I've visited a handful of countries, and Italy was the first where I didn't speak (much less understand) the language. This made my weekend a unique and unforgettable experience, and I'm looking forward to many more adventures like it. Venice is special; it being "The Floating City", the people have held on to their rich and unique culture for centuries. The cappuccino was hot, the food was rich, the art was timeless, and the people were warm. I only had one weekend in Venice, but I can guarantee it won't be my last. Although it's a pretty small group of islands I know there's more to discover....

Highlights:

  • Basilica di San Marco – St. Mark’s Basilica
    • Going inside of the Basilica is free. The view from the gold dome is 2 euro, well worth it.
  • Basilica Santi Giovanni e Paolo - Basilica of Saints John and Paul
    • Absolutely incredible. 25 doges are buried in this basilica, and the building is a giant masterpiece. Different than St. Mark's but just as grand.
  • Canal Grande - Grand Canal
    • The main canal (Venice is full of canals). Catch a gondole if you have money to burn!
  •  Rialto Bridge
    • Built over 800 years ago over the Grand Canal and still stands today
  • Museu Correr - Correr Museum
    • Well-preserved Venetian showcase of art, furniture, and culture
  • Peggy Guggenheim Collection
    • Peggy Guggenheim's collection of modern art, from Picasso to Pollock. 5 minute walk from the Academy.
  •  Gallerie dell'Accademia - Academy Galleries
    • A place to see Renaissance masterpieces. Warning: no selfies allowed (I'm not even kidding)
  •  Palazzo Ducale - Doge's Palace
    • The word 'palace' doesn't even do it justice. This is a compound: courts, ballrooms, prisons, and all.
  •  Piazza San Marco - Saint Mark's Square
    • Get here before 10AM and get pictures without the other tourists! Then have a cappuccino on the plaza and watch them be attacked by pigeons.

Tips:

  • Take cash out at ATMs and not the currency exchanges because they tack on a huge charge.
  • Consider using Airbnb instead of staying at a hotel. This way you can cook and be comfortable at a way better price.
  • If you're flying into Marco Polo, take the Alilaguna (public transportation) water bus. It is way cheaper than chartering your own taxi, unless you're trying to pull out all the stops.
  • GPS is difficult because the complex canal and island system. Cave in and buy a map. I'm convinced the locals don't know where they're going either.
  • Buy a museum pass that allows you admission to multiple museums or you'll end up spending an arm and a leg.
  • Graze instead of sitting down to eat. A lot of the restaurants in Venice have a 10-20% service charge (not including gratuity).

Ciao!

^I've been so excited to say that.

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