Walking around Venice is rather like walking around a museum, I’ve never been anywhere like it. Everything is worth seeing, but if I had to pick the best seven things about Venice, then I would say these:
1. San Marco Piazza
I’m not sure I’ve ever had the reaction that I had when I first stepped into San Marco Piazza. I think I may have actually done a double take and exclaimed out loud. It was night, the square was empty and we’d emerged slightly lost from an alleyway to find some of the most staggering architecture I have ever seen.
2. Doge’s Palace
There are many great galleries in Venice but I was most impressed by the art in the Doge’s Palace. Not only is the architecture pretty amazing but inside you’ll find room after room, covered in Renaissance images. And these rooms were not small, in fact some of them were huge- I have no idea how long those pictures took but I’m guessing it was a while.
3. Libreria Acqua Alta
The Libreria Acqua Alta is probably one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world. Certainly, it is one of the most interesting- it is as much a tourist attraction as it is a bookshop. There was a gondola full of books and a staircase of books out the back which you can actually climb over.
4. Meatballs from Trattoria Ca’ Doro alla Vedova
I kid you not, I didn’t even know meatballs could taste this way. I have no idea what is in them, I just know that you need to try them. As a general rule, cicchetti (Venetian tapas) is a wondrous thing but this was certainly my favourite.
5. The Bridge of Sighs
Venice is full of beautiful bridges like the Rialto Bridge or the Accademia Bridge. This white limestone bridge is my favourite. The bridge goes from the Doge’s Palace to the prison and apparently is named after the sound prisoners made as they took a last look at their family and their city.
6. Scuola Grande di San Marco
Originally a religious building constructed in 1488, the Scuola Grande di San Marco was converted into a hospital in 1819. It is easily the most beautiful hospital I have ever seen and probably the most beautiful hospital I ever will see. For me this says it all about Venice, everything is different.
7. Price of wine
Venice is not known for being cheap, but wine is actually cheaper than soft drinks. I was delighted to find that it was available for even my limited budget. Alternatively, go for the local drink and try a Spritz- it costs about the same (happy days). Grab a glass and sit by the Grand Canal, on a warm evening with the sun going down and you will not want to be anywhere else.