For the perfect short break to Venice, start at the Piazza San Marco. It’s walking distance from many of Venice’s best sights so it is the ideal place to start your weekend adventure. From here you can easily get to all of the city’s famous landmarks, including St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, the Campanile, the Bridge of Sighs, Rialto Market and the Opera House. This may look like a busy day to even the most seasoned traveller, however as they are all so close you can pick and choose your favourites or which ones you will save for your next trip!
This is Venice’s most iconic landmark and the view you are likely to see on most postcards. The panoramic view from the bell tower is breath-taking and is a must see both inside and out. Please note there is a dress code to enter which simply consists of covering your shoulders and legs to the knees. Once inside make sure you take your time to marvel at the stunning mosaics throughout. The doors are not open for casual visitors until 9:45am but everyone is welcome to attend morning mass which takes place at 7am, 8am and 9am each day. We highly recommend attending the 9am slot which is a sung Lauds mass – nothing like starting off your day with a good old sing song!
For an incredible 360º view of the entire city, head to the tallest building in Venice, the Campanile. No need to worry about climbing up hundreds of stairs as there is a lift to whisk you to the top. The building is rich with history and it used to be a lighthouse that collapsed and was rebuilt in 1902. It is the very spot where Galileo would gaze into the sky with his telescopes and where his amazing scientific theories were made (thought not necessarily appreciated in by the Catholic Church at the time).
It’s hard to picture Venice without thinking of a romantic gondola ride with your loved one, and there is no better place to do so than the Bridge of Sighs. It is said that if a couple are to kiss while passing under the Bridge of Sighs, their love will be eternal. Not only is this one of the most romantic and beautiful spots in Venice but, like many other landmarks, it has fascinating history. The story behind the bridge’s name originates from the old use of the bridge between the prison and the palace. The story has it that as the prisoners crossed over to the bridge to be interrogated, they would sigh as they knew these would be there last sight of the city.
Following the many amazing sights to see in Venice’s city centre, it is time to explore a little further afield. You can catch a Vaporetto (water taxi) to Murano and Burano, two picturesque islands in the Venetian lagoon that are well worth a visit.
This tiny island is famous for its glassblowing. You can watch the glassblowers at work in the fornaci and create works of art right in front of you. Soak in the laid back atmosphere and wander the pretty little streets where you can spot even more glass art from a variety of statues and even a quirky lamppost.
This next island is the home of Venetian lace. Pop in the shops to gaze at the intricate, handmade Burano lace, though if you wish to take some home be prepared to pay handsomely for it! Another draw to this island is the vibrant colours of the buildings down the streets which reflect beautifully into the canals.
Venice is one of our favourite European cities to visit with family, friends and partners. Have you ever been lucky enough to spend a weekend in Venice? What was your favourite sight of your trip? We would love to hear from your on our Facebook or Twitter page!