Having lived in Italy for over 2 years, i had lot of opportunities to travel around Italy. And i did travel everywhere except Venice! I knew Venice was over hyped and over crowded, and avoided it for a decade. Then i stumbled upon a chance to visit Padova to meet my best friend and the opportunity of visiting Venice presented itself once again. This time i visited Venice, albeit without much expectations. Some of the Venice tips and tricks helped it to make it a memorable experience!
When i started researching for the trip, i came across fascinating history of Venice. My expectations started soaring. The capital of Veneto in Italy, Venice is made of 118 small islands interlaced with canals spread across the Venetian lagoon. Located on a strategic trade route, connecting Western Europe with Central Asia, Venice was an important port since the medieval times. With the rise of maritime trade in 13th century, the city flourished, with wealthy merchants building ornate houses along the main canal. The influences of Gothic, Byzantine, Classical, Renaissance and Baroque styles in historical monuments reveal the confluence of architecture and the prosperity of Venice!
Main island of Venice
Though heavily crowded with day trippers, i was able to dodge the rush by escaping into side lanes away from the main attractions. I was delighted exploring narrow lanes, crossing enumerable bridges, and stopping for a gelato in a quiet piazza. The gondola ride filled my heart with enchantment for this beautiful city, I was grateful to be here finally.
Venturing up the Campanile ensured further relief from the sea of people. This is where i was able to capture magnificent panorama and the underlying serenity of Venice.
Venice tips and tricks
Venice represents everything i do not cherish as a traveler. Coming from India and having experienced the crowd and heat on daily basis, this is what we Indians avoid while traveling abroad during the summer break. I would definitely suggest visiting this beautiful city during the winter and in non peak season to avoid the heat and the rush.
Well, Venice never has a dull season; Piazza san Marco remains crowded throughout the year but at least cooler climes assure enjoyable gondola and boat rides.
Another way to cherish the beauty of the Venice is by staying away from the main islands. This is a doable Venice tips and tricks. La Giudecca across Giudecca Canal is a great option to soak in the panorama of Doge’s Palace and towering Campanile from quiet corners. It is a different world out there with the quaint residential streets and family-run restaurants offering delicious Venetian meals.
Island Hopping around Venice
After a few days of wandering around Venice, the Island hopping around Venice brings much needed relief from the madness. The most important and interesting of Venice tips and tricks is to go for a day trip to Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, Lido di Venezia, Isola di Burano or other quaint islands. These smaller visits certainly enhances the experience of visiting Venice to a different level. Do not miss reading about the Islands Hopping around Venice!
The beauty of Venice has brought the beast of mass tourism to its shores. Venice which is home to less than 50,000 residents receives up to 30 million tourists a year. The overcrowded city seems to be bursting at all the seams during the peak season. The beauty is a threat to venetian heritage.
While this requires getting out of Venice absolutely necessary, it also makes you wonder how long would it sustain before collapsing. The residents of Venice have started holding protests to restrict the mass tourism. The Unesco is already considering to add Venice in the list of ‘Endangered Cities’. Unless something is done soon to protect the delicate ecological balance of the lagoon, Venice is under the threat from the cruise ships and mass tourism which dumps more than 70,000 tourists a day on this tiny island. The ‘City of the Masks’ has earned an unfortunate title of a ‘Sinking City’.
Here are some world voices sharing their concerns
Contemporary artist Lorenzo Quinn’s monumental sculpture of two white hands rising out of the Grand Canal at the Ca’ Sagredo Hotel in Venice says it all!
While Venice tips and tricks can save you from the crowd and enhance the experience, what will Save Venice is a fundamental concern. Besides the overcrowding, rising sea waters is another threat to the existence of Venice. The regular flooding caused by high tides has left Piazza San Marco getting submerged many a times. In the words of historian Thomas Madden: “It had always been a fragile place of exquisite beauty and slow death. It was now an emergency”. A special project known as the MOSE Barrier has been designed to Though this $6 billion project has been entangled in controversy ever since its inception and is yet to be fully implemented. Eventually the rising sea levels are suspected to destroy Venice completely, how soon that happens is what we live to witness!