While Venice might not be geographically all that close to the Amalfi Coast, it is a place very close to my heart. The first time I traveled to Italy, I visited Venice and only Venice (with a little jaunt to see the Museo Ferrari in Maranello), and it was a memorable trip. For this week’s Tempting Tuesday, Cecil Lee, an avid traveler and photographer, tells us about his experiences visiting Venice earlier this year.
One of the cities that I love most in Italy is definitely Venice. Venice is composed of 118 small islands separating by canals. It is sited along Adriatic Sea in Northeast Italy. Not unexpectedly, it is also the most valuable island in Italy as researches tell us that Venice is sinking by 5mm each year and by the year 2050, most parts of Venice will be underwater! In fact, many parts of the city are already sunken into water and long vacant. When I was there last summer, St. Mark’s Square, the most famous landmarks in Venice, was partly flooded in the morning during high tide.
How should I describe Venice? I was stunned and amazed by the beautiful scenic view of the city when I first visited the island. The whole city is surrounded by sea and divided by canals. Naturally, the main means of transportation there is by water. Most of the great buildings are not new. They were constructed centuries ago and many of them are already partly sunken into sea water!
Tourists attractions are mainly concentrated along the main waterway, Grand Canal of Venice. Hotels, restaurants, shops and pubs are spread along it and around the Rialto Bridge. But I like to explore further into the local lifestyle, by walking away from the tourists spots without the worry of getting lost. There are always signs showing the direction back to Rialto Bridge or Piazza San Marco. Drinking coffee and eating home made pizza with Venetians in any of the local cafés and restaurants is definitely exciting and rewarding.
Of course, I love also those main tourists attractions in Venice, such as St. Mark’s Square, the Bridge of Sighs and the Rialto Bridge. Make sure you bring enough memory SD cards, because I snap, snap and snap not less than 1000 photos when I was in Venice! The sky was so blue and clear, the sunlight so bright and beautiful and my photos all turned out fantastic. Though the sun was hot, I could always cool down by eating gelato after gelato!
Having coffee at the outdoor seating of the famous Florian coffee bar in St. Mark’s Square, listening to live violin music and witnessing the colors of the sunset in front of the historical St. Mark’s Basilica was an enchanting experience.
I love also the romantic setting all over Venice especially the gondola ride along the Grand Canal, which definitely will make your stay in Venice a memorable honeymoon trip. The environment there is perfect for falling in love, so be careful who you go to Venice with!
Whoever has seen Venice will definitely want to go back for more. I’m certainly one of them…
Cecil Lee is an avid traveler who is also a passionate travel blogger and travel photographer living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He writes about travel for MNUI travel insurance and on his own travel photo blog, Travel Feeder.
Have you been to Venice? What do you remember most?
I love Venice, too, and was able to live there for several years. It allowed me to understand the city from a local perspective, which brings me to my next point.
The first part about Venice sinking is a bit exaggerated. The city has two areas that are especially low and therefore flood more often: Saint Mark's Square and just under the Rialto bridge. Those areas happen to also be the most touristy. If the city dredged all the canals more often and patched up the large underwater canal that allows the cruiselines to come into the lagoon for docking, the flooding would be drastically reduced. Plus, the city is building a huge underwater wall project called the Mose to further stop the intense flooding (which happens about twice a year, for a few hours at a time).
Readers don't have to worry too much about "losing" Venice. The water is not as much a problem as the general integrity of Venetian life in the future that is in question.
An American in Padua
Ciao Irene! Thanks for stopping by and for your informative comment. Agreed on the topics of Venice sinking and flooding. I've read about the underwater wall project, and I hope that prevents the more serious flooding.
Living in a high tourist area here on the Amalfi Coast, I agree that the more pressing questions surround the impact of tourism. Would love hear your thoughts on the topic if you ever feel like guest posting about your experiences living in Venice!