Venice is the most romantic corner of Europe, located on the northern coast of the Adriatic Sea in Italy. The majestic architecture, the unique atmosphere of freedom and lightness, the lively labyrinths of the streets – all this creates a unique ensemble that you definitely need to see, hear, feel. Most of the “city on the water” is located on the islands in the Venetian lagoon, which are interconnected by a huge number of bridges. The entire historical center of Venice is included in the UNESCO cultural heritage list, and this is not surprising, because examples of architecture of the XIV-XVI centuries have been preserved here.
- Venice old town
- Canal Streets
- Financial nuances
- From Venice with gifts
- Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art
- Single ticket
Venice got its name from the name of the group of tribes that in ancient times inhabited this territory. Venets assimilated over time, and now their descendants can be seen on the local streets.
Features of the location of the city determined the specifics of its climate. Mild winters rarely indulge in snowfalls and frosts, and the average temperature is around +5 C °. It is quite hot in summer: the air warms up to +25 – 27 C °. Arriving in Venice, you should be prepared for high humidity and high rainfall. The best time to visit the “city on the water” are May and June. It’s not very hot here during these months, and at the same time, the air has warmed up enough to make walking comfortable.
From novels, short stories and anecdotes, from photographs, paintings and films, we already have our own idea of Venice: it is a star among other cities in the world, sparkling with incomparable brilliance. It seems that everything here has already been photographed and described a thousandfold, and yet this city still strikes on the spot: despite the crowds of tourists, Venice appears before us as beautiful as we imagined it to be.
Today the city is an open-air architectural museum. The International Biennale of Contemporary Art, film and music festivals, drama and opera houses, including the newly opened La Fenice Theater, constantly support the outstanding cultural achievements of Venice.
An indispensable component of the urban myth was flooding threatening the city. The houses here are built on stilts, which are sinking deeper and deeper into the marshy soil every year, and exhaust fumes damage the masonry of houses. An even greater danger is threatened by rising sea levels and increased floods.
History of Venice
421: Approximate date of foundation of the city by Padua refugees fleeing the Goths.828/829: The relics of one of the evangelists, St. Mark, were delivered from Alexandria to Venice. The Basilica of San Marco was built between 830 and 1094.1309-1442: The Doge’s Palace, the most magnificent public building in the city, was built.1453: Venice occupies a leading position among the Italian city-states. It controls almost all trade with the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.May 12, 1797: Napoleon conquers Venice. Deposed last doge, Lodoviko Manin.1902: Temple of San Marco collapsed. It was restored in 1903-1912.1987: Venice is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Venice old town
The old city bears the imprint of past centuries. The ancient architecture, the tranquility of the canals, the crowds of people who are always present in the trading cities – all this takes travelers several centuries ago. The fact that in the courtyard of the 21st century is reminded only of modern signs and gadgets in the hands of passers-by.
In the historical center of Venice, the main attractions that are definitely worth seeing are concentrated. You need to start exploring the city from St. Mark’s Square. She is famous first of all for her pigeons, who feel like real owners here.
Along the perimeter of the square are objects that are also worthy of attention.Doge’s Palace is a beautiful Gothic building, which has changed its purpose several times in the course of history. So, it was the residence of local rulers, later there were meetings of the Senate and hearings of the Supreme Court of the republic. Powerful doges once greeted their subordinates from its balconies, where you can now take a walk during the tour.
With the neighboring building, where the prison was once located, the palace is connected by one of Venice’s most recognizable crossings – the Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri). Its name has nothing to do with romantic stories – prisoners passed by it, who were no longer destined to see this beautiful city. Once here, the condemned Casanova looked at the Grand Canal.
St. Mark’s Cathedral is the heart of Venice, a temple that is rightfully considered its hallmark. Built back in the 9th century, it still convenes believers for Mass. It attracts attention not only with amazing frescoes and art objects dating from the 9th-15th centuries AD, but also with the fact that the relics of St. Mark, the holy martyr Isidore, as well as the icon of the Mother of God Nicopea are located here.
The columns of Saints Mark and Theodore are one of the most recognizable symbols of the square. They are decorated with magnificent statues. On the column of St. Mark flaunts a bronze winged lion. It was created back in the 5th century BC. and transported to Venice by the Crusades. On the column of St. Theodore is a sculptural group: the patron saint of Venice, at whose feet a tamed crocodile is stretched.
Canal Streets in Venice
Due to the particular location of the city, there are simply no roads in it. Narrow streets paved with stone wind between the houses, but for traveling long distances water arteries are used. The most famous of them is the Grand Canal, dividing Venice into two parts. Along it are the most beautiful buildings of the city, so a boat trip will not leave anyone indifferent. It is best to go sailing in the evening at sunset: soft light favorably emphasizes the features of architecture.
