On 26-27th of November 2016 we spent exactly 24 hours in the water city of Venice, 9 of which sleeping;) Is it possible to explore Venice in only one day? Is it worth it? See my travel review – let’s get lost in Venice!
Get lost in Venice
Our travel started on Saturday 26th at 11.00 a.m. We’ve been travelling from Berlin Schonefeld by Ryanair. The plane left the airport on time and we landed in Venice Treviso only 1,5 hours later. I have never been to Italy before and my first impression confirmed what i have already heard about it: there is no such thing as hurry in italy. From the Treviso airport we’ve been travelling to the Troncetto, Venice by Barzi Bus (12 euro for single ticket, 22 euro for round trip) and could observe a relaxed bus driver smoking a cigarette and chatting with a friend for a really long time after bus schedulded departure time with the bus full of people was waiting for him. Who cares, just relax and soak up italian atmosphere ;)
Troncetto bus parking is located on the west part of Venice islands. You can either take a people mover (kind of tram), walk by feet or swim by Vaporetto water tram to get to the centre of Island part of Venice. We found the third option most interesting and decided to sail whole Canal Grande to get to the south-east part of Venice where our hotel was located. There are yellow tram stops located on the water, Vaporetto stopped about 7-8 times before getting to the final point.
Venice is situated on exactly 117 small islands linked by bridges. Because of its unique architecture, Venice is one of the most important tourists’ destination in the world.
Buildings in Venice are constructed on wooden piles, mostly from alder tree known for its water resistance. Most of the piles are still in a very good condition after being submerged by water for centuries. The foundations are placed on the limestone lying on top of wooden piles, and buildings made from brick and stone sit above.
We were charmed by hotels and appartments house with an entrance door situated right at the canal. You simply leave your house and jump in the boat or gondola to go for shopping – how cool is that?
In the old town of Venice, the canals serve as roads and almost every form of transport is on water or on foot. To be honest, I wasn’t aware there absolutely NO car traffic in Venice. As a tourist you can borrow a car to get to the city, but you’ll have to leave it at the city border. It’s really weird to watch water taxis, courriers or water ambulance on a signal if you are used to living in a big city with a huge car traffic.
Gondolas and gondolieri of Venice
Venice canals are famous for the gondolas and gondoliers with their typical stripped shirts. Did you know that the profession of gondolier is controlled by a guild and there are only 425 licenses granted? To be a licensed gondolier you have to pass an exam which tests knowledge of Venetian history, foreign language skills, and practical skills in handling the gondola in the tight spaces of Venetian canals.
Attractions of Venice
The best known attractions of Venice except for the Canal Grande are: Palazzo Ducale, Piazza and Basilica di San Marco. We could admire them all after reaching the one of the last stops of our Vaporetto ride: San Zaccaria.
Palazzo Ducale, Venice
Palazzo Ducale (eng.: Doge’s Palace) is a palace built in Venetian Gothic style that served as the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the former Republic of Venice. Since 1923 there is a museum in Palazzo Ducale – one of the 11 museums run by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia.
Piazza and Basilica di San Marco, Venice
Located in the oldest part of Venice, Piazza di San Marco (eng.: St Mark’s Square) is the principal public square of the city. The square’s most important monument is Basilica di San Marco (eng.: Church of St Mark) with its great arches and marble decoration. Beyond the church, there’s also the Clock Tower (Torre dell’Orologio) built in 1499 and closed church of San Basso, sometimes open for exhibitions.
Ponte dell’ Accademia, Venice
On our way to the hotel we stopped for a moment at Ponte dell’ Accademia and admires the view of the canal with sun looking shyly behind the clouds.
After getting to the hotel and quick refreshment we decided to experience Venetian night life. We chose Cannaregio district for our final destination which let us as walk through the big part of the city, stopping for aperol drink and cicchetti (kind of small italian tapas) in the middle. At Cannaregio we had great italian pizza (of course!) and red wine, followed by excellent tiramisu dessert. Typical italian food: checked!
If you walk through Venice, be prepared for lots of turns and meanders, we used GPS a lot to get back to the hotel. You cannot simply walk along the canal as there is often no trespassing according to the buildings lying right at the water and you can only cross the “streets” when you have the bridge which makes you walk much longer you think. All of this makes it super easy to get lost in Venice – we managed to do it couple of times and almost missed return bus to the airport the next day ;)
After the night spent at Locanda Ca’ Messner (great location and breakfast in the restaurant’s garden) we wanted to went to see another venetian attractions: Ponte dei Sospiri and Ponte di Rialto. On the photos from Locanda’s Ca’ Messner garden you can see my DIY wood and felt necklace.
Ponte dei Sospiri, Venice
Ponte dei Sospiri (eng.: the Bridge of Sights) connects Palazzo Ducale and the Old Prison. Because the name of bridge sounds pretty romantic, most of people associate it with lovers and their love confessions. The historical meaning of it is quite different: it comes from the prisoners who crossed the bridge and sighed as they had their last glimpse of the free world before being confined.
Ponte di Rialto, Venice
Ponte di Rialto (eng.: Rialto Bridge) is the oldest bridge spanning the Grand Canal. We crossed it on our way back to Tronchetto to have a last look on the Venice with all it’s charm.
At 12.30 we had a bus from Tronchetto to Treviso airport and then our flight back to Berlin Schonefeld.
Even though I was bit afraid that 24 hours is not enough to experience Venice, now I thinks it’s pretty enough! If you don’t need to explore every monument deeply and just want to feel the city’s atmosphere – go for it. I highly reccomend it as Venice is a must-see on every travellers list and a really unique place worldwide!