Venice, Italy - a complete guide to the city on the water
1. Venice - the city built on the water
Venice is a city on the water. The majority of buildings or streets are separated from each other by numerous, narrow canals. In total, there are more than 177 canals in Venice. That's what makes the city the pearl of Europe. Venice and its lagoon were added to the list of UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1987. Nowadays, it's one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
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2. Bridges, bridges everywhere
If Venice is the city that was built on the water, it seems to be quite natural that there are many bridges. According to many sources, we can find more than 450 bridges across the city. What’s even more surprising, is the variety of their style or color. Walking down the streets, you can notice many different bridges with various shapes, colors, lengths or widths. The oldest bridge in Venice is called Ponte di Rialto.
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3. Gondolas, boats, ships and more
Another fact strongly related to the city on the water is the variety of water transport. First of all, Venice is known all over the world as the gondola capital. It was the water tram that was the main means of urban transport in the past, and that's the reason why the profession of gondolier was very respectful that time.
Currently, the gondola plays a significant role as a tourist attraction. Probably many of us still remember some movie themes with romantic lovers in a Venetian gondola. Walking the streets of the city, you can quickly notice similar scenes here and there. The gondolas are almost everywhere, usually filled with couples or groups of tourists. Romantic or not, the Venetian gondola has become one of the main hallmarks of the city for many people.
4. Long walks through the narrow streets
The streets of Venice are like long, narrow tunnels. The buildings were built very close to each other, and as a result, sometimes there is almost no sunlight on the pavements.
I love walking among low buildings, exploring new routes and places, wandering to find something unexpected again. Small bars, pubs, and restaurants, green squares at the end of winding alleyways, bridges and canals located far away from the main points of the city - these are the places worth to discover in Venice. Quiet, calm squares, with no crowds, with the authentic Italian cuisine, with the laundry hidden between the buildings and the sounds of lively conversations of local people. There are no many places like that in the historical center of the city, but it's worth to discover them, to get to know the authentic face of Venice.
5. Italian architecture
For the first time, I saw Venice from the deck of the ship and the view was truly amazing. The surrounding area, colorful architecture, decorated shutters, greenery on the rooftops and attics - this atmosphere makes an amazing impression and seems to eagerly invite each visitor to go further into the city. Some of the most famous architects of the city were, among others, Andrea Palladio and Giorgio Massari.
The beauty of this city is appreciated not only by the locals and visitors but also by movie directors. Venice was chosen as the background for many popular films - e.g. Casino Royal (2006) with a famous actor Daniel Craig or the Tourist (2010) with Johnny Deep.
6. Cradle of culture and art
Venice is a cradle of culture and art in Europe. Venice became the center of Italian opera in the seventeenth century. Among the must-see cultural places in this city are palaces, churches, museums or handicraft shops. You can find there many pieces of art created by world-famous artists, such as Titian, Giorgione, and Giovanni Bellini.
The main point of Venice is the Piazza San Marco. On this huge square, there are numerous cafes and restaurants. Always filled with pigeons, it's the ideal spot to start a tour through the main cultural and historical points of Venice. Around this square, there can be found some of the most important monuments, such as Basilica di San Marco or Palazzo Ducale.
What are your favorite places in Venice, Italy?