Travel: Venice’s Famous Sites & A Gondola Ride

Whilst more a city for wandering and exploring, Venice does have some must-see famous sites scattered about. We spent a day doing most of them – you could definitely spend longer than a day (I’d have loved to explore Doge’s Palace) but we found this was enough. After the chaos of Rome we just wanted to wander!

 photo Famous Sites 9_zpsdqwtxod8.jpg photo Famous Sites 8_zpsygyr3uol.jpg photo Famous Sites 7_zpspasdgjo1.jpg photo Famous Sites 5_zpsginw5pnj.jpg photo Famous Sites 3_zps8pksy204.jpgOne place I really do recommend you take the time to go and see is Murrano. This is a separate little Island, it’s probably around 20 minutes by Vaporetto (which is not a particularly cheap way to get around!), and it’s where pretty much all Murrano glass wear is made. Those little Love Links/Pandora style beads? These are all Murrano glass! Obviously there’s different types. There’s the tacky stuff, stunning glasswear and even the most beautiful modern gallery that we found. It’s well worth taking a wander around, possibly picking up a few bits. Wandering to the left (away from the main street, by-passing the first ‘factory tour’ and walking as far round as you can there’s an excellent little place which does a free demonstration of glassblowing. I was shocked the apprenticeship takes nearly two decades!

The most famous site in Venice is probably St Mark’s square, and whilst it is a lovely site – it’s not as beautiful as the rest of Venice. This was the one place that felt really touristy, and whilst it’s worth a visit I wouldn’t rush here. We did wander around the church, which was absolutely stunning, but didn’t pay to visit the terrace or the museum. Like I said, I would have loved to look around Doge’s Palace, but that’s something we’re saving for our return…

 photo Famous Sites 20_zpsqgncv5fr.jpg photo Famous Sites 18_zpsfzbbqt07.jpg photo Famous Sites 13_zpsehqama1n.jpg photo Famous Sites 12_zpscnyafezo.jpg photo Famous Sites 11_zpsg4oixruj.jpg photo Famous Sites 2_zpsyn30dubt.jpg photo Gondola Ride 3_zps7belq6iq.jpgI’ve already shared our disappointment at the Trevi Fountain renovations, and it seems our luck continued to Venice – the Rialto bridge was also covered in scaffolding. Luckily we managed to catch a glimpse of the uncovered side from our Gondola ride on the last morning…

 photo Wandering in Venice 27_zpsoxd8f6jg.jpgPerhaps not a famous site as such, but one locals were always keen to point out, and that’s a pretty unique clock that can be found in Venice. It’s not exactly easy to tell the time on a clock that has 24 hours!

Having pondered over it for much of the holiday, we decided to splurge on a gondola ride on our last morning. A wonderfully sunny, warm day – it was the perfect weather for a romantic trip. Gondola rides aren’t cheap, but they are government regulated so at least there’s no competitive pricing going on – the flat daytime rate is €80 for thirty minutes. Pricey yes, but one of our only splurges of the holiday.

 photo Gondola Ride 7_zpshtdi8xgy.jpg photo Gondola Ride 5_zpsj25holbf.jpg photo Gondola Ride 8_zpslxm3hxul.jpgWe picked up a gondola on the Grand Canal but away from St Mark’s, a good choice as we were taken through winding passages of the quieter canals. Our gondolier was chatty and friendly, without intruding. He even serenaded us! And insisted we had a quick kiss for a photo…which of course made me giggle!

Venice was just beautiful, but I don’t recommend going on a purely sightseeing trip. You need to take time to wander and explore to get the feel for this place – it’s not somewhere to rush. It’s just beautiful…

Have you ever been to Venice? Where would you recommend visiting?