Scott Biddick

Doing your Thing in Venice

With Venice as one of the top three most visited places in the world, there can be hundreds of things you wish to do. If you are booked for a week (which can be short for some), you might be able to do only some of the things you planned.

If you have less than a week to explore the city, it is best to prioritize the items on your list and do them in a descending order of importance. In Venice, you sometimes forget the passing of time. However, take comfort that you spent them well and haven’t really lost them.

Get lost

If you only have a scant few days to spare, just walk around the city streets before you explore any church or museum or any building. Walking around can guarantee that you will discover for yourself the soul of the city that is never mentioned in any tourist guide.

In the districts of Canareggio or Dorsoduro, for instance, the sights alone will soothe your eyes. After which, you can now visit some churches or some other destinations around.

For example, not many would know that some of the priceless art masterpieces of Titian and Tintoretto are inside Scuola di San Rocco.

If you still have a night to spare, then get lost in Piazza San Marco. This is the famous plaza beside the Basilica. If you can be so lucky, you can catch the magic of the place in late evenings (or early mornings) before the tourists flock in or after they have left.

St. Mark’s Basilica

By most people, St. Mark’s is the most visited place in the city. Its unique magnificence cannot escape your eyes – the onion domes, the marble pillars in myriad of colors, and the exquisite mosaics that run from floor to ceiling. (Getting inside is free, but the three museums inside have entry fees.)

Beside the Basilica is the Doge’s Palace, said to be the 2nd most important attraction of the city. You might want to pay just to have the chance to walk across the famous Bridge of Sighs. (You can look at the bridge from the outside, though.)

In Venice, taking the Grand Canal tour with the #1 Vaporetto is like taking a city bus tour. (There are no buses or cars in the city. Transportation is through the canals.) It is slow and you can enjoy the ride soaking in the sights and ambience of the place. Unless you have money to burn, gondolas may be romantic but are terribly expensive.

Murano glass

World-famous as it is, actual glass-blowing itinerary in tour packages can be skipped. Simply catch any Vaporetto other than that booked by your hotel to go to Murano. Walk around its streets and you may find some open glass-blowing studio and watch the procedure without a large crowd.

For a complete feast of the eyes, stroll around the streets of Burano and its brightly-colored buildings and houses. Point at what food stuff at Rialto market and the vendor gets it and bags it for you.

Doing what you want to do in Venice is not too difficult even if you’re in a hurry. Simply stay away from the crowd and other tourist-filled places. Doing it in off-season is best.

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