By Emily Fraser
Venice was just one of those places I’d been dreaming about for years. You see it in movies, on TV, and in other peoples’ holiday albums and you just don’t think a place like that can be real. Well it was.
Pretty much from the moment we boarded our boat from the airport to San Marco, my camera was salivating. It’s literally one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever been. And picturesque in an interesting way – it’s not your typical scenery shot of white sand beaches, crystal waters and palm trees, nor of beautiful ancient buildings and period architecture – there are so many layers everywhere the eye looks and to every photo you take.
As the titles suggests, I did often get lost in Venice – even if most of the time that was the intention. The most fascinating part of my time there was simply walking out the door of the hotel and wandering off down narrow walkways and across charming bridges – it didn’t matter where you went because at some point you’d hit water, cafes, shops, or one of the many ‘sights’ to see.
In fact, I even got lost on the way to the hotel after disembarking at the main ‘sestiere’ of San Marco. This didn’t matter though, as there are no cars or traffic to worry about, and you might even stumble across a major event, just as I did. Whilst searching for my hotel, I came across what appeared to be an old church. With many immaculately dressed people milling around out the front, I assumed it to be a wedding, or perhaps a funeral, a christening? It turns out it was in fact the closing night of the Venice International Film Festival. That just highlights one of the things I loved most about Venice – no, not the potential for celebrity sightings, but the fact that, if you want to, you can completely immerse yourself in the city, force yourself to wander off the beaten path, and stumble across some amazing surprises.
Other things you should do in Venice:
- Indulge in an espresso (in the high-tourist areas it can be rather pricey) along the Grand Canal near the Rialto Bridge. It’s a fantastic place for people-watching, and you’ll also get some amazing photos of the fascinating Venetian world passing you by.
- Even if you’re not the biggest boat fan (like me), you should take to the water at some point! It’s one of the best viewpoints to see the city from, and a handy way to get around, if walking isn’t for you.
- Treat yourself to a Bellini at ‘Harry’s Bar’ – the place where this delightful drink was invented, and the service here is an experience in itself! Prego.
- Get out at night – I think dusk is the most beautiful time to view Venice – glimmering lights reflecting against the water, pink-blue-purple skies blanketing the islands, and a bit of extra room to wander the streets and get that perfect shot.
I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes about this enchanting city:
“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs… in one go.” – Truman Capote