Click on the underlined days below to skip directly to the day itself
DAY 1- THE CARNIVAL OF VENICE
We have all seen and heard the wonders of Venice and the fact that it might sink in a few years time, the amount of tourists in Venice has increased at a rapid rate. Luckily for me, I was able to enjoy this city more than once at two very different seasons. The first time I went was in February, during the weekend of the Carnival of Venice. Being the birthplace of masquerade parties and home to this Renaissance legend, it was the best time to visit.
I spent the whole first day being in awe and relishing in the magic of it. I have written a more detailed post about the event with lots of gorgeous snapshots from the day, click here to read about it.
DAY 2- VENICE
Moving on to the city itself and the attractions in which you will see, Venice felt like a maze to me. The streets were narrow and there were canals everywhere! There were only a few squares that made me know where I was but half the time I had no idea where I was. You could technically finish all the tourist attractions in a day, but what’s the point in rushing if you aren’t able to sit down and take a breather?
As mentioned before, Mestre to Venice Island takes about 10 minutes. The bus’ final stop is at Venezia’s main train/ bus station. From here, follow the crowd or signs through to the Constitution Bridge (the only modern looking bridge on the island). The views from the station to the central square is pretty amazing especially since it’ll be your first encounter with the island. I would recommend taking this walk even if you do not need to go to the bus station as you can see San Simeon Piccolo from here.
I passed by many shops selling different types of masks and market stalls were also selling them. The choices and colours were endless. Some looked scary but some are just gorgeous! They have these on sale even when there isn’t any carnival. Headed on to the Grand Canal is the main canal where you could find ferries and larger boats. Along this canal is where you will be able to hop on a ferry taxi to nearby islands such as Murano and Burano. I had to pass by the Grand Canal as well on my way home and thus, the sunset images. Somehow it felt really peaceful despite the crowd.
Although you may see images that show you Venice’s blue water, I can tell you that in reality, the waters aren’t blue and they’re not as clean as they look.
Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo has a really nice exterior and to be honest, I didn’t even know I passed by it until I heard someone asking for directions. The island involves a lot of walking but you could always hop on a Gondola ride whenever you’re tired of walking and just wish to take in the atmosphere. The prices targeted to tourists are particularly high so don’t forget to bargain with them before hopping on.
When I finally arrived at the central square, Piazza San Marco, I could see St. Mark's Basilica and St Mark's Campanile. They often have activities going on in the square and at the time I was there, a stage was set up for the Carnival. Both the exterior and interior of St. Mark's Basilica is known for its golden mosaic tiles.
The Doge's Palace / Palazzo Ducale is also located in this square. I really like the arches on this building and it was a beautiful backdrop to the already lively carnival going on. Behind the Doge’s Palace lies the Bridge of Sighs. It’s not that different to other bridges on the island but I guess it’s one of the bridges that appears most on Instagram.
DAY 3- VENICE & MURANO
I then did a quick stop to Rialto Bridge before heading to the back streets which was kinda nice to get lost and wander around these small canals. Getting away from the tourists and being able to look at how the locals actually live was a plus factor.
One thing I love about walking the back streets is discovering hidden gems, it takes your breath away that much more and you'd feel a rather personal relationship to the place as it was something you just stumbled across on.
Oh and if you're wondering why I didn't include anything about Gondola rides, it's because they are expensive. It costs about 40-60 for a half an hour ride and I just didn't find that worth paying.
Next, I took the ferry and headed to Murano island. It’s a short trip away and is the home to glass-blowing. Coloured glass and amazing shaped glass objects, I would recommend going for a glass-blowing demonstration. There are many scattered around the island and you just have to pick a deal that suits you best. Depending on which one you choose, you may even get to blow the glass like how I was able to with mine.
Pic source via Huffington Post
I wanted to go to Burano island too which was known for its colourful buildings, but I didn’t have enough time as I had to catch the train out of Venice. However, I’ve still attached a picture above for you to see how the island looks!
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