Sunday, 26 January 2014


The Beauty of Venice

Stepping from the water-taxi onto the cobbled road in Venice, I knew I never wanted to go home. You may assume that’s premature considering I only walked off the plane shortly before. So before I get started on the rich beauty of the city, here’s a beautiful photograph of one of the first things I saw opening my eyes in Venezia.

So, we spent 2 days in Alilaguna and were determined to see every inch of Venice. After doing plenty of research we headed into the astounding architecture that illuminates the Italian city. Shabby-chic buildings that appeared dream-like, painted in classy colours with snow white wooden windows. They almost look like they’ve been intentionally painted to look old and quaint – but that isn’t the case. The architecture is like nothing you have ever seen in the UK. The intricate detailing on the stone makes you ponder over how long it took someone to create such masterpieces. Venturing down to San Marco Square, you will gasp at the beauty and feel like you’ve just walked into Ancient Rome. When you see pictures of Venice in magazines you probably think ‘wow.’ Times that by ten and put a cherry on top. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s like Disney Land for grown-ups.

Firstly, you should probably know that when you venture into the alley ways and backstreets of Venice it is literally like a maze. One street leads to another, which leads to another and another. So it’s handy to carry a map or have access to Google Maps – unless you like the whole mystery of getting lost in Venice. That’s what I thought and before I knew it, I was at the opposite side of the Grand Canal!

While we’re on the topic of the Grand Canal, it is something you must go see for the view alone. The sun glistens in the powder blue water that swishes around the pastel painted houses. You can see for miles out at the gorgeous city and every sparkly city light. It kind of makes you feel insignificant – in a good way of course – that there is just a place so beautiful on earth.  

Very cliché but never to be missed; you must take a gondola ride. If you purchase a ride on the day, I believe they are quite pricey so it’s always best to try book in advance. Relaxing to the ebb and flow of the Italian waters is lovely, especially when it feels like a secret tour around the attractive backstreets of Venice. Small tunnels and bridges make the route scenic, although I did rather wonder how they painted their houses lovely spring shades when the ground below is nothing but water and river boats.

There are plenty of quaint and quirky cafes sitting on the waterfront. I would list them, but I don’t recall their names – partially because I had no pen and partly because I was slightly intoxicated... Anyway, we sat outside one cool little cafe with a jug of red wine and two glasses. While the sun glistened off the glasses, I felt at home here. It was like the world elsewhere didn’t exist. This was where I was meant to be. Nothing mattered – even if it was for only 2 days. I would say that on the downside, alcohol is very expensive in Venice. So if you are a big drinker, it’s probably best to save your pennies with one drink costing an average of 6 Euros.
Saint Mark’s Basilica is the most exquisite place and never have my eyes seen interior so delicate, yet simultaneously grand. The towering ceilings and holy drawings stretching across the walls are made up entirely from intricate pieces of mosaic. Tiny flakes of gold cover the place of worship from head to toe. This was a special place where we lit a candle and said a prayer which was a beautiful moment.

Sun down and the first thing you want to do is try Italian pizza, pasta and wine. We headed to several restaurants over our time there. You have to venture into the backstreet's to find quaint and cosy places to eat. I would say that even though the food was amazing and definitely better than the UK’s attempt at Italian dishes, the wine was the highlight. Every place we drank or ate, whether it be a bar or restaurant, offered the best red wines. So if anything, ensure you take a thorough look through the drinks menu and be adventurous with the grape you try.

Bars don’t tend to exist in Venice and are more like cafe bars. This means that most places shut before midnight so try to venture out early. The best drink – apart from the red wine – I have found that the Italians create to perfection is the champagne spritz. If you don’t try this then make sure that you try their lemoncello which is difficult to get your hands on in the UK. 

Venice is for dreamers. It's for those who want to get lost in every inch of the magic and its historical nature. There is so much to do and see that we couldn't manage to squeeze everything into two days. It costs around 15 Euros to get from the airport to Alilaguna. You have to take a water bus which are quite regular and takes around a hour to arrive in the city. My advice would be to save up your pennies as Venice is quite expensive for food and drink. You should also invest in comfy shoes because - believe me - you will walk forever. Visiting in November time was quite nippy and windy to say the least. In the summer, Venezia would be ideal for couples or explorers who want to see some beautiful landmarks and venture into a city like none you have ever been before. There is so much history there that you will definitely get back on the plane home with a big smile on your face. 

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