From New York to Paris, London to Madrid – there’s something special about being in the world’s most famous cities. There’s the hustle and bustle of people pushing past, the sound of cars and buses whizzing by, and the tall skyscrapers you have to break your neck to take a look at. That’s what we think of a famous city, right? Well, if you’re looking for something a little different, have 24 hours in Venice. And then, you’ll experience a city that’s like no other.
VENICE;THE CITY ON WATER
In the north of Italy, you’ll find Venice. It’s a city famous for beautiful architecture that blends Italian and Croatian design. And where there were once roads for horses and carriages, you’ll now find one of the world’s most stunning canals and a city that continues to sink… now quicker than ever before. It’s a place unlike any other for this reason alone. Apart from feeling like you’re inside a painting at every moment, it’s much more peaceful (when you’re next to the water and not in the middle of hundreds of tourists). There’s no cars, only the soothing sound of gondolas going by and the slight waves crashing against the walls and staircases it’s swallowing more and more.
They say in 100 years, Venice will be completely underwater. If you’re thinking of seeing this city before it’s just sea and memory – here’s my tips, and pics from the amazing 24 hours I had there, and what you can expect from this absolutely gorgeous Italian destination.
So, how exactly can you get to Venice if it’s completely surrounded by water? Good question. Luckily, there is one road that can get you to the centre of the city. Venice also has a airport, with flights from nearly every destination around the world. I was staying in Lido De Jeselo which is about an hour drive away. I got to Venice by bus, and then boat which took me straight there. Although a lot of Italians don’t speak English as well as other European countries I’ve been too, all the signs are in English and people will help you get to where you’re going no matter what.
However you choose to get to Venice, getting around the city is something you have never done before. There’s no roads, so you can’t get an Uber or open-top tour bus. And you can’t just walk around either, as something might be on the other side of the water. The only way to travel is by boat. In Venice, there’s a public boat service, which you use like a bus or tram. You can get a 24-hour day ticket which you can use at every stop in the centre and costs 20-euros. It’s the best way to get around, and the boats are really frequently, so no time of your day is wasted.
*TOP TIP* – the first thing you see when trying to get a boat is the sign for the taxi rank. Don’t use these, they are over expensive and will charge you 60 euros or more for one single trip. Keep walking until you find the public boats.
Venice is a sight in itself. But if you’re interested in it’s history, art and religious monuments, there’s a lot to choose from. There’s the grand St Mark’s Square and St Mark’s Cathedral, Doge’s Palace, The Rialto Bridge, The Art Gallery in Academia, amongst many more.
As I only had 24 hours in this perfect picturesque place, I decided to explore on foot than go into any of the museums or attractions because of queues. I walked around the canal front, shops, and further to make sure I got a real feel for this city. It’s such a unique and beautiful place, it feels like you’re constantly walking around a painting or a movie set.
I would also recommend going on a gondola. They’re about 80 euros in the day and more if you want to go on one at night. I know it might be a lot of money, but you’d regret going to Venice and not going on one. Plus, as you go around, the gondoliers tell you fun facts near where you are… we passed the seven star hotel that George Clooney got married in!
The food in Italy is yes, you guessed it… delicious. But… yep, you guessed it again, expensive. There’s loads of places to eat, but my **top tip** would be don’t eat, drink or even sit in St Mark’s Square… you won’t have any euros left.
Instead, find a restaurant to eat and drink down one of the smaller alleys. They’ll be staff waiting to entice you in, offering you free drinks and air conditioning to get you inside and eat there. When in Venice I had the most delicious lasagne, and massive plate of spaghetti and meatballs that made me very happy.
The thing worth noting about Italian food is that it’s incredibly salty. Everything is just overpoweringly salty, and at first it can be quite hard, but once your palate gets used to it, you never want to go back. Although I expected the salt, I didn’t expect it to be more eggy than creamy and hardly cheesy at all. It seems Italian food is a little different to what we’re given in the UK.
Even with just 24 hours in Venice, we had to find somewhere to rest our heads. There’s plenty of hotels around Venice, but we found one a couple of boat stops from the main square and it was ideal. It’s got the beauty, it’s got the unique Italian feel, yet was much quieter. There wasn’t hundreds of tourists around, only a few. And it was nice to see a little bit of Venice without being shoved from pillar to post. Our hotel wasn’t that expensive either, I found the accommodation to be the most responsible in price. The hotel was stayed in was called Hotel Mesner, and was perfect for staying in Venice. It had a good restaurant, offered a free gondola ride to guests staying there and breakfast, and had a view that overlooked the canal.
If you’re thinking of taking a well deserved break, Venice should be high on your list. I would suggest not going in the height of summer like we did. Walking around in 36 degree heat was not fun. So maybe choose Spring or Autumn, but whenever you go it’s a dream come true. It’s a truly unique place with gorgeous views and delicious food. There’s just no where in the world like it!