Is Venice Really the Most Romantic City in the World?
Jason Daniel Shaw
VENICE – ITALY
Venice, Italy is a must-visit for anyone who has never been as it really is a sight to see. If you mention Venice, people conjure up images of sunset gondola rides while being serenaded with Italian love songs. While I am sure that there was once a time that Venice was truly spectacular – I think that time has passed. Follow along for our thoughts and some tips from our first trip to Venice.
THE GRAND CANAL – VENICE
If you have been following this blog or my Instagram for any amount of time, you will know that Amanda and I are not big on spending our vacation shopping and doing a lot of touristy things – we prefer adventure. When planning our trip through Italy, Venice was a place that we knew that we had to visit. After doing a bit of research and talking with some of our Italian friends, we decided that we would dedicate two nights and three days to seeing the city.
Our home base was Hotel Marconi while we were there and we were extremely pleased with our choice. The hotel overlooks the Grand Canal just 100 meters down from the famous Ponte di Rialto. The room that we were given had a double balcony so we could sit and enjoy the Venice sights and sounds without having to be immersed in the crowds. Overall, the hotel is one that I highly recommend if you are ever in Venice.
WHAT TO DO IN VENICE
We really enjoyed getting lost in the maze of streets and canals. We found that having the daily “bus” pass was a big advantage as it allowed you the ability to wander and then catch a water bus back to wherever you started. It also allowed us to take a free tour of the Grand Canal. One of our other favorite things was the gondola ride. If you are accustomed to traveling and enjoy a good bargaining session, this is not the place for that. All of the prices for the gondolas are the same, the only difference is really where they start from and what you see along the way. We picked the one that was just in front of our hotel as it gave us a bit of the Grand Canal (we spent quite a bit of time on it earlier in the water bus) but spent most of the time exploring the small canals.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE ABOUT VENICE
I think that our journey from the southern tip of Sicily through the entirety of Italy really played a part in our judgement of Venice. We had experienced some of the best food that we have ever had in Sicily, seen some of the prettiest parts of Italy along the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre and had a relaxing time exploring Tuscany. By the time that we arrived in Venice, our expectations were pretty high. The streets were lined with high end shops and as I mentioned before, shopping is not our ideal vacation. The food was very touristy and not of the quality that we had experienced in other parts of Italy. Finally, and I think the biggest disappointment was, just how crowded everything was in Venice. It was a struggle just to get around and see the sights and there was always a wait for the water bus. In the end, I am very happy that we saw this unique city but I am not chomping at the bit to go back. I think that three days was more than enough to see the city and unfortunately, I don’t think that it is the most romantic city in the world.
We have one more stop in Italy. If you want to follow along with our 25-day wedding / honeymoon trip, you can see more of our adventures in Malta, Italy, the Vatican, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro.