“To build a city where it is impossible to build a city is madness in itself, but to build there one of the most elegant and grandest of cities is the madness of genius.”
Venice Travel Guide – City Overview and Fun Facts
Venice is very dear to me. The first time I visited was to meet a dear friend, Eleonora (who has since passed away) for a site visit. I fell in love with the city so much so that I came back again for a floral masterclass. Then, my dear friend invited me again and it was the first time that I really appreciated the beauty of this city.
We visited the most gorgeous pizza places. I have such fond memories of an afternoon at the Ciprian Hotel where we ran into Arnold Schwarzenegger! Yes, the celebrity! I remember how casual she was while my heart was racing. She said, “Oh darling, this is normal here!” As much as I love the restaurants, I remember her homemade pastas and our long chats sharing our experiences.
Like I said, this is a city very dear to my heart and I’ve carried a piece of it away with me on each of my visits. I think you’ll do the same.Venice is known for its iconic canals and bucket-list gondola rides. It’s been called a number of names such as the city of canals, the floating city, the city on the water, and the city of bridges.
Venice has over 417 bridges, 140+ churches, and world-class museums that intrigue the hearts and minds of visitors from around the globe. With its maze of bridges, alleys, and canals, visitors can spend hours taking in the city and wandering from place to place, gleaning from the rich history and architecture and leaving a little bit of themselves behind.
Venice Bore the First Woman to Graduate University
The first woman to ever graduate from University came from Venice. It’s not unusual for women in Italy to be esteemed for their courage and unconventional bent. Elena Cornaro Piscopia is an example of such a woman. Equally as touching is the fact that—in a time when women were not encouraged to pursue higher education—her father saw the giftings of his daughter and encouraged her pursuits and development. In June 1678, she graduated with a degree in philosophy from the University of Padua.
Before it Was a City, Venice Was a Country
Before Venice was a city, it was actually a country. It was once an economic powerhouse—largely due to trade—and a place of wealth and prestige. Conquered by Napoleon in 1797, it lost its independence. In the years that followed, it flip-flopped hands, going from Austrian territory to the Kingdom of Italy and back again. Then it briefly returned to the Republic of Venice until, in 1866, it once again became a part of the Kingdom of Italy.
The spring and fall are the best times to visit Venice, which means April through early June and September to October are great months to plan travel to avoid the heat and humidity of summer.
If you’re looking for a Christmas trip, December and January are quieter months in the city because tourism dwindles, however, many restaurants and shops close down and it can be cold and wet in winter. There’s also the risk of the canal flooding, so check out the weather predictions, do some research, and spend some time considering what your ideal trip looks like and what you’re most excited about.
Venice Travel Guide – What to Do
One could wander the city of Venice for days with endless entertainment options, but here are some top picks to do while visiting the city:
Bask in the cityscape at Piazza San Marco(St.Mark’s Square)
St Mark’s Square is one of my favorite places on earth. I love it, especially at night because it’s so beautiful, peaceful, and incredibly romantic. It’s one place I definitely think you should experience.
Ride a Gondola and Take in the Venice Views from the Canal
My first time on a Gondola was a moment I’ll never forget because I was both exhilarated and incredibly nervous. You see, I can’t swim. But, it was an amazing experience and something I think everyone should experience in their lifetime. It’s a fear I’m glad I faced and even if you can’t swim, you’ll feel really safe and settle into taking in the sights.
Shop at the famous Rialto Bridge—A Walking Shopping Trip Over the Grand Canal
Visit the Fisherman’s Island of Burano
My first trip to Burano was with my girlfriends and it was a girl’s trip for the books! As you can see in the pictures, it was a beautiful visit! Good weather meant I was able to wear my summer clothes and soak up the sunshine.
Wine Tasting at Wine Bar Vineria all’Amarone
Dine by the Waterfont of Riviera
Venice Travel Guide – Where to Eat
Risi i Bisi is an ancient dish and one of the most famous Venitian meals. Offered in most restaurants, it’s a combination of risotto, fresh peas, Italian bacon, and soup. It’s definitely a must-try if you’re visiting the city. Here’s also a list of unique restaurants to scope out.
Osteria Boccardoro—Venetian Seafood and Pasta
With beautiful food presentation, a wide array of seafood, soft jazz music, and low lighting, this elegant restaurant is a great place to try. With nearly 300 reviews and a 4.5 star rating, its loved by locals and travelers alike.
Located in a 4-star hotel, Locanda Cipriani was founded in 1935 and is owned by the Cipriani family. With over 300 reviews and a 4.7 star rating, visitors adore this quaint Italian restaurant with its large windows that overlook a beautiful garden, giving it that countryside, guest-house vibe the founders were going for.
Acclaimed for its seafood and located a short walk from the Rialto bridge, this family-owned restaurant is charming, cozy, and unassuming. With a 4.4 rating and nearly 450 reviews, visitors commend their octopus, clams, shrimp, and scallops as being some of the freshest around.
With panoramic views of the Grand Canal, guests can dine atop their rooftop terrace, along their deck, or look out onto the calming canal waters from inside their vintage interior. They offer traditional Venetian cuisine and a wine list that features wine from various regions throughout Italy.
Osteria Alle Testiere
A hotspot for Venetians themselves, this intimate restaurant with only about 20 seats features a daily menu dependent on what’s on offer at the Rialto Fish Market. With over 300 4.6 star reviews, is acclaimed for its excellent wine list and delightful service.
Founded in 2002, Mirai is a Japanese Sushi Bar and the city’s first Japanese restaurant. Located on the Grand Canal with beautiful terrace views, their menu features a classic selection of sushi.
Founded in 1720, this restaurant has withstood the test of time and palettes. With a fascinating history that spans a stent as a coffee house and piano bar, in the 1950s it was reborn as a refined restaurant. Reminiscent of the 1700s, it was frequented by famous people of the past and is a must-try.
Ristorante da fiore
This world-renowned restaurant uses seasonal ingredients and serves traditional Venetian dishes. Famous for its seafood and frequented by locals, it’s in a quiet setting away from the hustle and bustle of Venice. Website:http://www.dafiore.it/
I hope you have enjoyed reading our Venice Travel Guide! For more information contact Exalt Africa Experiences