Today’s *Mini Moon* inspiration features *A Romantic Break in Venice*
In 2013, my husband organised a wonderful birthday present for me – a trip to Venice. On the morning of my birthday, I opened what appeared to be a pass-the-parcel style present. Each layer contained something fun and a post-it note with a letter on. I pieced each letter together to spell Venice and the central present was a guide book to Venice and our itinerary.
I was super excited! When you think of Venice, you just imagine romance, Italian glamour and I was already thinking about the abundance of pretty pictures.
Venice is a beautiful Italian city and is totally unique. It feels as though the city is floating, with canals all around.
After arriving at the airport, we took a water taxi to Fondamente Nove on the northern shore of Venice’s main island.
Our first taste of Venice’s quiet canals and beautiful architecture came with a short stroll to our hotel. The hotel Santa Marina was positioned on a lovely square just a stone’s throw from the Rialto bridge. It was a charming place where we seemed to go up, and then down various flights of stairs before arriving at our room, which looked out onto a quiet canal below. Breakfast was served in the courtyard style restaurant and the hotel was a great little base from which to explore the city.
Venice is infused with an array of Italian culture, including food, architecture, art, crafts and shopping, which can easily fill a few days in the city.
The heart of the city and its main thoroughfare that most of the other, much smaller canals feed off. The water buses cruise up and down here, as do a variety of other vessels.
Walking alongside the Grand Canal is an attraction in itself, the waters are bustling with activity and there is such a striking ambiance there.
There are so many famous spots that have featured in many films along here.
The principal bridge that crosses the grand canal. It is a crucial pedestrian link but also provides numerous photo opportunities, both of the bridge itself and looking down the Grand Canal.
Just a few yards from the bridge, this market sells arts and crafts and fresh produce and is lovely for a little stroll around.
The maze of narrow waterways link this city together and they are best explored in the early morning or evening sunshine on a quiet amble or a relaxing boat ride.
*Saint Mark’s Square*
The main square of Venice features Saint Mark’s Basilica and Saint Mark’s Tower and is a beautiful place to take in the views across the water. Although it is lovely to wander along the colonnades past the patisseries and coffee shops, be wary of stopping here, as it is reputed to be the most expensive place in Europe to get a coffee!
*Saint Mark’s Basilica*
The Basilica is the city’s main cathedral and is known for its domed rooftop and opulent design. The floor mosaics and golden statues combine to make it a beautiful place of worship.
Just off St Marks Square and positioned on the waterfront, the Palace was the seat of the Doge (or ruler) Of Venice, when it was once a powerful city state. The Venetian Gothic building is now a museum.
*Bridge of Sighs*
This bridge connects the “new” prison to the interrogation rooms in the Doge Palace. The bridge’s english translation is said to originate from Lord Byron in the 19th century, as it was suggested that prisoners would sigh at their final view of Venice before their eternal imprisonment.
*Ponte del Accedimia*
The other main crossing point for the Grand Canal, it provides great photo opportunities and in recent years has developed a tradition of couples attaching love-locks to the bridge.
The quintessentially Venetian experience. Although not cheap it a truly romantic setting as your gondolier ferries you around the quiet narrow canals and it is a great way of exploring some areas you simply cannot get to by foot.
*Gondola Photo Opportunities*
Whilst gondolas can sometimes seem elusive in the heart of the city, if you want to track a few down and get the “postcard shot” across to San Michele in Isola, then head to the waterfront just opposite Doge’s Palace.
The quieter parts of Venice are sometimes some of the most charming. Although there are no “must see” sites it is lovely to get away from the crowds and explore some of the narrow alleyways, where you will stumble across beautiful churches and small squares, ancient antique shops and delicious eateries.
Whilst in Italy it would be remiss not to indulge in the classic Italian food and drink of pizza, pasta, espresso and gelato. For something a little more local and traditional, try and find somewhere off the main tourist thoroughfares and you will find some lovely hidden little restaurants.
If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to attending a Venetian masquerade ball(!), then why not look out for some of the beautiful, traditional antique and fancy dress shops, where you will find all sorts of inspiration!
*Murano and Burano Islands*
A short boat ride away from Venice itself, these island features colourful buildings and quiet streets and will feature in their own post in a few weeks time!
Venice is well worth a visit as a stand-alone city break or as part of a holiday exploring Italy. Great food, a vibrant atmosphere, beautiful buildings and plenty of pretty pictures mean that Venice is just gorgeous and perfect for a mini moon!
Next week | Brighton, England