Venice has been on my bucket list for a really long time! I mean who doesn’t want to go there? Gondolas, art and opera are one of the many things that make this one of the most romantic cities in the world!
Known for the famous Biennale, you can find numerous exhibitions around the city in hidden spots. No matter what you do, you should get lost around the narrow streets and bridges surrounding the city! Enrich yourself with all the history this beautiful buildings have to offer.
Just think about it as the former home of Marco Polo and Casanova!
“The Floating City” is made up of 117 small islands connected by around 400 bridges. Something that I find interesting is that this used to be a Republic for almost a 1000 years! Actually, the water separating the mainland from Venice, kind of isolated the Venetians from potential invaders or Italy’s political rule.
Another interesting fact, the first graduate woman in the WORLD was actually born here! She was known as Elena Lucrezia Corner Piscopia. She was also the first woman to gain a PHD degree at the University of Padua!
Now let me walk you around my favorite spots around Venice. Obviously, you guys know this is gonna be history and book oriented!
Libreria Acqua Alta
Who said books and water don’t mix? Let me tell you if you’re a literary junkie, Venice might be the place for you!
As always, when I travel I like to check out Culture’s trip literary recommendations. That’s how I found Libreria Acqua Alta!
This has to be the most beautiful bookstore I’ve ever visited in my life! You can find it very close to St. Marks square and the smell of old books will draw you in.
You can probably imagine, how are books kept safe when the Grand Canal rises? Well, you can find books in the most bizarre places in this bookstore. From antique bathtubs to gondolas, they all serve as random bookshelves!
More importantly, Libreria Aqua Alta, has the most amazing reading spots! You can see me in the image below, reading by the canal. You can reach the bookstore by gondola if you want to!
If you want to know more about this awesome bookstore, feel free to read ” This Secret Book Store Is Hiding Europe’s Most Beautiful Reading Spot” an article by Culture Trip. It’s the one that inspired me to go in the first place!
St. Mark’s Basilica
Regarding the root of this structure there’s a legend. Apparently, some venetian merchants decided to steal the remains of St. Mark the Evangelist from Alexandria, Egypt. In order, to go back to Venice, they covered the body with pork meat so they could get past the Muslim guards.
When I first entered the premises I felt like I was visiting Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, all over again! You see, the Venetian Republic expanded to Constantinople, therefore the only living infrastructure that has some similarity to the basilica is precisely Hagia Sophia.
You can see all about my visit to Istanbul on my post “Visiting Selma’s precious Istanbul!”
The church was built as the Doge’s chapel, adjacent to the Doge Palace.
You might be wondering who the hell is the Doge? This was the chief of magistrate, serving as leader for the Republic. This was a lifetime job that was elected by the city’s nobles. Accordingly, the Doge Palace served as a supreme court and home to the elected Doge.
This palace also held a prison inside. Here comes in the famous Bridge of Sighs! Some people think it’s called this way because of the legend that if a couple kisses under the bridge, they will have eternal love and happiness. Unfortunately, my boyfriend wasn’t able come along, so I went with my mother. As you can assume, we did not kiss under the bridge of sighs.
Alright! The real story regarding this bridge is that it connected the prison to the interrogation room within the palace. So there weren’t any love sighs involved. More like “Am I getting the death penalty or not?” kind of sighs.
Murano, Burano & Torcello
When in Venice, you have to visit the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. You can take a boat tour for around 20 Euros per person!
Murano is known for it’s famous glassblowing. This kind of glass is only made in this island. It consists of silica, potassium, lime and soda, all melted together at temperature of approximately 1500°C !
After this, I went to visit the island of Torcello! You can find the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta, known for its famous mosaics from the Byzantine period. You can also seat on the Trono di Attila. There’s another legend that Attila The Hun arrived at Torcello during the 5th century and sat on these stone seat! You can find more about this legend on Ancient Origins.
Finally, we arrived at the island of Burano. It was absolutely breathtaking! This is a fishermen’s island and it’s known for its numerous colored houses. One of its main traditions consists of lace embroidery, so it’s very common to find diverse lace stores around the island.
I can only say, this has been one of the best trips of my life! I would definitely come back at some point! This is a city where you can enjoy the magic of architecture, art, music, literature and food! However, I’ll give you a little tip now, DON’T EVER EAT AT ST.MARK’S SQUARE! Seagulls will steal your food!
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