Venice is a city described by author Thomas Mann as “half fairy tale, half tourist trap.” Why have many bypass the vibrancy of Venice for the grandeur of Rome or the fabled beauty of Florence?
Here is a city that is strategically improbable; graciously sprawling out on the water, almost daring the seas to swallow it whole. It feels like one of the few remaining remnants of the old world, preserved for modern man.
Venice is incomparable to anywhere else. Even within Italy, Venetians are outside of the grasp of the everyday Italian.
Once you arrive, how do you approach this maze? The best way to explore Venice is to know where you are coming from, and get lost. Allow the city to consume you.
Venice is the city of masked strangers, random and never repeated encounters, grand churches and winding corridors. It’s a city in decay, that has reached the pinnacle of its success and now lies at the mercy of the tide; more beautiful and evocative than many of our modern cities, it’s a claustrophobic city that throws you into relief by plunging you into a grand square at any moment, like coming up for air in a volatile sea.
Here is what you should do there:
1. Gondola Ride
If thoughts of Venice don’t conjure visuals of gondoliers in nautical shirts serenading you as you breeze across the waters, there is something wrong with you.
2. The Lido
If you’ve read ‘Death in Venice’, you should see the Lido. Serene and sultry, this is the beach where Visconti gave his life over to his search for living art in its embodiment of Tadzio, the Polish boy with whom he becomes obsessed.
3. Eat Gelato
A trip to Italy isn’t complete without sampling Italian gelato.
4. The Islands
The Islands of Murano (known for glass making), Burano (renowned for its colours), Torcello (famous for its ruins) and San Michele (the graveyard island) are easy to visit in one day.
5. San Marco Square
San Marco square is the place most people flock to in a hurry if they don’t have time to explore elsewhere. It contains the best and the most brilliant of what Venice has to offer.
6. Take a Day Trip
Romeo and Juliet’s hometown Verona is not far by train but there are many other places to explore.
7. Buy a Mask
Venice is home to some of the most expertly creatively crafted masks you’ll ever see. The masked balls were an opportunity for the rich, poor, married, and single to mingle undetected.
8. Wine by The Canal
It’s relaxing to sit beside the canal taking in the sights, sounds, and beauty with a bottle of wine.
9. Play Hide and Seek
This is a unique way of discovering the city and indulging in some harmless childhood fun.
10. People Watch
Venice is the perfect place to people watch. Everyone is milling about by the canal or in and out of the shops and all of them seems to be faintly in a trance.
By Kayleigh Parker