Venice is famous for many things – gondolas, Carnival, sinking – but this surreal city is the birthplace of some significant people throughout history. It can be hard to imagine growing up in Venice today, given how many tourists march through its streets each day and how few Venetians actually live there anymore.
Some places seem to lend themselves to mystery – and Venice is just such a place. This is the kind of city that seems the perfect setting for a detective novel. While there’s nothing wrong with good storytelling, some of the longest-standing legends in Venice are tall tales that need to be debunked. Here, then, are some of the most common Venice myths – and the truths behind them.
Enjoy the best of Venice with the Ultimate Venice Experience for 2! Perfect for first-time visitors and locals alike, these tours offer a unique way to see the city.
The Venice you can see today looks hundreds of years old – because it is. The powerful Republic of Venice lasted from the 7th century to the 18th century, and a walk through the canal city today feels like a walk through history. To get a feel for Venice’s older history, however, you have to visit the nearby island of Torcello to explore the origins of Venice.
In a city like Venice, where the waterways are the streets, there is one “street” that’s more famous than any other – the Grand Canal. This wide canal snakes through the heart of Venice from the train station to St. Mark’s Square – but even though it splits the city essentially in two, there are very few bridges that cross it. Here’s an overview of the bridges that span the Grand Canal.
In the 16th century, the architect Andrea Palladio made a name for himself designing villas for wealthy families throughout the Veneto region. Italy has no shortage of beautiful buildings, but the Palladian villas of the Veneto are noteworthy enough to have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1996.
You may have heard about the Venice Biennale – the biannual celebration of contemporary art that takes over parts of the city for a good portion of every odd-numbered year. In such an historic city, the Biennale has long made Venice a central location of modern art, too. But what’s an art lover to do in even-numbered years? Not to worry – that’s when the Venice Biennale of Architecture takes place.
Although many people treat Venice as a day trip destination, you can just as easily base yourself in Venice for several days and take day trips into the surrounding area. One excellent day trip option from Venice is Verona, the city Shakespeare made famous with Romeo and Juliet. There’s more to Verona than Shakespeare, however.
Spending New Year’s Eve in Venice involves a mix of traditions you’ll find throughout Italy and some special Venetian touches. After all, this unique city can’t just celebrate like everyone else, now, can it?
If you only have a few days in Venice but want to see some of the other nearby islands, this tour is perfect. Transport is included in the ticket price, and you get 45-60 minutes on each island, either to participate in the included demonstration or to just explore on your own. It makes a great day trip from Venice – and will surely give you some further insight into life in the Venetian Lagoon, especially if you’re as clueless about it as I was.