Things to Do in Venice

Image courtesy of Pixabay


In the global battle for most romantic city in the world, the Venice versus Paris finals often switch winners, but here at Affordable Travel, we know, because we’ve been, and the hands-down champion is Venice. Paris is bigger, with more options, but there is a mystique to Venice that transcends the cosmopolitan flair of Paris.

Venice has been called the most beautiful man-made place on earth. Its location at the north end of the Adriatic Sea in the Italian region of Veneto, home of the most beloved white wine anywhere, Pinot Grigio, and sub-tropical climate is a good start. That it is an archipelago of 118 islands, accessed by 177 canals and 400 bridges, makes a synergy for a romantic setting, but its long history gives it that touch of charm like nowhere else.

Art and architecture dominate in what was the seat of the Renaissance, and even further back. Breathtaking beauty is everywhere. From the ornate masks of Carnivale to the details on the Doge’s Palace, every glance in Venice is a snapshot of exquisite elegance and grandeur.

But Venice has its problems. One is climate change; the other is over-tourism. Globally, ocean tides are rising and the tidal waters around the mouth of Venice’s Grand Canal are rising. Historically, Venice has been used to occasional flooding, but it’s getting worse. The local government, an amalgamation of the Padua, Treviso and Venice metropolitan area, or PATREVE, is doing what it can to find ways to block the tides, but every solution is countered and simply, it’s taking too long. Venice suffers worse flooding every time it happens. It’s becoming a desperate problem.

Sixty-thousand tourists descend on Venice every day. Venice embodies only a small core area, and the influx is overwhelming, especially when a cruise ship arrives. There have been demands from residents to ban cruise ships entirely, their prows jutting into the Grand Canal and St. Mark’s Piazza like giant pokers. The struggle to embrace tourism dollars and keep Venice safe is a tricky one.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Venice is still, despite its struggles for balance, a first-class romantic locale. Avoiding flooding seasons, which are generally spring and fall, staying on the periphery of the old town, and planning to walk (the core area is car-free) everywhere makes for an easier vacation or honeymoon. Wander the narrow streets with their boutiques and eateries (there is a lot of seafood on offer). Visit the famous cathedral early in the morning. Take in a concert (perhaps a string quartet in Piazza San Marco playing native-Venetian, Antonio Vivaldi), but plan the early shift; locals in Venice dine and entertain late.

Venice offers a plethora of things to do and see amid unparalleled beauty. A gondola ride is a must, under the Bridge of Sighs , and along the canals where the buildings that flank it will leave you in a haze of beauty. But be sure to spread out, to go beyond the very core; there is much else about Venice than a two-hour hop-off a cruise ship affords to delight visitors.

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Things to Do in Venice

Saint Marks Basilica

In about 1063, a group of Venetian statesmen and religious leaders decided to build a cathedral on the existing grounds of an even older church, the...

Grand Canal

The Grand Canal in Venice is indeed grand; it is wide and deep enough to take ocean-going vessels, but these have become a local issue...

Piazza San Marco

The plaza, or open courtyard, that envelopes the entrance to Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Venice is wide and long, and serves as much more...

Doges Palace

Throughout its many centuries as a city or city-state (before it became part of Italy proper in 1866), Venice has enjoyed and endured many forms of...

Rialto Bridge

The Rialto Bridge that spans the Grand Canal in Venice is famous for several things. First, you can shop there as it is lined with...

Dorsoduro

Given the propensity of Venice to suffer flooding, the Dorsoduro, which translates as “high ridge”, is ioncomparatively high, solid ground and impervious to the whims...

Murano

Murano Glassworks is world-renowned for its colourful glass objects, works of beautiful but practical art, hand-crafted on this island of Venice often referred to as...

San Giorgio Maggiore

This island, just south of the main area of Venice, and on the Venetian Lagoon, is virtually all church and churchyard. It once housed a...

Bridge Of Sighs

The Bridge of Sighs, in Venice, Italy, is assuredly one of the most famous bridges in the world, but people who initially hear its name...

Teatro La Fenice

Gran Teatro la Fenice, called simply, La Fenice, is the main theatre in Venice that supports opera. Like its sister venue, La Scala, in Milan...

Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

After the better-known St. Mark’s Cathedral, Santa Maria Glorioso dei Frari is a significant minor basilica in the Venetian ecclesiastical landscape, one of the...

Santa Maria della Salute

Like many of the churches and minor basilicas in Venice (and Italy), Santa Maria della Salute, more commonly called, just “Salute”, is a treasure trove...

San Trovaso

The first time we floated past San Trovaso Roman Catholic Church, we thought it was an old, rather rundown, two-storey warehouse in the Dorodura area...

Things to Do in Venice

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