Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How to See Venice: Above, Below and By Foot

Venice is the city of water. Throughout the day, the absence of car motors and vespas are replaced by the splashing and trickling of water in the canals. To fully experience this sinking city, you must see it in all perspectives.

Tiny, narrow alleyways and bridges that leap over canals are the only avenues to get around this town without hopping in a boat. The passageway between buildings and a majority of the views from the canal bridges will only give you a glimpse of what’s down a narrow path.
Think up. The Campanile bell tower in San Marco will give you new insight. Luckily, this Venetian skyscraper has an elevator to help you reach the top. From 323 feet, the rust-colored tiled roofs against the emerald green water makes for a pretty picture and a better understanding of the city’s layout.
It might sound corny, but while in Venice, take the gondola. Imagine sitting on a red velvet cushion, with contrasting green water rushing by, a knowledgeable, passionate gondolier rowing steadily while you enjoy the tranquility and beauty of Venice.

The view from below the street level is different from the pavement. Look up, and all around you the buildings have grown even taller. Look down, and you see the forest green moss lining the tan pavement of the canals. Bridges that connect the island hover over you and reflect the water on their ceilings, and you’ll likely hear the echo of fellow gondoliers conversing or singing.

Whether or not you opt to take a water taxi to your next stop, walking around Venice is necessary to see it all. Many sights beg you pay a visit. San Marco church, the Doge Palace and the Rialto Bridge are all musts. San Marco is stunning with mosaics and gold leaf encrusted walls. The Doge Palace includes historical paintings and dungeons with a view of the famous bridge of sighs.
San Marco Church
Doge Palace
The lion is one of the prominent symbols of Venice.
View from inside the Doge Palace
San Marco square
Excellent shopping opportunities are not hard to come by either. The Rialto Bridge is lined with fun shops where you can find a souvenir or some Venetian glass.

Of course, if you’re in the market for glass, go to Murano. This glass is world-class. A 10-minute water taxi ride will take you there from the mainland. Bright-colored designer glass lines the shelves of all of the shops and factories, so you’re sure to find a piece you like.
Murano glass balloons
Murano chandeliers
Murano chandeliers
By bell tower, by gondola or by walking around and seeing the sights — you must see Venice. From its unique vantage point on the ocean, to its history and its shopping, this city built on water has a lot to offer. To experience it fully, see Venice from above, below and by foot.

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