The magical city of Venice is one I have had the pleasure of visiting twice. The first time in 1999, when my husband and I set off on our first European adventure. We decided to “train it” from London to France and then through to Italy, discovering major cities of these beautiful countries and igniting my affection and fascination for Europe.
Our three night stay in Venice was at Hotel Canaletto, a family owned business and home to where Antonio Canal, known as Il Canaletto, resided in the 18th century. He was an internationally renown scenery painter and many pieces of his artwork are displayed at Hotel Canaletto. I remember fondly this typical Venetian style hotel, decorated with it’s marble floors and damask decor, continental breakfast and attentive staff. Those few days in Venice were spent exploring and eating, as one does. We saw many main attractions; San Marco Basilica, Galleria Accademia, Campanile di San Marco (Bell Tower with a bird’s eye view of Venice), Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal, to name a few. The attraction list is endless, with Doge’s Palace (a gothic style palace and museum, to which was once the home of the rulers of Venice) to the unique islands of Murano (where Murano glass is produced) and Burano (where bright coloured homes welcome the tourists). It was on this trip that we experienced “The Gondola Ride”. A memorable and romantic adventure one must experience when in Venice. Sharing a gondola ride with your loved one, is a special moment, and one we will remember forever. As they say, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”, or “when in Venice, do as the Venetians do”.
We were fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Venice again in 2015 as a family. Exposing my children to this glorious city is something I am very thankful for. Broadening their knowledge and opening their eyes to this unique city rich in history and culture, is indeed a blessing. Though one word of warning, the steps leading to the canals are quiet slippery laced with moss. And as my 14 year old son learnt the hard way, it is easy to slip and fall into the canal. Lucky for him it was only knee deep and on our way back to the car.
On this journey we based ourselves in Vallegio Sul Mincio, a small town ten minutes south of Verona. We had leased a Peugeot and drove to Venice for the day. The drive was an easy one leading us straight into Venice within an hour and a half. We parked the car at the large, well located Interparking Car Park (Venezia Tronchetto Parking, Isola Nuova del Tronchetto), and took the People Mover (monorail) a short distance which lead us straight into the harbour of Venice (Stazione Marittima).
Remember to pick up a map of the city beforehand, or be prepared to pay between 3 and 5 Euro for one at various information stalls. Even so, with a map in hand, expect to get lost in Venice! It is all part of the fun and excitement of discovering this beautiful city. Wandering the narrow streets and canals, immersing oneself into Venetian culture and feasting on a variety of local Venetian cuisines is what makes this city a truly memorable affair.
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