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Romancing the Grand Canal

  • Feb 17, 2010
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Venice! Romantic! Exotic! Exquisite! Splendid! Trendy! All these & yet I could still not describe the ambience of this amazing gem of Europe! 

Ok, may be switch on the CD & particularly the song Santa Lucia, that'll help a little...

& then there's the ice-cream, the 13th century architecture, the gondolas, the canals, the masks, the art pieces ... Oh, forget it, just fly there ;-) !

The Grand Canal/Palazzo
Cruise around the 18 islands on which Venice stands to see one of the world's brightest gems where stunning Byzantine architecture & many of the pretigious palaces can be spotted. The Grand Canal is the longest (3.8 km) & widest (from 30-70 m) which divides the city into 2 parts that are interconnected by 3 bridges. As many as 45 rii (internal canals) run into the Grand Canal. You'll see some of these when we were being transported by the romantic gondola ride.

St. Mark's Square
Oh, whether you like it or not, you'll definitely get to see Campanile of San Marco (El Paron De Casa - The Master of the House): Built & reconstructed in 1912, this tower has become the icon for Venice. A replica can even be found at the Epcot Center & another at Las Vegas, the Venetian Hotel & Resort!

Be sure to 
inspect the details & designs on the Clock Tower. Built by Codussi between 1496 & 1499, this monument has 2 'Moors', by Ambrogio da le Anchore, who strike the hours at the top of the tower. Take note of the clockwork mechanism which indicates the passing of the seasons, the phases of the moon & the movement of the sun from one sign of the zodiac to the other. Interesting!

Explore the Basilica of San Marco - the 'great temple' of Venice, the monumental symbol not only of the State Church but political power as well. It's here that newly elected doge was acclaimed & blessed when leading the ships & armies of the republic into war.

Gondola & Honeymooners
Venice is very touristy; everywhere we go we have to queue. This can be very frustrating if you don't have much time; but, one thing I'm sure of was that it felt much safer here than in the other Italian cities where we've been warned to constantly take care of our belongings & looked over our shoulders & beware of the gypsies. 

If you've come this far, well, you must ride the Gondola, right? Is it romantic? I suppose so, if there are only 2 of you on the Gondola itself. Otherwise, it's another commercial activity and with the pitch black water, imagine what it's like if the gondola was to capsize or you were to fall into it when the gondolier was having fun 'rocking' the gondola! ;-)

Murano Glass & Venetian Glass
Venice has lots of glassware to offer to tourists and also some incredibly beautiful masks. If these are your fancy, you must buy one or two as souvenirs. Glassblowing is a traditional business in Venice & one gets a tour of the workshop should it interest you. 

Whatever you do, be sure you enjoy Venice to the fullest. It is one of the most romantic city in Europe and one of the most beautiful!
Romancing the Grand Canal

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February 17, 2010
Hi Sharrie, I have been in Venice four times already but never had the chance to ride a Gondola. But two times I have been there during the carneval. Extremely crowed but very interesting... almost as interesting as your review! ;-) Thanks, Sharrie!
February 17, 2010
Ha, the closest that I've ever been to Venice and gondolas is The Venetian ;P  I really hope to check out Venice for real someday!  I love the pictures, and all of your recommendations! :)
February 17, 2010
Thanks, Debbie! You'll have to take more opportunities to get out into the world and start young! Lots to see, too little time. For lunch today, you can check out some curry if you fancy ;-) Before the Venice Review, I did one on Curry but it doesn't seem to show on the activity streaming.
February 17, 2010
You're right -- lots to see, too little time. I need more hours in a day! ;P I'll check out your curry review. I'm actually going to be having some leftover Indian curry for lunch, so perfect! :)
More Venice, Italy reviews
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
If not for the fact that I've only seen Venice in the evening, I probably would have given it the maximum rating. I'm convinced that the city loses absolutely none of its charm, romanticism & beauty after nightfall. A boat ride through the Grand Canal is essential, but don't forget to traverse on foot to Piazza San Marco and revel in its (literally) golden opulence.
Quick Tip by . April 23, 2010
Beautiful, romantic city to visit at least once in your life. Not a huge fan of the food there, but amazing ambiance. Take a gondola ride!
Quick Tip by . February 17, 2010
For me, it's the most romantic city in Europe as a tourist destination. Out of the 4 Italian cities I've been to, this city is my favorite!
Quick Tip by . February 06, 2010
I loved Venice and walked all the way to St. Mark's through the twisting alleyways. It was a long, interesting walk.
About the reviewer
Sharrie ()
Ranked #3
I'm a traveler at heart & have been nicknamed Travel Queen by friends & colleagues alike. Traveling has been my life passion for the last decade or so. As we enter a new decade, I'm excited … more
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Venice is a city in northern Italy, the capital of the region Venet, with a population of 271,367 (census estimate 1 January 2004). Together with Padua, the city is included in the Padua-Venice Metropolitan Area (population 1,600,000). The city historically was the capital of an independent nation. Venice has been known as the "La Dominante", "Serenissima", "Queen of the Adriatic", "City of Water", "City of Bridges" and "City of Canals". Luigi Barzini, writing in The New York Times, described it as "undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man". Venice has also been described by the Times Online as being one of Europe's most romantic cities.

The city stretches across 118 small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy. The saltwater lagoon stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po (south) and the Piave (north) Rivers. The population estimate of 272,000 inhabitants includes the population of the whole Comune of Venezia; around 60,000 in the historic city of Venice (Centro storico); 176,000 in Terraferma (the Mainland), mostly in the large frazione of Mestre and Marghera; and 31,000 live on other islands in the lagoon.

The Republic of Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as a very important center of commerce (especially silk, grain and ...

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