I’ve been there several times. And although it’s sinking, parking is too expensive, the facades of the houses and bridges in centre are falling apart, there are lot’s of non Italian false goods street sellers running away when they spot the carabiniere and sooooo many pigeons at the St Marco square (not very hygienic), I love it and I will go back to it when ever opportunity occurs.
Venice is so famous that everybody has been there at least once in a life time or plans to go. It is really the place worth visiting. It is so unique that other places with canals and bridges are usually called ‘little Venice’ or ‘Venice of the north’ like Amsterdam or Hamburg or Stockholm or Vrboska, Island Hvar.
There is a part of Venice made as a replica in Las Vegas, USA as a part of the hotel on the famous 4 miles long boulevard called The Strip with all other significant marks of the cities like Paris, New York, Monte Carlo or even Egypt. The replica is so good that if the water in the Las Vegas Venetian lagoon wasn’t so blue I would believe that I was in Venice, Italy.
The name derives from the 10th century BC from the “Veneti” tribe who were living there at the time but the greatest glory and development Venice has got as the capitol of Republic of Venice from the 13th through the 17th century. The Venice has been the international financial centre which helped the city to grow and expand and to demonstrate the wealth through architecture, art, fashion, music and events. The still most popular are The Venetian Carnival, The Venetian Film Festival, The Venice Biennale etc.
When something is beautiful it is that beautiful that the entire world is admiring it. Venice belongs to UNESCO cultural heritage, of course.
The whole city was built on an archipelago of 117 islands that are formed by canals in a shallow lagoon. Buildings are made in a rich Gothic style but with influence of Byzantine and Ottoman styles that are visible in colours of the facades. Few Renaissance and Baroque buildings exist too.
Bridges are a story for itself. Ponte dei Sospiri (Sighs Bridge), Ponte della Libertà (Liberty Bridge), Ponte Rialto (Rialto Bridge), Ponte dell’Academia (The Academy Bridge), Ponte della Costituzione (The Constitution Bridge) and many others, in total 409 are connecting opposite sides of the canals. Canals in Venice are actually streets. And you go around on foot or by gondolas or small motor boats or vaporetto, small steam boat serving as a taxi. It is considered Europe’s largest urban car-free area.
Venice is the museum itself, so to go there you need to take time to explore all the important things that are to see and to feel.
Listening to Vivaldi sitting in a café at St Marco’s square or visiting Lido during the Film Festival and bumping into a star or two,
putting an extravagant mask or a hat in February when all the world is a stage and the masks rule,
shopping for a Murano glass is at least one whole day routine and could not be neglected,
climbing the St Marco tower to see the city and the lagoon from the top
and getting a romantic drive in a gondola along the canals with ‘O sole mio’ live interpretation of a gondola driver are the musts in Venice for me.