It is to state the obvious that Venice (Italy) has to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Stepping into Venice is like stepping into an alternate universe. You are in a land quite unlike anywhere else. For a moment, you can forget all the problems of the world and enjoy the wonderland you are immersed in. One of the things that I love about Venice is that it has got to be one of the most confusing places to navigate through. I know that sounds strange, but I am proud to have a pretty good sense of direction and can usually find my way around most places after being there for a short time. Venice humbles me every time.
You want to avoid Venice at peak tourist seasons. Even at the end of March, it was packed. However, it was bearable. I happened to be on work trip nearby and so took an extra day to go and visit this amazing place. It is quite easy, even if you have a rental car. There are places to park near the entrance to the city. Go to this website to find out where to park (parking near Venice). Another real option (and cheaper if you are going to be there for a number of days), is the airport parking.
Once in Venice, everything is expensive, including transportation. Restaurants can be ridiculous. My solution was not to eat at restaurants that often, but to eat the sandwiches and other things sold in many of the smaller shops. Transport can be expensive if you take the public “water taxi”. There are ways to reduce this cost, but the best is not to use the taxis. Walk. It is not that far. Venice is tiny. I reduced my costs of going to the islands (Burano, Murano & Torcello.) by going to them 24 hours from my departure from Venice. An all day pass to get you to Burano (and the other 2 islands) is 20 Euros and was still valid when I needed to leave for the parking the next day.
The photo above is a view of the iconic, Grand Canal taken at dawn. I was surprised that I was by myself on the Academy bridge (Ponte Dell’ Accadamia). Venice is full of photographers and even before dawn you see many out taking photos. I was a little late this morning and was concerned that I wouldn’t get a place on the bridge. When I started, happily I was alone. I continued taking photos right the way through sunrise as the sun showed itself from behind the buildings on the left bank. But this shot, my second of the morning, with the lights and the soft pink glow, was the keeper.