Well, recently I happened to visit the unique city of Venice, in Italy. Unique because it is built on water! Like always, it was a last minute plan but then definitely worthwhile. Based on my experience, I thought to pen down a few of the things that I learnt.
There are 4 aspects that we always look for or atleast I tend to look for whenever I visit a new place – what is the best place to stay, best ways to roam around, unique cuisine to try out and what to shop for.
1. Where to Stay – Without a doubt, in the Venice city center. Literally, everything is at a throwaway distance from the city center. Be it San Marco square, St. Marks Church, Doge’s Palace, Rialto Bridge etc. But it is all very crowded at the same time. So, it makes perfect sense to stay in the vicinity so that you can roam around at will, take a break at your hotel and start moving around again. It is going to be a long walk though! Plus the evenings are great here, with many live music events being held in the city center. If you are staying on different islands, then it would not be that easy to move around plus the extra bucks you will have to spend on commute. You can stay at any hotel here. I found that more or less, all hotels look similar. But keep in mind, the rooms even in a 4 or a 5 star hotel are very small due to space constraints in the city. So, if you are a bigger group, plan accordingly. It was shocker for me as it looked like a dorm room even in a high end hotel.
2. Getting around – Best way is to buy a city pass online for the days you are staying here. This way you are saving on money and don’t have to worry about the commute as you can hop on or off at will. Venice is an archipelago of islands and as it is built on water, there is going to be a good amount of commute between different islands or to cross from one side to another, through boats. I had taken Alilaguna – a water boat. They connect to the airport as well and hence, worked for me. While, you are there, don’t forget the Gondala ride! These are quite costly but if you are a group of 5-6 or can tag along with other group then it’s definitely worth it.
3. What to eat – Pizza, Pasta, Tiramasu cake and Gelato ice cream. These are Italian favorites, which you can find on literally any corner of the road. Plus try some seafood, they have their own taste. Spirtz Champel and Aferi, is the local alcohol which is quite popular among Venetians. One is bitter sweet, other is sweet. No comments on the taste, but the drink looks classy!
4. What to shop for – Murano glass for souvenirs and anything made of leather – gloves, jackets, bags etc. Murano glass is handcrafted and hence, is very famous and quite beautiful. There is jewelery made of Murano glass as well! You can skip the leather if you are visiting other cities in Italy like Milan. Pure leather in Italy is quite something that most of us know. If u like quirky things, then face masks and dolls! Plenty that you can find in the city of Venice..
Lastly, relax and just enjoy the romance in the air – with yourself or with someone else! 😉