One of the world’s most artistic and architectural dreams is the Italian city of Venice. There is nowhere in the world that invokes the grandeur of human achievement and beauty than this magnificent city.
Venice is a city built on water. Instead of taxis driving you around busy streets, gondolas transport you by boat. Water tours are one way to explore the romance and beauty of the city, but exploring by foot hand in hand with your lover through the little narrow alleyways (known as calli) certainly evokes a romantic atmosphere.
But this gorgeous little piece of Italy is a place where you will find much more than beauty and romance. History sweeps down each street and along the water’s surface like a fog; the Romans saw the appeal of the town but Venice came into its glory around the 17th and 18th centuries when it became a haven for musicians from all across Europe.
Venice is a treasure chest of things to do and attractions to visit. The first place for many tourists to see is the Grand Canal palaces, especially the famous 1487 Ca’ Dario. Claude Monet captured its striking beauty over the water in one of his paintings but it is its reputation that captures the imagination. Including its original owner, Giovanni Dario, a high percentage of its possessors have either become seriously ill, committed suicide or have met suspicious or mysterious ends. Today it is still unsold but visitors are safe enough exploring its grounds.
On the same island is the outstanding San Giorgio Maggiore. This beautiful palace was built during 1565 – 1580. At the time its construction was caused quite an uproar but its completion influenced many of the buildings commissioned later on. Inside, the building is just as beautiful as the outside; tall imposing columns compliment the beautiful artwork and creating an atmosphere of strength and power.
To gain a true sense of the history a visit to the Museo di Torcello is in order. This museum is located in the 13th-century Palazzo del Consiglio and houses artifacts spanning its entire history. One of the highlights here is the Trono d’Atilla. This unimposing chair was said to be the throne of Atilla the Hun but no-one is certain as to whether this is actually true or not.
As Venice is a water city its maritime importance cannot be denied. The Museo Storico Navale is a museum devoted to the city’s maritime history. Four floors and dozens of rooms house numerous weapons, boats, ships and other artefacts. One of the most popular relics here is the Scale Reale, the 19th century ceremonial boat used in 1866 to carry King Vittorio Emanuele to Piazza San Marco.
The Chiesa Di San Geremia is a rather unimposing 18th century church but it holds an important religious relic, the body of St Lucy (Santa Lucia). She is the saint of blind people but began her life as a wealthy young woman who died in Syracuse in 304CE. In 1204 Venetian sailors stole her body where it was laid to rest in another church before finally moving to San Geremia in the 19th century.
Restaurants can be found on every corner, each one of them a culinary delight and a feast for the eyes. The seafood is exceptionally exquisite but if you want to experience true tastebud heaven ask your chef what he would recommend and be in for a wonderful surprise.
Hotels in Venice can be a little more expensive than in other Italian cities but there are to be found no matter how many stars you go for. The Excelsior Venice has the most expensive price-tag but there are hostels and guesthouses to stay in if your budget is substantially less and still retaining that Venetian character.
Venice is a city of love; the gondoliers will sing as they transport lovers of all ages as they sail along the canals. But more than this, Venice is a city which will make you fall in love with her until the end of time.