Asking a group of people why they want to visit Venice might give you the same number of answers as the number of people. Everyone has a reason or reasons for visiting Venice and all of their answers are true and correct.
Venice is one unique place where almost everything is interesting, worth looking into and worth taking a photo. They are worth touching with your fingers. Sometimes, you seem to be able to inhale that peculiar combined fragrance of the sea, the land, and the history of the place.
The sites and the sights
Before going to any site you fancy, take time first to soak in the city. Simply walk around its small streets and alleys. You may stop by at the famous St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge, although at most times of the day they are choked with tourists. If your stay is longer, come back in the evening (or early mornings) when the crowd is thinner.
The Basilica di San Marco is beside the square, and it is one of the biggest attractions in all of Venice. The entry is free, although you have to stand in line for the long queue but it is worth the wait. The church’s interiors are all done in mosaic from walls to ceilings to the floors, and it takes your breath away.
Right next to the basilica is the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) where the former rulers of the city lived. There is an entry fee to the palace, but this is the only way you can traverse the famous Bridge of Sighs which leads to the courtroom. Inside is Tintoretto’s “Paradise”, the world’s largest oil painting.
Three of the small islands most famous to tourists are Murano, Burano, and Torcello. The closest is Murano, famous for its glass-making all over the world, and large groups of tourists usually crowd shops demonstrating some glass-blowing techniques. You may watch or you can go the other way and perhaps find out-of-the-way shops that do the same thing and satisfy your curiosity without jostling with the crowd.
Then, there is Burano, formerly famous for its lace-making in the past, although most of the island’s inhabitants are fishermen. What strike your eyes’ fancy are the colors of the houses. They are all painted in the brightest of colors, and are so distinctive and fascinating even from a distance. They say the reason for this was to help the fishermen returning late from a long day at sea find their right homes fast and easy.
Torcello is the farthest and has the fewest people actually living on it. It has fewer tourists too, and you can have the oldest church in Venice all to yourself and some few fellows. The church also has its walls and floor done in mosaic, just like St. Mark’s Basilica.
All these are just some of the big reasons why one wants to visit Venice. And we have not even talked about the gondolas and the gondoliers and moving about in those watery alleys. We have not mentioned about the famous yearly Carnival in Venice, the masks, the costumes, the merry-making and the music.