My trip to the ‘Floating City’
As we pulled up into the entrance of Venice and made our way down the Grand Canal, the thought of ‘how has this place managed to exist after thousands of years’ overcame me. The buildings stand; surrounded by canals of water, small bridges connecting tourists to the different Piazzas, gondolas, water taxis and waterbuses being the only means of transport.
One can’t go to Venice without of course going to St Mark’s Square and getting the famous tourist photos. Affected by high tide, man-made bridges were put in place to guide tourists around the square and into the museums, but if you were brave you would buy a pair of bright orange plastic bag boots to enable you to traipse through the two-foot high puddles.
On the one sunny day that we were granted, we hopped on the ferry and visited the islands of Murano and Burano. We stopped at Murano first, known for its glass making; shops outlined the canals, displaying the most intricate and delicate Venetian glass sculptures and jewellery. After enjoying a Venetian Spritz in the sunshine, we jumped on the ferry and headed to Burano. Despite being famously known for its lace goods and its history of lacemaking and exporting, one of the main sights is the small, brightly painted houses. The rich colours make for a picturesque walk along the canals and a gorgeous view while you sit and eat a delicious bowl of seafood spaghetti filled with clams, mussels and scallops.
The food in Venice offers something for everyone. Whether you want a sit down meal or something on the go, Venice caters for all and doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think. A unique dining feature that I ended up loving throughout my time was bacari, which are Venetian wine bars. Small, hole in the wall bars that offered amazing local wine and food for a small price. For €2 you can treat yourself to a (very) small glass of wine and for a further €2 you can pick a Cicchetti which is a type of Italian tapas. Italians and tourists alike teemed out onto the alleys with a glass of wine and a slice of bread with amazing cold meats, cuttlefish cooked in its own ink, or raw fish with tomatoes.
Venice is the definition of ‘not just a pretty face’. Behind the Rialto Bridge, St Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace sits amazing churches, hidden restaurants and shops full of history and beauty.