Venice, Italy: Exploring the “Floating City”

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Kim Chwalek

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I'm a 25-year old girl based in Denver, Colorado. Kim Collective is a space where I share about beauty, faith, food & home, style, travel, well-being, and everything in between. Thanks for stopping by!

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Venice is a beautiful city that sits on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by 400 bridges. These canals branch throughout city, creating a transportation network for gondolas and small motorboats. Henceforth, Venice feels like a maze. From the massive hordes of tourists to the zig-zag pathways, it can be difficult to navigate this crowded city! During my visit, my friends and I used the ferry to get from Lido to Venice.

If you want to read more about Italy, check out my articles on Pompeii, Italy: Exploring the Ancient Ruins of the Lost Roman City, Rome, Italy: Visiting the Colosseum, and Florence, Italy: 3 Days in the “City of Art and Culture.”

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The central square, Piazza San Marco, contains St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, and the Campanile di San Marco. The Basilica is tiled with beautiful Byzantine mosaics, the Doge’s Palace features a Venetian Gothic architectural design, and the Campanile offers stunning views of the city. The plaza itself is very beautiful also filled with a variety of shops and restaurants. This a great area to see, however, it can get very crowded so I’d recommend also exploring the outer regions of the city!

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The Horses of St. Mark’s Basilica, also known as the Triumphal Quadrigaare, are composed of 96% copper and were constructed in the 2nd or 3rd century AD. Since the 1980’s, the real horses were placed inside Saint Mark’s Basilica and the outside horses are mere replicas. Recent studies have suggested that the horses were of Roman origin and once stood on top of the Hippodrome in Constantinople. These horses have had a long and fascinating history and are beautifully constructed!

Santa Maria della Salute is a Roman Catholic Church located in Punta della Dogana in the Dorsoduro district of the city. Consecrated in 1687, the church is embellished with 125 statues and has a vast and luminous interior with six chapels. The architecture is stunning and the interior is great to walk through and admire!

The Rialto Bridge is a 16th century stone bridge that stretches across the Grand Canal. Constructed in 1591,  the bridge has been rebuilt several times since its formation. Quite notably, the current bridge is built on 12,000 wooden pilings have supported the bridge for more than 400 years. The Rialto Bridge is an icon in Venice and is always incredibly crowded! It’s difficult to walk to the bridge due to the hordes of tourists in Venice’s tights streets. Therefore, I’d recommend exploring the area at an earlier hour!

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This sculpture was crafted by Artist Lorenzo Quinn for the 2017 Venice Biennale. Titled Support, these gigantic hands rising from the water are intended to represent the impact of climate change and rising sea levels in Venice.

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I’d highly recommend paying for a one hour gondola ride! Not only are gondolas a famous aspect of Venice, but they also offer you a new perspective of the city from the canals. The views were beautiful and the ride had many great photo-ops!

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If you have the time, I’d recommend visiting Burano, a lively fishing island, and Murano, an artisanal glass island. These two islands are beautiful and far less crowded. They are also accessible by the ferry and offer a few boutique shops to browse through! The photo above features a beautiful waterway in Burano.

Shops, Restaurants, & Sites

  • Ristora pizzeria

  • Venchi

  • Basilica di San Marco

  • Murano

  • Libreria Acqua Alta

  • Ristorante Florida

  • Saint Mark’s Square

  • Rialto Bridge

  • Grand Canal

  • Basilica di Santa Maria Deila Salute

  • Seminario Patriarcale di Venezia

  • Riva Del Vin

My last day in Venice was beautiful. When I boarded my final ferry, golden hour struck the sky, basking the scenery in shimmering gold. The sky filled with pink, blue, and purple pastels, and the turquoise waters sparkled our boat traveled back to Lido.  It was a great end to an great trip. If you have been or want to go to Venice, let me know what you think of the city in the comments below!

 

XO, Kim

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