Tag-Archive for » Piazza San Marco «

May
18

I’ve always dreamed to go to Italy. Luckily, dreams do come true. One day my boyfriend and I went to the travel agency and purchased 2 tourist vouchers. To. The. Wonderful. Italy. I was beside myself with joy. “Classical Italy”- Venice, Padua, Florence, Rome and San-Marino. We were told there were 17 people in our group, one guide and a witty driver. Quite a company.

From the airport we were delivered to the tiny Italian town in the surroundings of Venice. Many people in our group were dissatisfied with the fact that we were to spend 2 nights in “a countryside”. But I was really glad as I wanted to feel the spirit of real Italy. Besides, the hotel (better to say, a boarding house) was very nice and the hostess was hospitable and kind. We spent there 2 days – enough to fall in love with the local quiet way of life. Every day in the restaurant nearby gathered handsome (very handsome!) black-haired Italians. They dined, talked very loudly and emotionally and drank the local spirit – grappa. Some people oppose Italian expressiveness to their courtesy. They really speak loudly but it doesn’t prevent them from being polite!

But let’s come back to our journey. In the morning we went to Venice. The city fascinated me! After the city sightseeing tour we began to stroll along the streets leading to the city squares. Interesting to mention that there’s only one square, which is calle “piazza” – Piazza San Marco, thus emphasizing its particular status in the eyes of the Venetians. Other squares are called “campo” (“meadow”). They really resemble meadows rather than squares. Narrow streets (“calle”) go different ways from them.

We couldn’t resist a temptation to go out boating. Venetian gondolas are famous all over the world but Venetian gondoliers are even more famous! It seems that their look serves as a main criterion for the employment…they are tall, handsome and dressed in snow-white shirts. What a picture! I was told they are unsurpassed singers. And it turned out to be true. The only minus is the price. 45 minutes of pure pleasure cost us 100 EUR. But it is really worth that!

Then we moved to Florence. Frankly speaking it didn’t impress me as much as Venice, Rome or even Padua…I think that’s because it is too big and noisy. It doesn’t of course mean that I didn’t like it at all…the most interesting moment was the ascent of Santa Maria Del Fiore. It was no easy task but we were rewarded by the splendid view opening from the height!

The most impressive city was of course Rome, where we stayed for three days. We planned the routs beforehand and then tried to stick to them although we sometimes turned aside from the initial route when something interesting appeared in our field of view. We managed to visit the Colosseum, the Roman Forums, the Capitolium, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, St. Peter’s Cathedral in the Vatican. I was slightly disappointed by the Colosseum. I think that’s because one should better go there at night when there’s no crowds of tourists and the barricading gratings are not seen…I can’t tell you about everything we saw in the city…Rome simply made me fall in love with it. All the places we visited afterwards didn’t impress me as much as the Italian capital did!…

When we took a plane home I had to control myself not to give way to tears. I preferred to think that the two coins I threw in the Trevi Fountain would certainly help me to come back to Rome!

Apr
26

22 million tourists and counting. Venice has perfected the art of looking after tourists of all budgets. Therefore, if you are the type who is not keen to throw euros out of the window and you would like to make the most of your resources, there is information about cheap vacation Venice options for you here. Read on to know how to plan a budget vacation to Venice Italy and locate cheap accommodation options in Venice.

Everyone dreams of a gondola ride when they plan a trip to Venice. Do you remember seeing in movies, a couple on a gondola, embracing passionately with the boatman warbling in the background. The gondola ride costs a pretty penny, upward of 70 euros and is not the most romantic experience either. As you float down the canal, tourists lined up on either side of the canal take your picture, call out and in general make themselves a nuisance. There is hardly a romantic and private moment here.

So if you do want a gondola ride for the experience, take one to cross the canal. It is cheap, you will get your ride and not waste your money entertaining other tourists. This is the first tip for cheap vacations in Venice.

Eating can be expensive and not really value for money. While on a budget tour to Venice, make every penny count. If you choose to eat at local food stalls or trattories, you will probably get much better value for money. During your cheap vacation in Venice, select from the foods in Venice like a platter of cicchetti, chi ke ti and take a glass of white wine, ombra and munch standing or on the move like the locals.

With every tourist town, accommodation can be expensive. Venice is no different. If you plan to stay near the piazza San Marco, you had better be prepared to pay. However, there are many cheap accommodation options in Venice if you are keen on a budget tour to Venice. Staying near the railway station will get you far better rates. Commuting is not difficult. You can also select from dormitories and youth hostels. Do also remember to look up hotels for last minute cancellations. You get much better rates and get good deals on accommodation in Venice if you book in advance. You can even consider booking air tickets well in advance to get better deals and cheap flights to Venice, Italy.

If you are keen on the museums, consider buying a nine museum pass while on a cheap vacation in Venice. It is much cheaper this way and you avoid queuing up at every museum. Entry to St Marks Basilica is free anyway, so that is one site you should not miss and there are many who will swear that it is the best place to visit anyway. While there is always a long line of visitors to visit the Basilica, you can reserve an entry time online and jump straight to the head of the queue.

In Murano, best known for its glasswork, you can get free demonstrations of glass blowing. You are not required to buy anything in return, although it is a rare visitor who can walk away without a curio.

Apr
12

Your Italian ‘Queen of the Adriatic’ – Venice is Vivifying, Enticing, Nice, Influencing, Captivating, Enthralling! Stretching across numerous small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in the northeastern Italy, Venice is your magnificent vacation destination with treasures of beauty and astounding centuries-old attractions.

If you are planning to explore the beauties of the gorgeous city, here are that 10 things you must do & see in addition to the celebrated attractions of Venice. You must see the church of Santa Maria Del Giglio, situated on the Campo Santa Maria Zobenigo, west of the Piazza San Marco. The gorgeous edifice is made of fine quality white stone from Croatian island of Brac. The frontage and the entrance of the church is opulently beautified by the fine sculpts.

The museum of Guildhall Of San Rocco is another of "must visit" attractions of Venice. Established in the first half of the 16th century, the museum is the home of amazing collection of artistic works from Tintoretto. Here, you can view his extraordinary line of canvases featuring scenes from the Old Testament. The museum has extravagantly embellished hallway and ceiling.

The home of the ‘Jewish Ghetto’, Cannaregio is one of the six historic sestieri (districts) of Venice, and the northernmost of the city. It is home to five synagogues including the German Synagogue, the Italian Synagogue, the Canton Synagogue, the Levantine Synagogue and the Spanish Synagogue. Beside, you can view true Venetian life here; Venetians living, working, and lots of families dining at restaurants, non-tourist stores and marketplaces.

Visit the Villa Pisani, one of Napoleon’s residences, which was the sight of meeting between Mussolini and Hitler. This is the grandest villa of the Riviera, which was built in the 18th century commissioned by the wealthy and prominent Venetian Pisani family. It was sold to Napoleone I afterwards. Tiepolo was one of the greatest artists who decorated it.

Watch some popular performances at Goldoni Theatre or Goldoni’s Theatre, located between Rialto’s Bridge and St. Mark’s Square. It is one of the most gorgeous theaters of Venice. The theater has very beautiful inside. It is dedicated to the famed comedy writer ‘Carlo Goldoni’ who lived and wrote in Venetian language.

Enjoy beach cabanas, shopping, and eating alfresco at Lido, an island between Venice and the sea. Situated between the lagoon and the Adriatic, Lido is a great attraction for tourists who rush in every summer. It is also the venue of the Venice film festival that takes place at every September. It is known for beach cabanas, shopping centers, restaurants and hotels.

The Malibran Theatre is perfect to enjoy an evening out. Established in 1677 with the name "Teatro di San Giovanni Grisostomo," the Malibran Theatre (Teatro Malibran) got its present name from its new owner and the famous singer Felicita Garcia Malibran. It’s very close to Marco Polo’s House. It is one of the most celebrated theaters of Venice, widely known for operas and concerts.

Do check out one of Italy’s finest and most visited art museums Galleria Dell’ Accademia Venice, which is home to the most extensive collection of Venetian art in existence. The works in the Galleria offer rare glimpses into the Venetian art works from the 14th to 18th centuries.

The Campanile Tower or St Mark’s Campanile is the most iconic and grandiloquent edifice of the city. It is the bell tower of St Mark’s Basilica, located in the St Mark’s square (piazza). You can climb the tower for the mesmeric eye catching views of the city and its nearby islands.

Don’t miss visiting Burano, an island in the Venetian Lagoon that lies close to Torcello at the northern end of the Lagoon. You can enjoy walking around and relishing the beauty of the delightfully painted houses in this calm fishing village. It is famous for its lace industry.

Apr
06

Venice is a beautiful city by day, and is equally magnificent at night. It has an assortment of nigh time entertainment to offer tourists, right from the classical music that echoes in hallowed operatic halls, to the nightspots that are frequented by the young.

Mostly, the partying scene is not as prolific as in other cities, as the tone of the city is somewhat more cultured in its aspect. There are numerous classical concerts that are held by churches and theatres alike, where harmonious notes waft on the breeze to listeners outside.

In the early evenings, the Venetian nightlife mainly revolves around bars and cafes where people congregate to have a quick round of drinks before having dinner. Piazza San Marco is perhaps the most crowded and is well worth a visit during these hours. There is a famous place known as the Café Florian, said to have served Casanova during his flight from the Doge’s Palace. Another place to witness an interesting event is the Café Chioggia, where the band strikes up a medley of tunes.

Campo Santa Margherita is one of the top favorites among the youth of Venice. This location has numerous exciting nightspots, such as the Margaret Duchamp, an unusually titled bar with a large terrace. Apart from Campo Santa Margherita, there is also the Campo SanBartolomeo near the Rialto Bridge and adjacent to that, the Campo San Luca. Those with a decidedly sweet tooth should definitely visit the Campo Santo Stefano, a place famous for its excellent ice cream parlours.

Venice does not have a comprehensive party scene because of the city’s issues with noise pollution. However, during the summer, Lido is the place to live it up Hollywood style, as quite a few well known celebrities frequent this club. The local youth flock to Mestre, a club with ample space and therefore fewer noise concerns. Some prefer to commute to Padua where the nightspots are more raucous. However, within the confines of Venice, there is the Disco Club Piccolo Mondo, Dorsoduro and another called, Calle Contarini-Corfu.

Near the train station, there is Cannaregio, Casanova Disco Club and Lista di Spagna. These transform daily from simple bars and restaurants into pulsating discos at ten in the night. Expect all kinds of music, as a variety is played here.

Venice also has a liberal sprinkling of casinos within the city, and these provide alternate entertainment to partying. The casinos expect a certain dress code, and target the glamorous and rich crowd.

Mar
24

Some 118 islands make up this hopelessly romantic Italian travel Mecca and there are plenty of attractions that price-wise are beyond the majority of backpacker in their hostels in Venice. That said there are also a great many fantastic sights visitors can go and see for free.

Basilica di San Marco
Located on the Piazza San Marco, this visually stunning cathedral is an unforgettable sight housing an incredibly detailed and well kept collection of ancient mosaics. Although well worth the wait, backpackers should expect to queue for up to five hours on the busiest days!

Venice Carnival
Taking place in the ten days running up to Lent, the carnival is packed full of locals dressed in unusual period costumes and concludes in a masked ball. Private palaces are also opened to the public offering a rare glimpse into Venetian antiquity.

Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo
A huge gothic church heralding from the 14th century, it also serves as the final resting place for many of the city’s Doges – ancient rulers of the former independent state.

Frari
Its exterior may not be particularly impressive, but the interior of the affectionately known Frari church more than makes up for it. In particular, the Titian altar piece is a beautiful example of extravagant Venetian design.

Torre dell’Orologio
The impressive Saint Mark Square clock tower has been carefully reconstructed after it fell down in the early part of the 20th century. Visible from some hostels in Venice, this impressive 15th century feature is a must see.

Rialto Bridge
One of three bridges over Venice’s Grand Canal around which lucky travelers can find some of the best placed Venice hostels. The bridge may be free, but the expensive flanking shops and restaurants most certainly are not.

Bridge of Sighs
This romantic hidden treasure is famed for its stone barred windows. Historically however, the bridge is so named because prisoners were said to sigh at their last sight of Venice before being put in the cells of the connecting prison, now an exclusive hotel.

Arsenale
This huge dockyard is located in the Castello district of Venice and has been used since the 8th century. Regimented pillars hark back to the once proud maritime state’s cultural past.

Campanile di San Marco
An impressive 325-foot tower visible from hotels and hostels in Venice, the Campanile becomes ever-more impressive the closer you get to it.

Ponte della Paglia
This popular tourist destination connects the impressive Doges Palace and the Palazzo dei Prigioni, but is also the best place from which to photograph the Bridge of Sighs.