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Venice - fairy tale city | Print |  E-mail
Written by Antonio Violante   
Wednesday, 12 October 2011 02:19

Venice - a fairy tale city

Picture of Venice Italy taken from the Rialto BridgeVenice, Italy is considered one of the most important and one of the favorite tourist destinations in the world.  In Venice, one can go back in time and enjoy a place of magical beauty.  It is said that seeing this old city makes one believe in fairy tales, what with its well-preserved palaces and basilicas, its collection of amazingly beautiful and uncorrupted artworks from world-renowned Renaissance artists, and all other remnants of its wealth and prosperity.

Before visiting Venice, it is best if you read up on its wonderful history.  It would be overwhelming if you try to learn about its rich and glorious past while taking on the many spectacular sites.  Knowing how Venice played an important role during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period, especially in terms of art, music, architecture, engineering, and even commerce, you will surely appreciate even more the things that your eyes could see.

Getting To and Around Venice

Venice consists of 117 bodies of land that are connected by hundreds of staired stone footbridges over many canals in a shallow lagoon.  The Grand Canal is like the city’s main street and cuts through its center.  Venice is considered to be Europe's largest car-free urban area, with these canals serving the function of roads and with every form of transport being either on water or on foot.

The best way to get to Venice is by train at the Santa Lucia Train Station, which is on the northwestern edge.  The parking garages and the bus terminal are across the Grand Canal in Piazzale Roma.  Venice also has a small airport – the Marco Polo airport – from which tourists can take a boat or bus.  Tourists from Greece and Dubrovnik can also take ferries to Venice and back.

The city’s main mode of public transport are water buses called the vaporetti that pass through the principal waterways.  There are also water taxis and romantic gondolas, which are more expensive.  The footpaths on land are very narrow and make it impossible for anything with wheels to pass through.

See the Majestic Sites in Venice!

Venice possesses a rich and diverse architectural history.  There are majestic Gothic-style buildings, with Byzantine and Arab influences.  Famous examples of this Venetian Gothic style are the Ca' d'Oro and the Doge's Palace.  The city is also home to exquisite Baroque and Renaissance structures, including the Ca' Rezzonico and the Ca' Pesaro.

Aside from these already mentioned, a visit to other museums in Venice is a must.  You can check out the Correr Museum, La Fenice Theater, Jewish Ghetto of Venice, the Museo Ebraico, Mocenigo Palace, The Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Scuola grande di San Rocco, Galleria dell’Accademia di Venezia, the Glass Museum, Casa di Carlo Goldoni, and the Museo del Merletto.

Get your fill of churches in Venice by visiting Saint Mark’s Basilica (one of Italy's four most beautiful churches), San Giovanni e Paolo, Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, and Santa Maria dei Miracoli.  While Saint Mark’s is free, the other churches charge an entry fee, so if you plan to visit three or more of these, it is best to secure a church pass ahead of time.

You also shouldn’t pass up the Rialto Bridge on San Polo, which is the smallest sestiere, and the Rialto market, which is great for shoppers. To the east is a group of small shops and restaurants, and to the west you can find the Rialto farmers' market.  You may also go to Zattere, that is after a long walk along the Giudecca canal.  While taking the walk, you can stop by the Squero across the canal very near the San Trovaso Church and see how a gondola is made.

Venetian Specialties

Venice is famous for its Venetian glass, especially the one from the island of Murano.  If you want little souvenirs of your visit to Venice, you can get carnival masks, which symbolize the city’s Carnevale celebration held 40 days before Easter.  This is one of Italy’s most colorful and lively festivals.  The city is also famous for its marbled paper, and you might also find some good lace, too.

If your travels take you to Italy, you should definitely see one of the most beautiful and unique places on earth - Venice, Italy!


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