to this city: sun up or down, any season, decades and centuries passing this remarkable place is still in the top of the most beautiful cities of the world. I will leave it up to you if it deserves listing Nr1… One way or another – it is a “must see”.
Just to give a quick insight on how Venice appeared for me, I shall say that to explore the city it took me once to be lost – at night, alone. Once to watch sunset while sipping wine on St.Marks Square. Once to wonder around rooftops of Venetian buildings. And once to have a proper Italian meal at the local, family owned ristorante.
Let me say, if you go to Venice in February for Carnival – lucky you, but if you want to wonder around the city and get charmed by everything it has to offer – any other off-peak travel time is good to do so. You wont need much time, my guess that 3-5 days will be a good length of stay to explore Venice every possible way, as the city itself is pretty petite.
Let me guide you through with my Close-Up “Top 5”
Number ONE. Okay, lets say you just arrived to the city – go see square and Basilica of St.Mark’s. The sweet deal is that there is no entrance fee to get on the cathedrals rooftop (as of 2012, it might have changed), and the view opening to your sight is just breath-taking! You can overlook the whole square, see the old port entrance, explore inside frescoes and design. Make sure you read a bit some interesting historical facts before you’re off to travel – it will make your journey memorable. Another bit to see – Grand Venetian. It is right there by the square, so you won’t miss it. Enchanting architecture!
Number TWO. Ready for this? Ok, here is a little secret for me to tell: during day-time St. Mark’s square is packed with outside patios of nearby cafes and restaurants, but once the night-time comes – it is all yours. The best thing is – all the outside furniture stays right where it was. So, are you in the mood to spice up your Italian vacation? Then grab a bottle of your favorite Rose and a box of assorted cheese and head to St. Mark’s square to witness amazing sunset. Sip and enjoy – voila!
Number THREE. When you have wondered around those expensive boutiques in the city center make sure you walk a bit further away, you will know – less tourists, more locals. And then, no matter you’re lady or a gent, enjoy your amazing Venetian Carnival mask and shoe shopping! You will be surprised – 20 Euros will do the magic!
Number FOUR. Venice is a regular destination for numerous exhibitions and so-called “traveling” museums. Make sure you do your bit of research and you can have some pretty good deal coming up. I was more than happy to be there in time for exclusive exhibition of Salvador Dali. Original work, sketches and art work – being a huge fan of Dali I could not be happier!
Number FIVE. Finger-licking-good – the sounds of me indulging with real Italian cuisine! It is like a sweet cherry on top of everything else I have seen so far. Again, the further you go from city center – the more authentic it gets and price makes you smile!
At the very end – this city has an amazing history, beautiful culture and so many secrets. I believe you will enjoy Venice as much as I did!
P.S.: And instead of riding in those expensive Gondola things – better take a ride on water taxi!
Lets see how others enjoyed the city –