Canal Grande

Canal Grande

The city on the islands was founded in the 5th century by refugees fearing attacks by the barbarian Hun tribe and in the middle centuries, it became a naval power in the region of mediterranean sea.

We stopped in the hotel, in the new part of Venice (on land), which is much cheaper and more convinient. To Venice we drove through the 5km long bridge, connecting new and old part of the city. There are many parkings by the bridge, so you do not have to worry about it, but you need to be prepare to spend 'a few' coins there. Much more clever way to get to the city is a bus or a tram/train.

First thing we saw arriving in Venice is Canale Grande, the main and biggest canal in the city, dividing Venice in two parts.


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Piazza San Marco, Venice

Piazza San Marco, Venice

Our first goal was obviously Piazza San Marco, so we had to cross the canal and the best way to do it is beautiful Rialto Bridge, one of the most popular places for people to take the pictures. The bridge is full of tourists and small shops with Venetian jewelry.

To get to San Marco we need to pass hundreds of narrow streets and cross a few smaller canals. It is worth to pay attention to shop windows in Venice, there is a lot of stores selling traditional masks and beautiful carnival costumes, which unfortunately are quite expensive.


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San Marco

San Marco

When we finally got to San Marco, we were amazed by its size and of course beauty, but getting there through narrow streets and finally, narrow gate left us with the impression of the disproportion of these two worlds. San Marco is huge and beautiful thanks to its very simple architecture.


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Basilica di San Marco, Piazza San Marco, Venice

Basilica di San Marco, Piazza San Marco, Venice

San Marco Basilica in contrast to the Piazza does not seem to be simple at all. It was built in 11th century in the Italo-Byzantine style. The influences of the East are clearly visible in the whole city.

The other important buildings in Piazzo are definitely Doge's Palace, St Mark Clock Tower, and St Mark's Campanile (a real treat for Dan Browns fans like me!).

 


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Giudecca

Giudecca

From Piazzetta di San Marco, right upon the Doge’s Palace, there is an amazing view to Giudecca Island. Taking just a few minutes walk from Piazzetta you can get to The Bridge of Sighs, the probably most famous bridge in Venice, thanks to its history. Now the bridge is considered as romantic (probably because of its name), but the story is not so nice as it seems to be. The bridge connects Doge’s Palace and the old jail building, so as Venetians say the sighs were actually one of the last breaths of prisoners before they were executed.


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Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

Another must-see in Venice are definitely Santa Maria Della Salute Basilica, Palazzo Santa Sofia, Murano and Burano Island (were we could finally take a breath from the crowds and see how real venetians live).

A few tips: If you are traveling on budget, choose the restaurants away from the main canals and streets (they are also delicious, but much cheaper - in Venice you are paying for the view), and instead of gondola tour take the Vaporetto - water bus (cheap, convenient, fast and the only public transport in Venice).


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