One of my most favorite spots in Italy was Venice. I felt strangely at home there and I loved the water view and the friendliness of all the people. You see painters set up next to the water creating masterpieces and everyone is walking while eating some of the yummiest food. Granted, I’m partial to the food because I’m Italian and it’s my favorite thing to eat. And if you’ve never had gelato before, you have to make that a priority.
I’d like to take a walk through Venice and some of the things it’s most famous for. So lets dive right into it!
St. Mark’s Square
-Called “the drawing room of Europe,” the Piazza was long the symbolic heart of Venice. These days it’s overcrowded with tourists and pigeons, but still magnificent, and it could take days to explore the sights: The Basilica San Marco, the Doge’s Palace, the bell tower, the clock tower, the Correr Museum, and more.
-Touristy, overpriced, and the singers belt out songs from Naples for an extra fee, but you’ll see Venice as it was meant to be seen—from the water. Tip: Avoid the jam-packed gondola points by St. Mark’s in favor of less-crowded spots like San Tomà. Ask for a trip through back canals rather than the Grand Canal, which you can see by vaporetto
-Grand museum of Venetian masters from the 14th to 18th century, with works from Bellini, Tintoretto, and Titian; includes Veronese’s “Feast in the House of Levi” (intended to be a “Last Supper,” but when the Inquisition objected to its realistic details, Veronese changed the name). Tip: Entry to the Quadreria is by advance reservation only
-Cross the famous 16th-century bridge and walk to the centuries-old open-air fish and produce markets; nearby meat, cheese, and specialty-food shops attract gourmands. Fish market is closed on Sundays and Mondays; produce market closed on Sundays. Afterward, take a traghetto (gondola ferry) across the Grand Canal for 50 cents; locals stand, but sit if you feel unsteady. Tip: Don’t handle the produce or you’ll risk a scolding; vendors select and bag it for you.
San Giorgio Maggiore
-The island opposite St. Mark’s Square offers breathtaking views (bell tower vista is incredible, with no lines); Palladian church contains Tintoretto’s “Last Supper;”
All information courtesy of National Geographic Magazine.