Fascinating and charming sights and sounds await those who travel to Italy to visit the lagoon-surrounded sanctuary of Venice. Although the heavy tourist traffic is being pinpointed as one of the causes of the city’s decay, Venice remains to hold its charm and beauty for local and international visitors to enjoy. If you only have a few days for your Venetian vacation, here are 5 reasons to make it one of your best vacations ever:
1. Romantic gondola rides – Venice is surrounded by water and aside from walking, the only other way to get around is through the water buses (vaporetto) and the water taxis. The more classical and romantic way to travel through Venice’s canals and waterways is through a gondola. A gondola ride will take you on scenic routes. Those who are on a budget should remember that gondola rides cost a whole lot more than vaporetto rides.
2. Exciting festivals and carnivals – Among the world’s most colourful festivals are held in Venice. As a major hub of international conferences and festival, Venice is host to events like the Venice Biennale, the Carnival of Venice, the Festa del Redentore, and the Venice International Film Festival. The city will surely be packed with international tourists during times when these festivals and carnivals are held but the experience is well worth enduring the crowded venues.
3. The intricate art of glass blowing – A visit to Venice will not be complete without making a visit to one of the Murano glass makers either in Venice or in the nearby island of Murano. The intricate details of Murano glassware have made these products Venice’s most popular export. Make sure that you allocate some of your vacation budget to take home a Murano glass bowl or dish…or earrings and pendants!
4. Palate pleasing seafood, wine, and gelato – No trip to a foreign land will be complete without sampling the food and beverages the local cuisine is notable for. Seafood dominates Venetian cuisine complemented by rice and other greens from nearby islands. Must try are the sarde in soar, the fegato alla veneziana, the cicchetti and the bisato complemented by prosecco. If you’re in a hurry you can always have what Italy is famous for; pizza and pasta or the more convenient tramezzini with your choice of spread and fillings.
5. Interesting discoveries while getting lost – Another great inexpensive way to explore Venice is to walk through the city and, as the locals jest, get lost. Search for the Piazza San Marco through an unknown trail… Walking through the alleyways will reveal architectural beauties and quaint places of interest tucked into the cityscape. Make sure to check the tourist board for information about the acqua alta or the high tide predictions for the day. Some places can get flooded during acqua alta but these places usually have elevated blocks to serve as pedestrian walkways during floodings.
It is best to visit Venice when you have more than just a couple of days on your hands. Spend about a week to leisurely explore the boroughs of Venice and all their interesting offerings.