‘When a city of tourists becomes more to explore’
No doubt, Venice is one of the most touristic cities in Europe, but finding the magic is easy once you stay away from the main drags and walk further into an authentic experience. Walking through the maze-like streets, one hidden corner after another reveals itself to some of the most beautiful piazzas filled with arteries, clock towers, churches and little restaurants. It’s impossible not to notice the Venetian majestic presence that it holds between its tucked canals and gothic walls.
Venice is one of the most controversial and talked about cities that constantly gets mixed feedback. Being hesitate myself, I avoided Venice for nine years because I was afraid it would be too chaotic with a lost authenticity. However, spending a week in Venice proved me all wrong and the architecture and artistry of the city left me mesmerised. It may take a lifetime to uncover, so Venice is a place that should not be rushed. I’ve heard Venice is often described as dirty, touristy, overpriced and chaotic. I totally see where this perception comes from, cruise ship visitors ( about 30,000 tourists per day) roll in the middle of the day to spend a few hours exploring the main sights all cramped together in the small narrow streets. I can see how this leaves them frustrated, especially during high season in the middle of a hot summer day. My advice is: 1. Never come at high season 2. step away from the main sights if you wish to avoid lots of people 3. explore the city early morning and late evening when crowds thin substantially. Having stayed a week in Venice allowed us to explore the roots a little deeper and see the city wind down where the feeling is peaceful and calm upon the streets. Venice is large enough to avoid masses of people once you turn away from the most obvious paths. Of course, I would never come during prime summer time when there are flocks of people, early May, was the perfect choice for us! The Rialto bridge is completely chaotic along with San Marco square and the outer lanes that open up to the lagoon. If you wish to see San Marco square in all its glory, visit during sunrise when there are a few photographers and locals catching their morning coffees. Venice, Pricy? Yes, in comparison to many other Italian cities, but it is possible to explore the place on a budget if you research ahead. Restaurants vary in prices and the occasional service fee can be up to 50 euros depending on the restaurant. We spent a fair amount of money on traveling by boat, but equally you could take a water bus that costs peanuts in comparison.
With this being said, Venice deserves to be explored letting your eyes wander across the old facades, waterlogged corridors and lazy piazzas. Have a look at this Venice guide for a photogenic journey on all the slow and chic it has to offer.
Stop for seafood risotto and a chilled glass of white wine while people watching in a cozy square. Kids chase pigeons, gondola drivers siesta along the canal and dogs are out on day time strolls.
Pay attention to the details around you, the dome-shaped windows with Moorish influence where the glass is often made from bottle bottoms, the wrought iron handrails, the passageways that spill with flowers and vines. Venice is filled with fading colour and the blue-green water reflect of buildings harmonically.
Explore little shops that are tucked way in little corners built into beautiful gothic buildings. Ps. The antique here is stunning!
This church courtyard was possibly my favourite, it’s simply beautiful
A few restaurant options: