Venice is the ultimate holiday destination for couples and families. It is also the honeymoon capital of the world, perhaps even bigger than Paris. It is the most expensive city we have come across in Italy, even more expensive than Rome! There are no real budget places to stay as well so we found a holiday apartment that mainly families use in Mestre, which is the area next to tourist Venice.
To stay in the heart of the canals was something we couldn’t even fathom but reaching the city was only 30 mins by bus and boat and we got a more local vibe from where we stayed.
Venice is the prettiest city I have been to. It is very romantic even in the winter with its numerous canals and old world feel. It’s awesome to have to take ferry boats to get around and experience the absence of cars. Everyone is able to relax on these boats which are very well organized even if on the tad expensive side for public transport.
The highlight of the city is St. Mark’s square which is simply exquisite! It is the former center of the city from the ancient times for trade and culture. St. Mark’s church is elaborate even from the outside with beautiful paintings. Venice is great to just walk around and admire all the bridges and tourist traffic. This city is a major tourist trap as well with the overwhelming amount of shops that lurk in each corner.
The main attraction when it comes to shopping is Murano glass. Venice has become quite known for it and Murano glass comes from the island of Murano which is a boat ride from Venice itself. You can spend up to thousands of dollars on a Murano glass chandelier or statue, or you can spend a couple of bucks on some jewelery. Whatever floats your boat, but a purchase of this beautiful glass is a must when visiting Venice.
We spent a day visiting the island itself, assuming the glass would be cheaper in its hometown. We were proven wrong though since we obviously weren’t the only travellers with such a great idea. We did however get to see the glass get made in a factory, something that is interesting if its your first seeing how glass is made. It’s a tedious process and quite dangerous as well. But it’s wonderful to see art as it takes form.
Next to Murano is Burano, a quieter island that was recommended to us because of its unique culture. People of Burano are known to speak their own dialect and live a quiet life on this pretty isolated island. The houses were various colors which added to its unique appeal. The people here are mainly fishermen and the locals were very friendly. It’s a great escape from busy Venice and probably one of my favorite spots due to the different ambiance.
colorful houses of Burano
It feels like a lot of time in Venice was spent shopping and browsing. It was a relaxing way to end our time in Italy – where we ate the best pasta in the world and drank lattes like it was going out of style.
Italy is such a beautiful country in many aspects. I hope to one day explore more of its rural areas and head more south. The lifestyle here seems very relaxed and leisurely, something that won’t be so bad getting used to.