March 19, 2007

What to do with 2 days in Venice

Here are my suggestions for enjoying 2 days in beautiful Venice Italy! (Which i did in December)

First... during the flight do get some sleep- but, when they wake you up for breakfast, remove your mask and pull up your window shade or you may miss out on some killer views. My breakfast was spectacular with views over the Alps!

Once the Flight Attendants had herded the jet-lagged group of us off the plane, I purchased a Bus ticket (not speaking any Italian I pointed to my hotels address to the Italian who spoke no English) which took me right into Venice. The bus drops off right at the beginning of the Grand Canal, which made it really easy to see where I was heading on my map. (I took with me the Lonely Planet for Venice... ) I headed to Hotel Zucchini and checked in.

I wanted to get an idea of the city so I immediately bought a ticket for the Vaporetto No.1 (their boat/bus on the water) which took me down the Grand Canal. Venice is divided into six sestieri, three located on each side of the Grand Canal.

I sat in the very front seat (just like my guide book told me to) and took in the hour ride. The views were amazing and the weather was gorgeous.

The colors on some of the buildings were beautiful! I loved how a lot of these buildings had withheld being in so much water over all the years. You could tell on some of the buildings where floods had taken tolls on them.

Can you see the bird i captured in this shot!

Along the canal, there were a few bridges that you could take if you needed to cross from one side to the other. Where the bridges were lacking, they had Traghetti (gondola ferries) that would take you across at seven fixed points.

The Valporetto took me all the way to San Marco (which is the busiest of the six sestieri).

The main attraction in Venice (besides the romantic gondola rides) is the Piazza San Marco, the Basilica di San Marco and the soaring Campanile.

You can go up to the top of the Campanile for some amazing views of the city below. (This was one of my highlights) Literally gasping as I exited the elevator I was up top gazing out and taking photographs until they closed.

Everyday around lunch time I would stop to get a cappuccino from a cafe. This was my favorite. Does not look like much from the outside but the ladies inside (even though the didn't speak English) were soooo nice to me. And my cappuccino was amazingly delicious.

I did a lot of walking that night and all the next day. Along the way I would run into these open squares called campo's. Most had a statue or fountain in the middle (like above) and some had wonderful stalls and markets running through them.

The first day I took the Vaporetto everywhere, afraid of getting lost in all the alleyways and along the bridges of Venice. That is until I learned the trick... just follow the stores and you will get from one side to the other.

Once I mastered getting around, I found myself going on the back alleyways to admire the homes. I love how beautiful and colorful they all are.

Even though I was a little nervous about going to Venice in the middle of December, I lucked out. The crowds were lite, the weather was gorgeous and not too cold. I had a wonderful time and really got to see the beauty of the city!

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