Venice, a Magnificent Italian city in northeastern Italy, and is the capital of the Veneto region. It is located on a group of 118 small islands, that are separated by classically designed canals and linked by over 400 bridges. These islands are in the shallow Venetian Lagoon which is an enclosed bay lying between the mouths of the Po and the Piave rivers. Venice is synonymous with art and architecture and with beautiful cityscape, uniqueness, and rich musical and artistic cultural heritage.
Best places to visit in Venice
Venice with its world-famous gondolas, canals, amazing restaurants, and unforgettable romantic ambiance all over, is definitely a city for one’s bucket list. Venice has some great waterfront palazzos, palaces, and churches that make the visitors drifting down the Grand Canal and feel like moving through a painting.
1. Doge’s Palace
It is a palace built in Venetian Gothic style and is one of the main landmarks of the city. This palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice. This was built in 1340 and extended and modified in the following centuries. It became a museum in 1923 and is one of the 11 museums that are located in Venice.
2. Canal Grande
Canal Grande is the channel in Venice that forms one of the major water-traffic corridors in the city. It is an architectural marvel that connects the whole of Venice. One the banks of the Grand Canal there are with than 170 buildings, most of which date from the 13th to the 18th century. The Majority of the city’s traffic goes side by side with the Canal rather than across it. These palaces emerge from water without pavement. Unfortunately, you can only tour past the fronts of the buildings that lie on the grand canal by boat.
3. Basilica di San Marco
It is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice. Basilica di San Marco is the most famous of the city’s churches. This place is a blend of the architectural styles of East and West. Venice’s magnificent basilica was devoted in 832 A.D as a divine building to house the remains of St. Mark.
4. Piazza San Marco
It is mostly known in English as St Mark’s Square, where it is also known just as la Piazza (“the Square”). The square is faced by the famous St Mark’s Basilica on its eastern side.
Some more places to look out for in Venice
- The Ghetto
- Pallaro Duerle
- La Biennale di Venezia
- Ca Pesaro
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Venice is during April, May, September, and October. These months the city is warm and dry but not too hot. You should avoid visiting in August when the weather is hot and muggy and many Venetians leave for a month-long vacation. Winter is better as this place is less crowded (except during Carnival season). It is rainy in winter and the chance of flooding increases, though typically not enough to prevent sightseeing.
The best Time for Sightseeing is the Mid-spring, and particularly the first half of May in Venice. The cold of winter has gone and the sun makes a daily appearance which warms up the weather. Tourist services are fully operational, yet you’re unlikely to run into large crowds. If you want to spend your days lying on the beach, you should definitely visit in May. May is not an option, the second half of September is your next best bet, with the crowds of summer beginning to thin.
The temperatures also cool down in September. August is so far the worst time for sightseeing in Venice. It is accompanied by stifling heat and high humidity, lots of bugs, and plenty of sweaty tourists to contend with. It doesn’t matter what time of year you’re in Venice, you should visit the popular attractions like St. Mark’s Square, it is best enjoyed during the early morning hours. It will help you to be in the first rows as well as help you to take magical photos.
Food in Venice
Pasta and Pizzas are world-famous staples that originate from Italian cuisine. Apart from these Italian cuisine is home to various mindblowing dishes. Tourists who come to Venice make the mistake of flocking to touristy eateries. These places serve food that reflects their expectations (such as pasta and pizza) and not the food locals or Veneziani really eat. The genuine Venetian cuisine consists of really tasty and refined dishes based on vegetables and fishes. Here are the top 10 foods/drinks you must try when visiting La Serenissima.
1. Sarde in saor
This delectable agrodolce or sweet-sour dish will blow your mind. It mainly consists of fried sardine fillets marinated in vinegar, onions, raisins, and pine nuts. Saor was originally invented in the Middle Ages as a method of preservation by Venetian fishermen, and sailors. With the help of modern refrigeration, preserving fish (and other foods) in this way is no longer necessary. However, this dish tasted sour and sweet simultaneously so was liked by Venetians and today it exists as a modern-day antipasto or appetizer.
