By turns stunning and deeply moving, the city of Venice is truly irresistible.
This cruise along the Pô river in Italy offered me to discover the Serene for the second time. To be honest, among all of the (many) cities I’ve had the chance to visit, Venice is by far my all-time favorite. What strikes the most here is the place’s overwhelming authenticity and exhilarating sophistication. …And that is quite naturally how I found myself wandering and indulging in a few blissful strolls in the heart of one of the most enjoyable urban labyrinths ever…
Planning a stay in the region and don’t want to miss any of it? Let me please guide you and share with you my very own Venetian absolute ‘to-do list’!
1. St Mark's Square
Undeniably the most emblematic place of the city and its epicenter, St Mark's Square is an obligatory stop where 99% of the visitors pass. There’s a reason why Napoleon Bonaparte did call it "the most elegant salon in Europe"!
It is bordered by some of the most beautiful monuments of the area: starting of course with the Saint Mark’s Basilica, jewel of Renaissance architecture with its marble facade and gilded frescoes. The Doge's Palace stands right next to it and, in its center, the tallest building in whole Venice: the Campanile, on top of which one can admire a staggering view.
The arches surrounding the square accommodate renowned cafés, where you can enjoy the bittersweet symphony of open-air bands. At night, the square literally transforms and lights up, gradually abandoning daytime activities to give over to evening pleasant meditation.
St. Mark's Square is, in a word, fantastic. Ideally located and close to the main attractions of the city. However, it is indeed its particular atmosphere, the never ending ballet of birds and the soft melody of Caffè Florian ‘s violins that make it unforgettable.
2. The Doge's Palace
The Doge's Palace, overlooking St. Mark's Square, is another obligatory stop during a stay in Venice.
I urge you to go there and take a few hours to visit what was once the rulers’ fiefdom of one of the biggest trading cities in the Occident. The exterior is of marble; just like the interior, where the white stone magnifies the vast inner courtyard.
Yet, it is only once one has climbed the first stairs that the edifice reveals its secrets. Centuries of a fruitful business’ opulence reflect here, where from floors to ceilings, frescoes and wall paintings prove of an untold richness.
➡ More in our next article next week!