There are three modes of transport on which you can travel along the canals. The most famous are the water buses, which in Venice are called “vaporetto”. Tourists are advised to buy a travel card that applies to all flights. River taxis are somewhat more expensive, but in this case you will not have to put up with a crowd of tourists, and the speed of movement will be much higher. The last, most luxurious option is a gondola. They are rented for a certain time, an hour of travel will cost about 80-100 euros, depending on the time of day.
The nightly charm of the city
After sunset, when the heat subsides and most tourists go to their hotels, Venice seems to be reborn. The radiance of the lights that are reflected in the waters of the canals creates a festive atmosphere. This impression is only amplified due to the fact that music literally sounds everywhere: from the open doors of cafes and restaurants, clubs. For those who are looking for a place to dance to incendiary rhythms until the morning, the city offers not so many entertainment options, most of which are far from the center. First of all, this is Piccolo Mondo, located on the other side of the Grand Canal from St. Mark’s Square. Jazz lovers will appreciate the cozy atmosphere of the Bacaro Jazz Club. The institution is open until 2 in the morning. Here you can relax comfortably, dance to live music.
Fans of romantic walks should definitely go on a trip to the night city. All the sights that we managed to see during the day will appear in a new light. Until late at night, restaurants near the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) orchestras perform classical and contemporary music.
Italy, having joined the EU, switched to a single European currency. You can change money at exchange offices, which are located at almost every step. In Venice, the tourism business is well developed, so there will be no problems with the purchase of the euro for any other European currency.
Arriving here, it is advisable to stock up some cash. The fact is that most souvenir shops, shops with sweets, hostels do not accept credit cards. Pay with VISA and MasterCard will succeed in large institutions and organizations, including for the purchase of train tickets.For purchases made in Venice to be profitable, you must not forget to bargain. Thus, you can reduce the price of any product by almost a third. Of course, this is only relevant in small shops.
From Venice with gifts
Arriving in Venice, it is difficult to resist, so as not to buy a variety of souvenirs and memorable little things with the image of the main attractions. Shops and shops with similar goods are at almost every step, and a huge assortment will confuse even the most experienced tourists.
One of the required items on the shopping list is the Venetian mask. It is an invariable attribute of the carnival, thanks to which the city is famous all over the world. Local craftsmen make such accessories from leather, papier-mâché, ceramics, porcelain and even glass. In addition to traditional painting, colorful feathers, rhinestones and sequins can serve as decorations. Here you can find images of the legendary Venetian Lady or the awesome Doctor of the Plague. There are also masks of Harlequin, Pierrot and many other theatrical characters.
The price of products directly depends on their size and the materials from which they are made. For example, a small papier-mâché mask can be bought for 10 euros, but handmade leather goods can be valued at tens of thousands.
Murano glass is a visiting card of Venice. They make jewelry, souvenirs, dishes, home decoration, and much more. Products are striking in their rich colors and bizarre designs created by glassblowers. The purchase of such souvenirs is best combined with a trip to the island of Murano. Here you can see firsthand the process of creating these fragile masterpieces. After a fascinating tour, you should look into one of the many shops at private workshops. Prices here are slightly lower than in the historic city center, and the range is richer. Girls will definitely like jewelry sets made of colorful glass beads, exquisite chandeliers and vases, and men will be able to purchase ashtrays or watches.
Another popular gift option from Venice is Burana lace. It is best to buy it in specialized stores, because the only way you can be sure of the high quality of the product, and the danger of acquiring a fake is reduced to zero. Those who are interested in the process of creating lace should go to the island of Burano and visit the workshop. There literally before your eyes will be woven the finest openwork canvas, striking the beauty of the patterns.
Fans of gastronomic discoveries must buy black pasta. Pasta is painted in a characteristic color using cuttlefish ink.
As an additive, you can buy a bottle or two of white Prosecco sparkling wine, which was also invented in Venice. At the same time, if the return trip is planned on an airplane, you should take care of the reliable packaging of the drink so that the bottle is not damaged.
Holidays in Venice
- February 6: Regatta delle Befans, race on the Lido.
- February-March: carnival.
- April 25th: Festa di San Marco, gondolier regatta on the Canal Grande.
- Sunday after the day of the Ascension of the Lord (celebrated on the 40th day after Easter): Festa della Sensa, celebration of the engagement of the Doge and the sea.
- Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art
- If you are interested in contemporary art, then you should plan a trip to Venice from June to October. Every two odd years, the city on the lagoon turns into an “art space.” Official holiday website: www.labiennale.org.
Single ticket in Venice
A single ticket (from 21.50 euros, www.venicecard.it) can be purchased for one, three or seven days. It gives the opportunity to use public transport, and also provides free access to state museums and the most important churches.