Of all the cities in Italy, Venice is certainly the one that creates the most extreme opinions. Its certainly a place that lives up to all pre-conceived images. Canals really do replace roads, boats take the place of cars and everything floats along nicely. However, there is very much the impression that the city really only exists for tourism and its hard not to shake the view that its a kind of cultural themepark. It is a must see, and everyday an unplanned walk will take you into new corners of the city which show that it has much more to offer than only the canal and the area of St Maro's aquare.
5 things not to misss :
1 Take a Gondola Ride -
The Venice experience. There
are several departure points for Gondola rides, scattered around the city
centre. There are a great many in operation, all propelled by a local, its
one of the conditions of the license that only those resident in Venice can
have a gondola. Prices are not set in stone and its absolutely worth haggling,
and finding someone that speaks at least a little English will add to the
2 Piazza San Marco -
The majestic Piazza in addition
to the eponymous Basillica is home to to the Ducal Palace, official home to
the Dogi dynasty. Also the chance to endulge in some of the most expensive
bars in Italy.
3 Guggenheim Collection -
Home of Peggy Guggenheim
until her death in 1979, now shows a her private collection. Mostly modernist
works although an eclectic choice.
4 Bridge of Sighs -
One of the liveliest areas of
the city. A real haven for tourists, mostly foreign, there is a strange mix
of fresh fruit, souvenirs, fish and cheese.
5 Lido -
Venice's beach resort and summer home to
the Casino where the rich rub shoulders with the not so wealthy in search
of the elusive lucky numbers.