It’s Faraway Friday! This week I’m whisking you away to a place I had previously only dreamt of visiting: Venice, Italy! Some places just seem like a dream, as though they’re too good to be true or too unique to be real. To me, Venice was always one of those places. But here are 10 real reasons why it should go on your “must travel list” as soon as possible!
10. The Architecture
Venice is an incredible place to see and study architecture. There is a university for architecture here, and it’s for good reason: these structures have been standing for hundreds of years! The ground is kind of wavy, some of the buildings are leaning, and the streets flood when the tide is too high, and yet these buildings endure.
9. For the Romance
Ok, maybe this reason isn’t for everyone, but Venice is undeniably one of the most romantic destinations in the world. From the Gondolas to the picturesque bridges, there is romance in the air! Check out my “Romantic Venice” post coming next week!
8. To See the Famous Bridges
There are countless bridges all over Venice, but the four that cross the Grand Canal are the most famous. All are also unique, historic, and necessary. Am I the only person who finds bridges romantic? Each of these is strictly for pedestrians, and each bridge is important in connecting this series of islands. Get the views over the water, get across the canals, and travel through the city like a true Venetian!
7. To Make (or Buy) a Mask
Venice is famous for its masks, especially at Carnivale in February! You can find them at countless little shops, but you can also buy a blank one and decorate it yourself! That’s one of the most Venetian souvenirs you could possibly get!
6. To See the Dying Art of Glass Making
Unfortunately, we could not go to Murano as planned because of the heavy fog the day we had planned to go. But it still deserves an honorable mention here because it is a dying art that Venice and its nearby island Murano are famous for! You can watch glass making demonstrations and learn about its history, but as for us, we’ll have to do that next time!
5. To Get Lost
Literally every article and blog and book I read about Venice mentioned that you will get lost, so you should embrace and enjoy it! Wear good walking shoes, and don’t be afraid to ask for directions when you need them, but also don’t be afraid to explore! You never know what you’ll find, perhaps by happy accident.
4. For the History
Venice has been around since 421 A.D–that’s nearly 1600 years! And in all that time, it has never been invaded by anyone else. I read from a few different sources that people from the northern coast of Italy fled to the islands that now make up Venice after the fall of the Roman Empire. All these hundreds of years later, Venetians have a unique culture and even a dialect that is all theirs. Explore the historic sites like Doge’s Palace (Duke’s Palace) and the Bridge of Sighs, see a glass-making demonstration on nearby Murano, and glide through the canals they way Venetians have done for 1600 years.
3. To Try the Squid Ink Pasta
It was awesome! But also salty, and mine came with the most delicious squid I have ever tasted—not rubbery at all! It is very Venetian, and worth trying on your trip! Not sure you want it for your whole meal? Order one for the table and share with your travel companions.
2. To Experience a Life with No Cars
It’s fascinating to be in a place with no motor noise, no smell of exhaust, and no honking horns! You can truly get a sense of the old world and how it would be to live in a world before cars. The word “refreshing” comes to mind!
1. To Take a Gondola Ride
It’s the quintessential Venetian experience. It’s a bit pricey, but check out my Guide to Gondolas for some tips! If you’re going to splurge on one thing in Venice, make it a gondola ride. You can take a ride without fear because all gondoliers have undergone rigorous tests and apprenticeships, and all gondola prices are regulated, so you don’t have to worry about getting gouged or wonder if you got the best deal. Details aside, just enjoy the experience as you glide though the Grand canal and beyond!
What do you think? Are you ready for your own trip to Venice soon? I recommend it!