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Places to visit - Venice the city of water
Venice, Venezia in Italian, has many nicknames. Venice is affectionately known as the city of canals, city of bridges and most notably city of water. It is comprised of 117 islands, 177 waterways and 455 bridges. The main waterway through the city is called the Grand Canal. The Grand Canal is lined with hotels and eateries of all kinds.
Venice has an average of 50,000 visitors per day. So knowing where to go and what to see ahead of time can help make your trip to the most romantic city in the world a memory to last a life time. There are two basic ways to get around Venice, by boat or by foot.
Venice by boat
The Gondola is the well known boat seen in movies and travel brochures. This boat today is mostly used for tourists but still is customarily used in funerals and weddings. By law gondoliers must be of Venetian birth. The gondola is built by hand by its gondolier and passed down from father to son. A 35 minute gondola ride costs between 80 and 100 euros.
Locals prefer to travel by vaporetti. A vaporetti is a water bus that stops all along the canal the same way a city bus would. This is an exciting way to get around immersing yourself in the local culture. Venice is known as a living museum. The vaporetti will bring you to all the sights at a reasonable cost in a minimal amount of time. If you are uncertain or just don’t want to explore the city by yourself you can always join the many cruises organized for tourists. Everyone from the hotels in Venice is able to recommend and even organize a tour for you.
Venice on Foot
Walking through Venice is an experience in and of itself. No matter if it is art, history, crafts or food Venice will delight you beyond your expectations. For the first time visitor to Venice it is best to start at St Marks square. St Marks was the political epicenter of Venetian life for centuries. The opposing Basilica is a wonder of architecture and art.
A trip to Accademia Galleries displays 500 years of art from Paolo Veneziano to Bellini’s school of color. No matter where you step in Venice art abounds. From the many churches and stained glass windows to the Venetian glass makers.
The largest and busiest bridge in all of Venice is the Realto Bridge. Here you will find vendors selling all forms of trinkets and souvenirs. The Realto Market boasts some of the best opportunities to enjoy fine Venetian Cuisine. Here at Realto Market you do not have to just sit and eat, you can take a cooking class to enjoy the gourmet food of Venice for a lifetime.
If you prefer to get away from the crowds and explore a more intimate side of Venice you can simply get off the beaten path and view true artisans at work. Venetian glass makers make some of the most prized glassworks in the world. You will find carnival masks in most shops. However, watching the crafters make these intricate papier-maché works of art is worth the side trip. Masks of every style and color are made lovingly with trimmings in gold and silver. Masks can be purchased directly from the crafters for a reasonable price. A must see is the Gondola Workshops located on the southern coast of the city. It is truly amazing how much skill is handed down through the generations to build these one of a kind watercraft.
Wherever you go in this City of Water you will find something new and exciting. You will learn about an era of life that has not been forgotten but delicately preserved for generations to come. Venice is like no other city on earth.