A Snapshot of Venice, Italy

Venice. It’s such an extraordinary city. I’ve always thought of it as a romantic destination – so much so that when my best friend from college and I backpacked through Europe, I declined taking a gondola ride with her. I wanted my first ride to be with my husband.  Isn’t that crazy?

And yet…almost 20 years later, it finally happened!  I got that first gondola ride, and it was indeed with my husband! Of course, this many years later, we also had our four kids with us, but it was still romantic. We loved it.

Venice is amazing.  It’s hard to commit to just one attribute that makes it so special. Is it the vibrant colors…

or the snaking Grand Canal weaving through picturesque alleys and under quaint bridges?

Maybe it’s the cheerful gondoliers singing, smiling, and navigating through the turquoise colored water.

And then there are the pedestrian streets…yes, those wonderfully maddeningly confusing streets that lead you nowhere and everywhere at the same time.

And let’s not forget about the restaurants and unique shops lining the streets of Venice. In order to know, you’ll just have to go there yourself, if you haven’t already!

Here are a few shots in and around Venice:

This is Venice on a Full Moon night.  Beautiful, isn’t it?

10 Quick Tips:

1.  Be patient and enjoy getting lost. This is the best part of meandering the streets of Venice.

2.  Try to see Venice early in the morning or late at night, without the tourists and crowds, when it’s at its best.

3.  Head AWAY from the touristy areas and explore the real Venice.

4.  Avoid restaurants near the main attractions and extend your search to places where the locals are also dining.  If you see menus in many different languages or are being lured in by an ambitious waiter, you may want to consider passing.

5.  Understand that if you choose to sit at a cafe to enjoy your coffee in a highly touristy area, you will pay the price for this pleasure.  A less expensive option is to enjoy your drink at the counter/bar.

6.  Avoid the summer months, as the heat is intense and the crowds even worse.

7.  Opt to explore on your own versus paying for expensive tours, unless you’re absolutely dying to be guided around.

8.  The least expensive way to get around is the way the locals do it, on foot.  If your feet can’t take it anymore (the getting lost part – see #1), opt for a water taxi or ferry ride.  You’ll have to evaluate how much you’ll use this mode of transportation to see if it’s worth getting a pass.

9.  If you must ride a gondola, don’t be afraid to negotiate a much better rate upon arrival.  It never hurts to ask.

10.  Please do NOT wade in the water or even stick your big toe in  I won’t say anymore.  Just don’t do it.

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