Venice is one of my favourite places on earth. I love it so much that I have been twice, and intend on going again this coming September. I refer to it as a theme park for adults and for me, it has the same magic theme parks had for me when I was a child. I just love it.
Even though Venice is not very big, there is so much to see in such a little space. I have yet to explore all of it, and I am certain that it would take me quite a few more visits before I can say I’ve done it all. From its museums, churches, attractions, events, shops and restaurants, it would take a whole season to experience it all.
One of the main reasons to visit Venice is to experience another time. When you arrive from the airport by bus, or arrive by train, the minute you walk out onto the sidewalk, you are in another world. On my first visit, I just could not believe my eyes. My first facebook post was “am I really here?”
Granted, Venice is very touristy, probably one of the most touristy destinations I have even been to, but it seems to work. We all want to take in this wonderful city and all of its gifts.
To this date, Venice wins my best coffee award. On my first visit, I discovered a little coffee shop called Marchini Time. At this point, this was my favourite world wide. On my second visit, I experienced Cafe Florian. This put my previous entry to number 2 as Florian was the clear winner.
We visited in September, which is the perfect time for me. The weather is still very good, and the lines to attractions are not as long. One tip when visiting Venice, check online for attractions, as they may sell tickets in advance. We were interested in St. Mark’s Basilica and found tickets online. Upon arriving, we waited outside maybe 5 minutes. It sort of felt like VIP access. Have a look online for others, bearing in mind that some attractions are free, which we discovered on a daily basis. Although remember, many religious attractions do not permit hats and/or shorts. Make sure you check these things ahead of time.
Gondola rides are very popular, of course, however prepare to have your photos taken by sidewalk patrons quite often. Even I took pictures of strangers. But gondola is not a pre-requisite. You have to pay through the nose for a fun boat ride. I prefer to get a 2 or 3 day pass for the Vaporetto which is the public transport in Venice. These are large passenger boats that circle the island, and islands around. Take the Vaporetto along the Grand Canal. Its a site to behold. You will love it.
Restaurants are in an abundance in Venice. But just because they are in such a romantic city does not mean they are all good. We were fortunate to have experienced great cuisine, but also got suckered in to some tourist traps. TripAdvisor is a good resource for restaurants, and its wise to do your research prior to leaving your accommodations.
All in all, Venice to me is like a dream. Step back into Shakespearean Italy, and enjoy what it has to offer. It’s a beautiful place to be, and I look forward to visiting again.