Venice is a “City of Water” located on the northeastern Veneto Region part of Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. Let’s explore the various sights, sounds and food of the seemingly floating city and take a boat and taxi ride around the UNESCO World Heritage Site on a day trip. Let’s go!
A canal-tastic UNESCO World Heritage Site
Also, you might also know the UNESCO World Heritage Site by its other quirky names, such as the “City of Bridges“, “The Floating City“, or the “City of Canals“. It all points to Venice rather unique architecture which I shall cover in more details.
360 degree Panorama of Venice Italy
Also, the UNESCO portion covers the city lagoon and a part of the city main square where most of the trade and population reside. Interestingly, Venice got its name from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC. From there on the term Venician is synonymous from river taxi to window blinds.
Moreover the European city of Canals is a popular tourist destination and major cultural center. Most of its revenue coming from Tourism receipts alone. The city is built on a group of 118 small islands, connected by a network of canals and linked by over 400 bridges. Also, it has a total population of 2.6 million inhabitants.
Moreover, most people entry point into Venice is usually by boat, right into the heart of canal San Marco area. The boat landing point here is where most of the festive and tourist traps are. This is given the close walking proximity to the St Marks square, St Mark’s Basillca and the Palazzo Ducale, all iconic landmarks of the city.
Soak in the buzz of Piazza San Marco square
Additionally, the Grand Canal and the Piazza San Marco square is a mainstay spots in Venice where events are held. Here, notable highlights includes the St. Mark’s Museum, it was established on the 19th century and has a rather detailed front facade too.
Moreover, the square is also popular with street buskers, painters and lines of boutique and restaurants playing live music. It is where most of the city’s culture congregates in one melting pot.
Also, it can get rather busy at times, especially by the square clock tower and archway. Additional points of interest here includes the Saint Mark’s Basilica, various Museums, glass factories and St Mark’s Campanile Tower built from 1156–1173. View of the View of San Marco basin with the Piazza San Marco in view.
Take a row or a Venice River Taxi
In fact public transport here in Venice is mainly by boat. You can see several boat piers you can catch regular bus ferries or if need be a river taxi. Wrap up your trip in Venice but experiencing a ride in a river taxi. You can tad recreate the famous boat chase scene in James bond movies. You can seat about 8 pax per taxi boat.
Moreover, a trip to Venice is not complete without a rowing tour of the city canal ways. You can hire a boat for a 20min row up to the grand canal and back. Each boat can take up to 5 persons excluding the rower.
Wine optional! Your rower propels and steers the boat using a single paddle. Depending on the tide, do watch your heads as you go under the many bridges of the streets of Venice. At times you can see several peculiar displays and storefront facing the river.
These serves as back door entry point to certain establishments. Some of these doors are precariously close to the water line, painting the ever threat of flooding in the city. In fact with an elevation of 1m, notably, Venice is under threat of flooding and going under water.
Also, each boat as their own theming, customized by the boatmen. It does take a high degree of spatial awareness to navigate the cramped canals. The rower at times make use steps and walls on the canal side to push the boat forward and away from the walls too. Today, the gondolas serve more of a tourist staple, while locals prefer the convenience of motor powered boats.
Navigating the streets of Venice
Venice and its Lagoon Venice has been known as “La Dominante”, “La Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic”. Also, the Rialto Bridge along the grand canal is the oldest of the four bridges in Venice, Italy.
Moreover, the bridge connects the sestieri (districts) of San Marco and San Polo. Also, the out skirts of Venice are more of the functional side of the city, such as residential, schools in the San Polo and Dorsoduro regions, which are less touristy.
In addition, if you were to enter by land, the nearest train station is the Santa Lucia Train station in Cannaregio. It can take upwards to an hour to reach the Palazzo given boat and pedestrian traffic conditions. Do note you can’t drive in Venice itself as the city center is a car-free area. Also, it would be recommended to reach the city center directly (and much quicker) by taxi boat.
Furthermore, being surrounded by waterways, navigating and exploring through Venice streets and alley ways can be a little more tricky than conventional Italian streets. Especially for a non-local unfamiliar with the area. The Iconic city by the sea with rows of canals, with the Grand canal running in an S-side meander through the city.
Also, you won’t know when each corner will lead to a dead end, a crossing bridge or a river stream blocking your path. Generally, you can navigate the streets of Venice by picturing them as a grid like pattern and sticking to the main paths. There will tend to be bridges on larger paths.
Dine on the street in Venice
Venetian cuisine is characterized by seafood, though you can pretty much find any western cuisine from the large number of restaurants and cafes here. In fact, you be spoilt for choice.
Also, you can’t get any more Italian than having pizza in Venice. Margaretta pizza is available on the cheap here too at almost every other café here, you can snag a decent medium pizza for under 8 Euros. Also, their Gelato ice cream is really affordable here, at two euros per large scoop on a cone.
Additionally, being a tourist spot, there are no shortage of souvenirs here in Venice. To snag good bargains, the trick is to avoid those stores on the main streets and patronize those on the side streets. They sell exact type same souvenirs, postcards and magnets, but considerably cheaper. It pays no harm to bargain to get a better discount, especially if you are planning on buying a couple of items.
All in all, Venice is one of the must-see UNESCO World Heritage Sites to visit in your lifetime. Who knows it won’t be around for long given the treat of rising sea levels. From the culture, arts and affordable food, when you have the chance, it would be one to visit and won’t disappoint.
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