Venice throws everything at the visitor – tottering ornate Gothic palazzi, metres of glittering gold mosaic, hours of meandering alleys for the romantic and pompous overpriced cafes for the extravagant. But some visitors remain just a little underwhelmed. Here are some of the greatest Venice cynics. A Moated Imprisonment of a Town Stinking canals, unstable… Read More “Streets full of water. Please advise”: Unimpressed Visitors to Venice
Consider strolling through the streets of Venice (which are seemingly maliciously designed to befuddle tourists) being personally guided by offline mobile apps that provide a mapped route, substantial cultural information and insider recommendations written by locals or expats living in the area. I frequently curl up with a cup of tea and travel vicariously around… Read More An Offline Tour Guide in Your Pocket, and Free Things!
In ‘City of Falling Angels’, Berendt writes about a period of La Serenissima when she was in her last golden moments. The ornate palazzi of the Canale Grande were either thrown open for dazzling parties where guests arrived in gondole and light spilled from the windows onto the dark water outside; or were beginning their inevitable decline… Read More Hidden Venice: How to be an (Almost) Exclusive Guest at a Palazzo on the Grand Canal
A flicker of yellow light from a lantern down an obscure alley, an illuminated painted name board reflecting in the still black water, a vibrant noisy crowd squeezed in a pokey dim interior with a low ceiling of wooden beams – this is the Venetian aperitivo in the traditional bacaro. Most travellers to Italy will… Read More Hidden Venice: Have an Aperitivo like a Venetian
The Church of San Trovaso (located just off the serene Fondamenta delle Zattere that I mentioned in my previous post) adds a spice of historical drama to a Venice visit as it was cleverly designed to allow two rival Venetian factions to worship together in the same church without brawling. The nearby Ponte dei Pugni… Read More Hidden Venice: Chiesa di San Trovaso and Ponte dei Pugni
For a tourist Venice, dubbed the Serenissima, is not a particularly serene experience. Most tourists will find themselves frustratedly scanning maps for streets names that don’t seem to exist, because signs are written in dialect and maps in Italian. And even if the names did correspond the warren of dark alleyways would still be unnavigable.… Read More Hidden Venice: The Most Serene of the Serenissima
Le Zattere, or Fondamenta delle Zattere, is a wide promenade along the water’s edge, situated at the furthest end of the Dorsoduro quarter. At lunchtime the sun beats down unencumbered on groups of students huddled in the shade, elegant waterside restaurants and a scintillating stretch of water. Le Zattere runs parallel with the Giudecca island,… Read More Hidden Venice: Fondamenta delle Zattere