“A fairy city of the heart” was
how Lord Byron once described Venice. La Serenissima, “The
Most Serene” is an enchanting city — a giant palace that
seems to float in water. Gently lapping waters of the canals lace
the city. In Venice — cars are banned.
Every mode of transportation literally floats — water taxis,
vaporetti (the public “bus” ferries), and even
ambulance speedboats and garbage scows. Venice is also a city of great
art and grand old masters such as the Bellini clan. Water and art
appear to be popular tourist attractions as a stream of never-ending
visitors have been flocking to Venice for more than 1,500 years. Their
visits often exceed their expectations. La Serenissima is
extraordinary, magical, and definitely worth every cent.
Gondolas in Venice, Italy
Venice is a visual treat. The list of sights
and attractions worth seeing seem endless. However, the city is
also notorious for changing and extending the opening hours of its
museums and churches. It is strongly suggested that tourists check
with the tourism office for the season’s list of museum and
The most popular attraction in Venice is the gondola
ride. It is perhaps safe to say that it will be the thrill of
a lifetime for kids and adults alike. The only drawback of the ride’s
popularity is that it has become a little expensive. The alternative
to this is the convenient and far less expensive vaporetto,
or water taxi. Though almost similar, they offer two entirely different
experiences. The vaporetto provides a utilitarian journey
down Venice’s aquatic Main Street, the Grand Canal, while the
gondola offers the chance to see Venice through the back door. If
you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the special gondolas
filled with flowers and rowed by gondolieri in livery delivering
a happy bride and groom from the church.
Feeding the pigeons in Piazza
San Marco is also a spectacular experience. A purchase of a simple
bag of corn guarantees that you’ll be draped in pigeons in less
than a second. Provided they do not have any weird aversions to birds,
this could be the epitome of a child’s visit to Venice. It is
also a great photo opportunity for visitors!
If you’re looking for an educational experience while still
maintaining a recreational atmosphere, the island of Murano is the
perfect destination. The island’s thousand-year-old art of glassblowing
is a great entertainment — and for free. However, beware for
the sure sales pitch that follows.
Be sure to visit the Campanille di San Marco
and ride its elevator to the very top for a breathtaking view of Venice’s
rooftops and church cupolas or to get a closer look at the four bronze
horses on the façade of the Basilica
San Marco. Children would also enjoy the ship models and old vessels
that can be found at the Museo Navale & Arsenale.
As you explore Venice, make sure
to bring only the essentials. Toss the map and guide in your bag and
get blissfully lost in their many back calli (streets) and
uncrowded campi (squares) where very few tourists wander
and where you will truly encounter the living, breathing, and glorious
side of the most serene city.
More on Venice
• Festivals & Events