For most of the people, Venice is synonymous with romance. Of course, there are also detractors, those who failed to overlap the virtual imagine of the city with the real one, but the most of them love the city, imagining it as a symbol of love inspired by the love stories housed by the shriveled walls of the buildings.
The first thing that attracts your attention, once you get here, are the buildings’ facades. Grave, fallen but also proud and sumptuous, these carry nobly the mark of time. Trying to describe the local architecture would mean using a long string of pompous words. The facades of the buildings which are mirrored in the water are telling their own stories and history, stuck in another time.
The legends of the city brought its reputation of city of love, that’s why many couples choose it as their destination. In fact, Venice is so popular that what characterizes it the most is its pure romance.
The first thing that you’ll not be able to avoid is the terrible agglomeration because here the city is always crowded. Venice is the city that is never tired and never sleeps.
If you’ve decided to be a convinced romantic, no matter the price, then you have to be prepared because in this dream city, romance is everything but cheap, and that’s kind of normal if we take into account that it is one of the most popular destinations in the world. More than that, if you’re one of those people that like to take advantage of the sales in order to do serious shopping, then you might not be very inspired choosing Venice as destination. The discounts here are insignificant and only for the locals.
Venice must be visited by walking if you want to enjoy its beauty. A gondola ride can be just as enlightening.
The streets of the city are in fact a maze, and if you want to get out of it, you must read the walls. All these narrow and dark little streets lead to the zero kilometer of Venice – San Marco Square. The temptations that will deviate you from your way will not avoid you: the big and spectacular stores, the little and colored boutiques, the souvenir stalls, wineries and bakeries with showcases that reveal the most delicious cakes.
If you’re not tempted by the cookies, then one of the big slices of delicious pizza will definitely make you give in the temptation.
The zero kilometer
San Marco Square is dominated by the cathedral with the same name, which shortly became one of the symbols of Venice, together with the gondolas. Built in 828 in the Byzantine style by the Doge Giustiniano Participazio, it had the role of housing the holy relics of Saint Marc the Evangelist, the protector of the city.
In front of the cathedral is placed the San Marco Bell Tower, which measures 97 m in height. It was built in 1540 and it was meant to supervise and observe. Its most renowned “guardian” is Galilei, who took advantage of the tower’s height in order to do his studies and observations.
Doge’s Palace is located next to the San Marco Cathedral, and is the second palace built to serve as a residence for the Doge. The first construction was built when Venice was an independent republic and was ruined in 976 by a powerful fire, along with the San Marco Cathedral. The current palace was built in 1340 and housed the doge since 1789. Here was the place where they took the most important legislative, executive and judicial decisions, all being manipulated by the doge who was elected for life.
In the past, Doge’s Palace included all Venice’s prisons, and the conditions there were far from being human. The most famous fugitive is Giacomo Casanova.
A short walk along the wharf will lead to the famous Bridge of Sighs, which links the old prisons to the Doge’s Palace. The name was inspired by the sighs of the prisoners, who were living their last moment of freedom when crossing the bridge.
The Carnival of Venice
One month per year, Venice is clothed with celebration and the city relives his colorful and glorious past. The carnival was mentioned first in 1094 and in 1269 became legal. In you arrive here in February, you feel have the strange feeling of going back in time. This event was the only chance for the locals to be equal, being the only time of the year when the nobles and the common people could wear the same clothes, masks and partying all together.
Besides the impressive architecture of the city, in the gallery of the city, there’s also an interesting element: the wooden pillars. The city that floats on water depends on this structure on which the brick and stone buildings are resting.
During spring and autumn, it takes place the phenomenon called aqua alta that floods the entire city. It always existed but the new climatic changes have amplified these effects.
Modern Venice is far from being a city of lovers, although its history claims something else. On the walls of the beautiful but sad houses, remained only the perfume of an era when love affairs and masked balls were held in high esteem, in a time when there were no airplanes, trains, internet or travel agencies.
Today, Venice is a beautiful commercial city where you have to be ready to spend big.