Pretty much all my teenage years I dreamt off visiting Venice for my honeymoon, unfortunately, that didn’t happen but I did get to visit it a couple of times with my husband later and the holiday was just as I had imagined it to be. Venice has been on many of our bucket lists and for all the good reasons it surely is a place to visit once in your lifetime at least.
On my second visit to the city, I made sure to check out more places and try some restaurants too, and I was in love with the Venetian cuisine especially the pasta and risotto here. So even though you would want to tick off most of the things to see here, do take time to enjoy the essence and aura of Venice.
St Marks Square – This is the largest square where most of the top attractions of Venice are located, like the popular Basilica di San Marco and it is free to visit, next to it is the clock tower (Torre dell’ Orologio), just a few steps away from the basilica is the famous Doges Palace, it is grand and surely worth a visit. These, of course, are one of the main highlights of the square apart from the National Archaeological Museum and the National Library. Another suggestion would be to sit at one of the cafes here and admire the view and indulge in people-watching.
Rialto bridge – If you pass this bridge in Grand Canal you realise that it’s not only been featured in plenty of movies but also quite busy with tourists flooding to take a picture here. It was one of the first bridge to be built in the city, and it also leads to the popular Rialto Market. Do consider walking over it and taking a few pictures for memories.
Grand Canal – Lined with shops, restaurants, and palaces grand canal is quite popular. You can even take a gondola tour from here, the canal is always busy and you can see why it’s the heartbeat of Venice. Take a walk down on either side of this 3 km long stretch to get the real feel of Venice. Some chief sights here are the San Stae church which houses the tomb of the influential Mocenigo family, Santa Maria Della Saluta (church) the massive structure surely draws attention, Ca’d’oro (museum), Gallerie dell’Accademia (art museum) and the Peggy Guggenheim where you can admire the various artworks.
Bridge of Sigh – This Bridge was one of the last sights of Venice which the convicts saw before going to prison. People from around the world come to see this bridge and even though it is famous it still has a sad history attached to it. The name comes after the prisoners would sigh while passing the bridge and going towards the execution chamber or the cells.
Scuola Grande di San Rocco – Interested in the breathtaking paintings of Tintoretto? Then please visit this place. Tourists are still not aware of this gem of a place, the ceiling of the grand upper hall is no short of amazement. The paintings are in the original settings which means they are where Tintoretto wanted it to be, an audio guide is of immense use here.
Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo – Stumbled upon this spiral building by coincidence and now that I think about it, I am glad I explored it as the view from above is profoundly beautiful. The staircase here was also featured in a film called ‘Othello’ which was an adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s works. This place is often overlooked but I highly suggest visiting it.
Lido di Venezia beach – This beach is gaining a lot of attention from tourists in the last few years, and even though its a boat ride away from the main island it doesn’t intimidate people from taking the short journey. This island is particularly famous for hosting the Venice Film Festival, but it’s 11km sandy beach is what drives tourists here. If you want to explore the tiny island then stroll along the Santa Maria Elisabetta where there are plenty of cafes, shops and restaurants.
Teatro La Fenice – This is must visit opera house in Venice, and even though you might not have time to catch a show make sure at least to take a tour of it. It’s grand, opulent and many popular artists have performed here. There is a small fee attached to visit the opera house but it is definitely worth it.
Murano – This is another notable island of Venice and is particularly known for their superb craftsmanship for making glass. Museum of Culture (Museo del Vetro) should be visited here as it was originally a palace but now houses some fantastic glass collectables. Just like the Grand Canal, Murano has a Canal Grande, it is a decent place to check shops and restaurants. A few churches to check out here would be The Church of Saint Peter and the Basilica of Saint Mary & Saint Donatus.
Venice indeed is a city of love and even though I didn’t visit it for my honeymoon I am glad enough to visit it later with my husband. Venice surely is a tourist city with hiked up prices so if you want to save a few bucks you can even decide to stay on the nearby islands like Murano or Burano, you will never run out of options here.