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A Tourist’s Guide to Venice

Why Venice?

A Google image search for Venice should be reason enough as to why you should visit this incredible city. Famously depicted as the city that’s built on water, Venice actually boasts a network of intricate canals that give it that awe-striking look of a floating landmass. Roads are replaced by rivers while boats are a more common site than cars.

But Venice has a lot more to offer besides architectural anomalies; the small Italian city offers a wide variety of beautiful buildings, art and a café at every corner. Yes, it can get quite crowded during the peak touring season, but you’ll always be able to find a secluded alley (or canal) to take a peaceful walk (or swim) away from all the hustle of the crowds. And if that’s not reason enough, the Venice film festival is bound to strike the fancy of anyone who even slightly appreciates the art of film making.

When to Go?

It’s a zero sum game when it comes to choosing the right time for a visit to Venice; you can either choose to go during the more pleasant spring and autumn seasons or during the summer months. While the former are devoid of the hoards of mosquitoes that usually come around during the summer, it can get quite crowded with tourists outnumbering locals by 2:1.

The jack of all trades is definitely the winter season as it tends to get less crowded, which in turn drives down the hotel prices. The weather isn’t too bad as well, with cloudless skies and misty vistas being the highlights of the season. It’s also at the end of this season when the Carnevale takes place.

Places to Visit

San Marco

San MarcoHitting three birds with one stone, the San Marco square boasts of the three most frequented points of interest in the city; Basilica di San Marco, Doge’s palace and Torre dell’Orologio. The Basilica is a testament to Venice’s link with Byzantium, while the Doge’s palace once served as a focal point of the city’s political workings. Torre dell’Orologio is the central clock tower that was built more than 500 years ago and still stands today.

Grand Canal

Grand CanalChances are that you will be going through this canal at least once during your trip. The Grand Canal serves as the main channel of the city, connecting each and every corner of the city. The only way to cross this would be through one of the four bridges that connect this 8km long canal, but you can also choose to go on one of the gondolas that shuttle back and forth across the channel.

Gallerie dell’Accademia

The historic art gallery contains works of famous artists such as Tintoretto and Bellini.

Traveler’s Advice

  • If travelling on a budget, avoiding fine dining at St Mark’s square as the restaurants there are generally quite expensive
  • GPS signals aren’t always available within the city due to the high rise buildings. Carry a paper map with you at all times

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