Hello Venice and helllooooo Irene! What a lovely gesture our AirBNB host left for us when we arrived in Venice via train. She has a lovely apartment that we enjoyed while exploring Venice. I still remember the excitement when we arrived, VENICE!
It was all surreal, like a fantasy dream that lasted forever, or at least in our case, four days. How did this trip start anyway? Two years previously I read a book, Europe Through the Back Door and became a Ricknik. I recruited my darling daughter in my crazy plan, not surprising given that we have been having crazy adventures together since she could walk.
This 3 week adventure actually starts in Paris before getting on an overnight train to Venice. The travel continues to Florence, Pisa, Colle di val Elsa, La Cinque Terra and ending in Milan. Part two of Italy Travel Journal picks up in Florence so be sure to stay tuned for that one. For now, Venice.
The beauty of this once old world trading empire is unique, heavily influenced by Byzantine, Renaissance, Baroque and Ottoman architecture. This mishmash of beautiful buildings in elegant decay delights both visitors and the natives. Things to do include eating, visiting museums, eating, people watching, riding vaporettos across the canals, visiting nearby islands and eating. Venice is a city that rewards those who can slow down and take it all in.
The Bridge of Sighs is an enclosed bridge made of limestone. Built in 1600, it connects the interrogation room at Doges Palace to the prison, giving unfortunate inmates one last view of Venice through its barred windows.
St. Marks Square and Doges Palace is a must see for everyone. The architecture is jaw-dropping. When you get tired of walking around the square, rest at Café Florian, the oldest, continuously running café since 1720. The café inside and out is spectacular. Sit outside and people watch but do go inside and enjoy the old trim and mirrors from bygone days.
The Libreria Acqua Alta is an enchanting nook close to St. Marks Square. It is complete with new & old books, posters, post cards and shop cats. Furniture is made out of old books as well as a staircase. This back alley shop enchants and delights, a must see during your stay.
For a side trip, visit one of the neighboring islands such as Murano, known for glass blowing or Burano, known for lace making. There is also a lace making museum on Burano and colorful houses marking its striking neighborhoods. A short boat ride away and you are in another world.
Information on visiting Venice
Visit the Lonely Planets page on Venice for interesting and helpful information on this amazing city.
For interesting read on an ex-pat living in Venice, check out Karens blog, The Venice Experience.
For accommodations, visit AirBNB and perhaps stay in Irene’s apartment.
Points of Interest
St. Mark’s Square Venice’s grand main square.
St. Mark’s Basilica Cathedral with mosaics, saint’s bones, treasury, museum, and viewpoint of square.
Doge’s Palace Art-splashed palace of former rulers, with prison accessible through Bridge of Sighs.
Rialto Bridge Distinctive bridge spanning the Grand Canal, with a market nearby.
Correr Museum Venetian history and art.
Accademia Venice’s top art museum.
Peggy Guggenheim Collection An eclectic and popular display of 20th-century art.
Frari Church Franciscan church featuring Renaissance masters.
Scuola San Rocco “Tintoretto’s Sistine Chapel.”
Campanile Dramatic bell tower on St. Mark’s Square with elevator to the top.
Bridge of Sighs Famous enclosed bridge, part of Doge’s Palace, near St. Mark’s Square.
Ca’ Rezzonico Posh Grand Canal palazzo with 18th-century Venetian art.
Punta della Dogana A museum of contemporary art.
Church of San Zaccaria The final resting place of St. Zechariah, plus a Bellini altarpiece and an eerie crypt.