Before our trip to Venice, Marc and I went to several towns that claimed to be “Little Venices”. Although all of them were pretty, none of them prepared me for the real thing: Stunning palaces seemingly rising out of the water, countless canals snaking through the city, serenading gondoliers and pretty bridges at every turn…Perhaps it’s the lack of cars or the calming effects of the water, but Venice somehow manages to stay tranquil and magical amid crowds of tourists. This place is truly special.
Cruising on the canals is enjoyable and full of eye candies – Whether it’s watching a gondolier maneuvering his gondola in the water, or passing by beautiful Venetian buildings. There’s also that occasional gondola traffic jam to make you chuckle 😀 .
One of the things I love about Venice is that there are so many small streets and canals where you can enjoy the quieter side of Venice. How cute are those pastel-coloured houses? Even Marc, who never requests to be photographed, wanted a photo with the pretty canal!
I was absolutely in love with the Venetian architecture, where Byzantine, Moorish and Renaissance characteristics can be seen. The gothic windows are so gorgeous that I want to somehow incorporate this in my home!
The other favourite of mine is the Bridge of Sighs. Legend has it that condemned prisoners would sigh at their final view of Venice before their imprisonment, giving the bridge its name. The story is not actually true, but the bridge itself is so gorgeous that you can’t help but sigh at its beauty…
While in Venice, don’t miss the cute islands of Murano and Burano, each unique in its own way and easy to fit in for a day trip.
Murano, the Fire Island
The Republic of Venice was once upon a time the hot spot for glassmaking and trades in Europe; but this created a fire hazard for the Republic, so they exiled all the glassmakers and moved the glass production to the island of Murano. For centuries, Murano created high quality glass renowned for its craftsmanship, making glassblowing its legacy.
Today, you can find all types of glassware imaginable, from beaded jewelry to animal collectables to intricate fine art pieces. The streets of Murano are literally lined with glass shops and studios. Marc and I saw several live demonstrations, where aproned glassblowers transformed globs of molten glass into spectacular and unexpected art works.
Burano, the Lace Island
The first thing I noticed as we approached Burano was the extremely colourful houses. From the vaporetto, it looked like we were about to step into a kaleidoscope! Even Cinque Terre didn’t have colours this intense…
But that’s not all Burano has to offer. Like Murano, Burano also has a speciality: Lace. The finest handmade lace to be exact. Louis XIV of France once wore a collar made of Burano lace that took two years to make!
I wanted a souvenir of this dying art so I decided to shop around for a handkerchief. The one that I had my eyes on was extremely intricate and completely full of lace, which also happened to be the most expensive handkerchief in the store…selling for 500 euros! In the end, I found a pretty one in my budget and took a little piece of Burano with me.
We wandered off some more and found that even the small alleyways are brightly painted! Apparently, if you want to paint your house here, you have to send a letter to the government for approval, after which they will give you a selection of colours that are allowed. I was glad that they approved lots of shades of purple, my favourite! Marc also found his favourite before leaving…
Thanks for reading et à la prochaine!