Venice is one of the most beautiful and impressive cities in the world. As much as you have been told about it, nothing will ever be fair to your personal experience. That is why I have decided to put together this article with the reasons why you should visit this emblematic city in the north of Italy.
The canals of Venice, so famous throughout the world, are its main attraction. There are other cities on the planet that also enjoy these unique spaces, but none is as beautiful as this. It is impossible to reach it and not fall in love with the gondolas, the bridges, the boats that sail through them … Certainly the best way to go around and experience Venice is by private boat that will take you through the Grand Canal, reasonably defined as “the most beautiful avenue in the world”. With great experts on board, you can experience the city and recall of the legends, history, point out the monuments, architectural masterpieces, art, introduce to the lives of those who created or enjoyed it: artists, noblemen, courtesans and other inhabitants of the lagoon.
Another incredible attraction of Venice is its gardens. Everywhere in the city you travel through, you can find beautiful vergeles cared for till the last detail.
Many can think that in Venice, there is little “green”, that is to say that there is nowhere to relax under the shade of a tree, and it is not so, what happens is that the largest green area of the city is at the tip , and leave the Basilica of San Marcos behind, to go down the canal in the direction of the sea.
There was a time in Venice was surrounded by green fields of the city were intended for the cultivation or grazing of animals (hence the origin of the name field), but over the centuries, these areas have been progressively covered by pavers, used for paving the city. Today the public green is not very extensive, it is a total of about 120,000 square meters that are divided into six gardens throughout the city. These green areas are: the Pineta de Santa Helena, the Giardini di Napoleón, the Groggia gardens, the Papadopoli gardens, the Giardini ex Reali, the Savorgnan gardens.
Remember that when you arrive in Venice, you are in Italy. In this transalpine country it is very difficult to not fall in love with the food. Of course, it is advisable to escape from the most tourist areas, such as the Plaza de San Marcos, if you do not want to pay for a pizza as if you had ingested the full menu of a five-star hotel.
Veneta cuisine is traditional, simple and based on the products offered by the lagoon: fish, vegetables and meat. But, to these local products, an oriental influence is attached to the use of spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper …) and the great variety of rices.
However, the fact that you should not eat at the premises adjacent to St. Mark’s Square does not prevent you from visiting it. At the moment, in Venice they do not charge to breathe or admire art. And this is one of the most beautiful places in the whole world. An impressive area that everyone should visit once in a lifetime at least. St. Mark’s Basilica is the most important religious temple in Venice. The basilica is located in St. Mark’s Square, which has always been the center of public and religious life in the city.
Inside the Basilica the dominant color is gold. The mosaics of the Ascension dome (the main dome) date from the early 13th century and represent scenes from the New Testament. The mosaics of the atrium were made in glass tiles and gold leaf and detail scenes from the Old Testament.
Underneath the altar, supported by four columns of alabaster and marble, rests the body of St. Mark.
The Doge’s Palace is also much worth the visit. Once the rulers of Venice employed art and architecture to represent the power and wealth they were holding and the Doge’s Palace is the greatest example of this intention. Primarily it served as a private residence for the doge and as a place where the most important political decisions were made and carried out.
Up until now the palace retained the importance and symbolical meaning for the city and people living here, only that nowadays it has become a place that can be visited and admired by many and not only by a few chosen ones. Visit also the halls of the body of government and justice, private rooms of the doges, and even get a glimpse of the prison cells and the famous Bridge of Sighs.
In addition, a wonderful attraction of Venice is the sea. While it is true that it is popularly known for its canals, it is also a city surrounded by sea and must be traveled to get to the city and to leave. Already when you approach and see the silhouette of the town surrounded by water is a beautiful picture.
To get a better insight of the Venetian culture visit Murano island that ever since all around the world is known for its glass production – worth-seeing mastery of blowing and shaping the glass that has a long history as the island itself.
One more reason, is its impressive palaces, churches and basilicas. Everything in the city is beautiful, but the enormous amount of places destined for the noble and the wealthy have made today the geography of the city of the canals does not have a single meter without enjoying a unique corner full of history and magnificence.
Besides the previously mentioned Doge Palace, you must not miss Basilica of Santi Giovanni and Paolo: two-part basilica is also known as San Zanipolo. It is a wonderful example of Gothic style that also has very specific features typical only for the city of Venice. It is dedicated to saints John and Paul and built by the Dominican order between 1246 and 1430, the church held an important position in the history of Venetian Republic as a burial place for the most important noblemen and Doges. In other words, it is Venice’s Pantheon.
As an example of church, Santa Maria Dei Miracoli is located not far away from the San Mark’s Square, in a small square that was named after the saint. The entire exterior and interior is decorated with various types of marble that differ in colors and textures. The simplicity of the decoration, yet the preciousness of the material is wonderful example of exquisite taste of the Italian Renaissance architects.
Also, it is clear that one of the biggest attractions of the city of canals is its carnival. Among the most famous worldwide, it stands out for its elegance and stately atmosphere. In addition, the masks that many of the participants wear are authentic artistic jewels. Forget about this celebration in its strict sense and get ready to enjoy the most distinguished art on the planet.
It is clear that visiting Venice is one of the most beautiful experiences that every traveler should try at least once in a lifetime. Take off all the preconceived ideas you have and approach this unique town in the world to taste culture, art, gastronomy and beauty in equal parts.
Carmen Caballero is Founder of Exotik Traveler. Exotik Traveler is a luxury travel design and consultancy firm which creates unique experiences for luxury travelers, tailored to their needs.