Monday, April 11, 2011

Venice, Italy - Tourist Trap or Fairy Tale???

Ciao Friends!  The sinking city has somewhat of a curiosity factor to it... Shall we see it now or maybe never at all.  I wasn't going to let the opportunity to visit this particular place past me by.  Some choose to go to Las Vegas to experience this city as an amusement park but I choose to take it on to see what it is really all about.  I am not a "touristy" kind of person... I actually cant stand that aspect of traveling.  Hords of people doing everything that everyone else tells them to do is in no way my idea of a good time.  Sure there are things you have to see - but make it your journey not someone elses.  One of my reasons for writing this blog is to offer ideas of things to do that aren't included in a shore excursion brochure.  So here we go... Venice Style!

First of all - DON'T EXCHANGE MONEY AT THE AIRPORT!  Bad idea... Best bet - ATM's!  You get a much better rate and without all the add on fees associated with it.  We may of learned the hard way here but you live and learn...then you find an ATM. 

Experience a Water Taxi - worth the money and a fun way to enter the city. 
It's kind of like a fancy speedboat....
Seeing Venice from the water is a must do - however the fairy tale of the guy (the gondolier) playing the violin while you gaze romantically into your sweeties eyes while kissing under every bridge for good luck....well you decide if this is something you want to do.  Its on average over $100 for a 20/30 min ride and its usually not private.  We got just as much out of our water taxi ride and it was just as spectacular during our sunset arrival to Venice. 

Piazza San Marco - By Day - Crowded - By Night - Romantic

Like Venice's Grand Central Station! - the popular gathering area and home to San Marco Basilica, Doge's Palace and Basilica's Campanile!

Seeing Piazza San Marco at night is a nice treat... Each restaurant has small orchestras playing, the water in the city is rising and the atmosphere is uber romantic... the romance that Italy is known for.  Hang out in the square for a while after dark and it is quite an experience to see the city sink before your eyes.  Stick your feet in it and enjoy!  This is where you make the experience what is to YOU! 

No Coperto!  Seriously Don't Pay Coperto!  Coperto = Ripoff!

In Venice and many European cities they have a "cover charge" to even sit down at their restaurant or bar.  Part of the ambiance of a city like Venice are the sidewalk cafes.  Enjoying your food and wine and people watching are super fun to do almost anywhere and especially in Venice.  But beware before your but hits that seat that you have negotiated and/or made sure there is no coperto!  See the sign below - we found a great place just off the beaten path to grab a few glasses of some Italian Vino and chow on some delish Italian Food!  Perfecto!

If only a day in Venice - My Advice - GET LOST!

Seriously - Venice is surrounded by water...what is the worst that can happen!  Take off for the day and plan to just "get lost"!  Wonder around the city, stop in coffee shops, eat fresh pastries, find an open market and wonder "who eats this crap!" 

Grab a gelato and sit and rest your tush.... But watch out for the Pigeons!  They are everywhere... grab some bread and feed them for an interesting photo op!

And because it's FAMOUS - go see the Rialto Bridge.  The Rialto bridge is the most noted bridge that crosses the Grand Canal.  Two ramps lead to a portico where hoards of visitors come to enjoy the day, grab a photo of the grand canal and shop for leather good and Venetian masks. 

A view from the Crown Princess leaving Venice.... Piazza San Marco from above!

(Good bye - Have a safe journey!)

No comments:

Post a Comment