Venice is an extraordinary city in terms of its architecture, history, and lifestyle. The whole world knows it as a city on water, the center of masquerades, and the motherland of Marco Polo and Antonio Vivaldi. It has the most expensive housing, products, and even transport. Despite everything, over 18 million tourists visit it annually and fall in love with Venice at first sight. What is this place? And why does it attract tourists all over the world like a magnet?
Boroughs of Venice
Venice is a real museum in the open air and the cultural center of Italy. Every building here is priceless, every stone hides an extraordinary legend. We picked up the most iconic tourist destinations that you can’t miss. We also included some secrets pearls of Venice for all the fans on non-trivial tourism.
A brief history of Venice
As the shipping industry and navigation were developing, Venice became the main transportation node. The silk, spices, coffee, and rice came to Europe through Venice. Many of those things had more value than gold. In the Middle Age, the city was actively developing and replenished the treasury for the account of crusades. Local authorities annexed the continental regions known as the Terraferma to enhance their might.
The decay of the city on water began in the XV century. Humanity was on the verge of great geographical discoveries. The might and power of Venice were lost and the majority of the continental territories passed to Austria.
Venice had been independent for thousands of years. However, it lost its status in 1797 before Napoleon. It survived many decays! It got its second wind after the opening of the Suez Canal. Tourists from various countries came to the city to departure to the East. Before they leave, they would admire the magnificent architecture in the city. Later, this popularity among tourists gave a stimulus to found the Venice Film Festival in 1932 and the Carnival of Venice that is held annually in February. These events still draw thousands of guests to the city on water.
Nowadays, Venice is facing another problem. On the one hand, tourists are the only source of income. On the other hand, the number of visitors is mind-blowing. Local citizens turned into the staff of attendants. Adding the fact that the city is gradually sinking, we get the logical dissatisfaction of local citizens. Today, Venice allows only a limited number of tourists, has two types of prices (for locals and travelers), and plenty of prohibitions (for example, selfie sticks are forbidden). But even these facts don’t scare the adventure seekers and fans of the beautiful. They rush to see the gorgeous Ca' d'Oro, Doge's Palace, the romantic Bridge of Sighs and the oldest Rialto Bridge, the district of Murano, and other iconic places.
Before the trip, you should calculate the approximate budget that you will require for the travel:
|from 86 €/night||from 131 €/night||Start - 6.26 €, 1km - 2.3 €||1.6 €/liter||60 € for 2 person|
The best time to visit Venice
Let’s talk about fine. Implementation of regulations and rules is treated seriously in Venice. It’s vital to know what you can be fined for and what you must not do. For example, a fine for feeding doves is 200 euros. Ar Piazza San Marco you can sit, lay and eat only in special places, otherwise be ready to pay 200 euros. A swim in canals can cost you 500 euros. If you skate, ride a bike or a push-cycle (this concerns children as well) in the center of the city, be ready to pay 100 euros for this activity.
It will be favorable for tourists under 29 years old to buy a special card Rolling Venice. It gives you a right to have unlimited rides in public transport, offers discounts in restaurants, museums, theatres, and shops. The card costs 22 euros for three days.
If you are more than 29 and still want to save money on attending museums, used such tourist cards as Museum Pass or Tourist City Pass. The first one allows you to visit all the museums in the city. The second one opens doors to 11 museums, 16 churches, and the Fondazione Querini Stampalia. We recommend you to buy cards in advance of the official websites of the Venetian museums. In addition to saving money, you also get a right to enter museums without standing in lines.
There are several private bridges in Venice. It’s strictly forbidden to cross them, sit on them or take pictures. There are special signs “Private Bridge” that note them. Entering this territory will be considered as the encroachment on private property.
What should a tourist do in Venice?
- Take a picture with doves at Piazza San Marco. The main city square in Venice is decorated with architectural dominant. These are the Doge’s Palace and St Mark's Campanile of St. Mark’s Basilica. The doves are walking busily among the crowds of tourists. They have already become an essential part of this place. By the way, it’s strictly forbidden to feed the doves. The police watch this carefully and can easily set a fine.
- Wander and get lost! The Venetian streets remind movies’ decorations: endless bridges across the canals, ancient palazzos, cozy yards. Rely on your destiny, not the guidebook.
- Have a glass of wine in a local bar. They won’t offer you a table for two and a gorgeous menu. However, they will treat you to some real Italian wine. Sit on the stone stairs overlooking the canals and enjoy every sip. These moments make our trips unforgettable.
- Admire Venice at night. When you get on the streets after midnight, you appear in an absolutely different city. There is no noise or cars - only silence, splashes of water, and the couples in love.
- Find the antique shop. Forget about the trivial souvenirs like magnets and masks that were made in China. Do you want to bring the spirit of the city back home? Visit a shop with antiques.
- Ascend the highest observation deck in the city. St Mark's Campanile is not the only place with a panoramic view of Venice. Fondaco dei Tedeschi, Scala Contarini del Bovolo, Campanile della Chiesa di San Giorgio Maggiore – each of them offers mesmerizing views on canals and main architectural ensembles.
- Take a ride in a gondola along the Grand Canal. It’s a real slip-up to be in the city on water and not to use the water vehicle. Ask the gondolier to sing a real Italian hit and feel like you are the happiest person on this planet. If the price for riding in a gondola (80-100 euros) is too high for your budget, use public transport, the Vaporetto. These are small speedboats at a fair cost of 7-10 euros. Buy a ticket for a circular route. This will give you a chance to see the majority of iconic attractions from the water.
- Treat your inner gourmet. Besides pizza, Italy is also famous for its pasta and spaghetti. Try another traditional dish, polenta. It is made of corn meal and is typically served on festive dinners. And don’t forget about Cicchetti, baicoli biscuits, tortino with prunes, and, of course, tiramisu (Venice is the motherland of this popular dessert). A Bellini cocktail is a must! It’s made of peach puree and white wine. Ice cream or gelato is another must-try. There over 500 kinds of it. This delicate and delicious dessert is made only of natural ingredients.