A 48-Hour Holiday In Venice, Italy.
Venice is romantic idyll, full of history & culture with picture-perfect canals and waterside ‘palazzi’. Tourist from all over the world come to the floating city each year to experience the architecture, culture, food, carnival and landmarks.
Venice is just around the corner from the Austrian border, so a weekend away can easily be arranged. Yet there’s no need to live near by – just hope onto a plane or train and head on a lovely weekend trip to the “City of Canals”. We did exactly that last fall during Aqua Alta.
We’re not the planning kind of people; of course there are certain sights one has to see in every city, but we usually just go with the flow. This way, you’ll visit places you’d never come across in the first place. Plus it’s much more hassle free. In Venice, there are lots of sights that shouldn’t be missed. Naturally, a 48-hour holiday isn’t enough to do it all, but definitely enough to get the full on Venice experience.
Day 1 – By Foot.
Piazza San Marco & La basilica di San Marco.
No surprise here. These two sights are probably the most well known in Venice. The Piazza San Marco is not only impressive due to its size, but also because of the adjoining landmarks like Doge’s Palace or St Mark’s Campanile. Saint Mark’s Basilica is the most famous church in Venice, one of the great examples of Byzantine architecture and well worth a visit. But, be sure to calculate enough time, because crowds of people will want to enter the Basilica as well.
Ponte dei Sospiri.
Commonly known as the “Bridge of Sighs”, it lies between the Doge’s Palace with the New Prison. Not a romantic sight one might think, yet a local legend says that lovers will be granted eternal love and bliss if they kiss on a gondola at sunset under the bridge.
The Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo.
The Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo is a small palace near the Rialto bridge, which we actually just came across by accident (see, no planning does work). It’s hard to find but definitely worth the effort. The palace itself is nothing special from the outside, yet it’s best known for the spiral staircase & white arches in the inner courtyard, known as the Scala Contarini del Bovolo (which somehow reminded us of the Leaning Tower of Pisa). From up the staircase, you have a really nice panoramic view over the roof-tops of the city.
The Rialto Bridge is the oldest of the four bridges across the Grand Canal. It’s definitely one of the sights you should see at least once in your live, yet unfortunately it’s totally overrun by tourists and vendors who just want to make a quick dollar. Still, it’s an impressive structure and I hope that the government orders to restore it in the near future.
San Giorgio Maggiore.
This sight is for everyone who likes to see Venice from above. You’ll have a fantastic view over the lagoon and city, but be sure to get there earlier, because otherwise you might just have to wait for more than two hours to get up to the top.
Day 2 – By Waterway.
A Kayak Ride through the canals.
In Venice boats mean more than cars, canals more than roads. The only way one can really say to have experienced the ‘real’ Venice, is to experience the city and the lagoon by boat, gondola or – even better – by kayak. It’s best to book the entire day to make the most out of the experience. But be sure about one thing: Try to find a private guide or a small group because some of your fellow accompanies might not be very experienced and this can really ruin your day.