Hi, it’s me Marimonda!
Today, I’d like to introduce you Venice, a magical floating city.
Located in the northern part of Italy, Venice used to be an independent Venetian Republic and was a trade center thanks to its strong naval and geographic advantages. With its unique feature, Venice and its lagoon were chosen as an Unesco World Heritage Site in 1987 and beloved from many movies and literatures. Consists of 118 islands separated by canals, the islands are linked by over 400 bridges(wikipedia). Venice also has many nicknames such as a city of water, a city of masks(carnival in Feb.), a city of bridges, etc. Neighboring islands are also famous such as Murano for its glass art and Burano for its colorful houses and laces.
The city seems not tourist friendly, but it’s always full of visitors. For example, the city maps are provided for free to promote its tourism in the city tourist information center. However, in Venice you should pay €3 to get a city map. The Vaporetto (public water bus) is ridiculously expensive (€7.5 for one ticket, valid for 75 mins) and there are two platforms at the Vaporetto stop; one for residents and the other for visitors. All these measures don’t seem work well so far. To see its beautiful landscape, more and more tourists from all around the world visit Venice and its lagoon including me. The city has decided to charge tourist tax for visitors who don’t stay in any kind of official accommodation inside city from € 3 ~ 10 depending on the influx of tourists from 1st Jan. 2020. Hopefully, the measure works well and the city is less crowded since then.
When you arrive to Venice by train, the first sight you would see in front of the station would be this. San Simone Piccolo with a green dome and gondolas floating on the canal. The view is breathtaking and I felt like as if I were in a movie scene. Leaving behind its hot and humid weather, the city keep its slow but active mood. The mixture of modern and traditional public transport made the city more distinctive and kept my eyes on them. I visited Venice 15 years ago and this was the second time. But the city hasn’t changed much (except more tourists and much higher price) from my memory. It was like I went back to the past.
Rialto bridge may be one of the most popular spots in Venice. It used to be a market place such as meat and leather products. Seeing narrowly packed stores on the bridge, <The Merchant of Venice> by William Shakespeare was popped up my head. As one of the oldest bridges in Venice, Rialto was collapsed many times in the past. Made out of marble, the white bridge would capture your eyes from far distance. It would be nice to take some time to walk around the bridge and stay there for a while looking at the grand canal. But, there’re so many tourists on the bridge, so if you don’t stay at the edge of the bridge you would be forced to move by the surging crowd.
The Bridge of Sighs
Another famous bridge in Venice is the Bridge of Sighs. Connecting the prison to interrogation in the palace, the bridge earned its name from sighs of prisoners. It is said that crossing the bridge, the prisoners could see the scenery of Venice for the last time.
San Marco Plaza
San Marco Plaza is the biggest plaza in Venice. It’s also known for not only for people but also pigeons. Around the plaza, you can find important buildings in Venice such as St. Mark’s Basilica (free entrance, but some extra fees to see exclusive exhibitions, towers, etc.). Like other basilicas, you’re not allowed to enter with sleeveless top or shorts. At the entrance of Basilica you can buy something to cover for € 2.
Gondolas are one of the representative features of Venice. The qualification to be a gondola driver is quite high. To obtain the license, they must have knowledges on history and geography of Venice, speak four languages, and be venetians. The color of the gondola and clothings that they wear is strictly regulated by venetian government. The rate is very high 80 euros for a 20~25 mins tour. It would be good if you can find someone to share the gondola to down the price.
Hope you enjoy the visit to Venice with Marimonda. See you soon 🙂