2. Baccala mantecato
On the second spot is another sublime fish-based antipasto. Baccala mantecato also known as creamed dried cod is prepared by soaking, poaching, and blending the fish into a smooth mousse with a hint of olive oil, salt, and pepper as seasonings. You may also taste parsley and garlic in some flavors. Baccala mantecato is served as a spread on slices of either fresh bread or grilled white polenta. Polenta is a staple of Venice.
3. Risotto al nero di seppia
One more staple of Venice is the rice. However few dishes are more Venetian than this seafood-based risotto. The squid ink in the starter may have a rather alarming and strange jet-black color to the rice. This dish however is a winner as most visitors tend to like it because of the distinct briny flavor of its squid, wine, onion, tomato, and ink braise.
4. Risi e Bisi
This list will be incomplete without another rice-based starter, Risi e Bisi or Venetian-style rice and peas. Primo was traditionally served as an offering to the Doge of Venice from the peasantry of the lagoon islands on April 25, St. Mark’s Day. It’s not a soup completely neither a risotto, Risi e Bisi is made with Vialone Nano rice, pancetta, onion, butter, parsley, and enough pea-shell broth!
5. Bigoli in salsa
Another signature starter dish of Venice is Bigoli in salsa. It is also called as bigoi by the locals. These are essentially long, thick, whole-wheat strands of pasta almost like spaghetti. A salsa or sauce consisting of onions and salt-cured fish (sardines or anchovies) is served with the pasta. In the past it was served on Giorni di Magro or lean days such as Good Friday and Christmas Eve, this simple but delicious dish is now served all year round in Venice.
6. Fegato alla veneziana
Offal enthusiasts will be pleased with the main course made from the liver of calf and stewed onions. The earthiness of the liver is balanced perfectly by the sweet, caramelized onions. Tourists who claim not to like liver change their minds after tasting this dish. This delicacy is served on a creamy bed of polenta.
All sorts of wonderful crustaceans are found in The Venetian lagoon, now this makes Venice a perfect place to try delicious seafood. Molech, small green crabs, are a seasonal, springtime delicacy shed their shells and the only is suitable for eating. These crabs being soft and tender lend themselves well to fried dishes and salads.
Sailors needed food that would last during their often long and precarious voyages, this is the time when the Republic of Venice was a great seafaring power. The dry, oval-shaped, and most importantly, long-lasting bacilli or ship biscuits were among their most important rations at that time. Their appearance may seem simple but preparing them is actually a very long process as they require two rises and double baking. Venetian aristocrats were fond of dipping bacilli in creams and dessert wines those days. Now these days, you’ll find them being served with coffee and zabaglione.
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Venice during the time of Carnival, then you must try fritole. These are sweet pastry fritters traditionally prepared and eaten as part of the festivities before Lent. These pastries are made with a rich batter consisting of flour, eggs, butter, milk, sugar, pine nuts, and raisins, they are molded in balls, deep-fried in oil, and dusted with sugar. If you are into sweets this is perfect for you.
The Veneto region has a perfect climate which helps it grow both quality red and white wines. Many concoctions such as the Bellini and Spritz are made with Sparkling white wine Prosecco. It is quite a fashion to order it before dinner. However, if we have to choose a white wine to accompany all the fish you’ll be eating here, then the best option is a bottle of Soave. To accompany heartier dishes, you may prefer reds like Valpolicella or Amarone. There are also white wines such as Orto di Venezia and Venissa if you want some local and cheap drinks. All these wines are produced on the islands of the lagoon.
Top Hotels in Venice
There are numerous hotels in and around Venice. And they contain all the amenities of luxuries which you can need. These hotels are well maintained and are designed in the fusion of both classical Venetian and modern architecture. The top hotels of Venice are mentioned below
- Piano Nobile degli Scudi
- Hotel Canal Grande
- Palazzo Veneziano
- Hotel Savio and Jolanda
- Hotel Danieli
- Al Ponte Antico Hotel
- Belmond Hotel Cipriani
- Aman Venice
- Palazzo Cristo
- The St. Regis Venice