07 January 2017

Discovering Italy: Venice

In November we visited the neighbour country Italy. Our little adventure led us from Padova, Venice, Verona and Vicenza, for picturesque Italian cities, full of art, culture and great architecture.

It is always tricky to visit the city with kids. Mainly because for sure they don't like the same things that the parents do and they get bored and annoyed quickly.

So I was reluctant to visit Venice as we planed to stay there for the whole day. But Venice proved me wrong.

The city of numerous canals and bridges offers an ideal family trip for all tastes. We got to enjoy the day in wandering the streets and squares and the boys had lots of fun "climbing" the bridges and their fences, looking at water traffic in the canals (those were the favorite and patience tasters for us - how many passing boats can a person look at) and water-buses, water-ambulances, water-taxis, boats,as in water-cars and other water vehicles were an absolute hit. The boys found it surprising that every kind of vehicle that we can find on streets in Venice flow on water.

We parked at the Tronchetto garage. From there you can take a bus, which is quite pricey or you can take shuttle that can take you to the centre. We choose to walk as it is not far (10 minutes walk) to the St. Lucia train station, a perfect starting point.

As we had the whole day to visit, we didn't want to rush things and prefered to enjoy the calm day in Venice, so we decided to not follow the map and necessary all the must touristic attractions but more wander the streets and see where that takes us.

And our journey took us through many narrow streets and corners of Venice, Ponte Rialto, St. Marco square and also through less know touristic places packed with locals enjoying their day and children playing in the streets. All the main attractions are well marked everywhere you go so you just need to follow the signs.

If you stay in Venice for longer time, take the boat to the Murano and Lido islands as well. In the summers Lido is the city beach to Venetians and Murano where they make the famous Murano glass.

I would also recommend visiting Peggy Guggenheim museum in the vila where she lived, but it's probably already on your visiting list.

Venice is beautiful with the amazing Venetians houses and buildings, with lots of culture and especially history but its stunning only if you visit in the right time or weather. In November we had a fabulous, warm and sunny weather that the city shined in its splendidness,but I have already visited Venice in not so pleasant times. For instance in winter it can be windy and quite cold and if it isn't sunny also very unpleasant. In summer, in very hot weather it can be smelly. It seems like the canals are dumping place for city's rubbish.

As we normally travel on a budget, we prepare launch boxes before leaving on a trip. In more touristic areas in Venice (and Italy in general) you can pay double, sometimes even more what you ordered as the restaurants charge serving. In cafes they will charge you for sitting (triple the price of coffee or even more, depends on the location), that is why all the Italians drinking their espresso at the bar.

But if you go outside the tourist areas you can find some nice local pizzerias where you can taste the real Italian pizza, thin and lightly coated with the ingredients (those are my favorite).

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