Has the world run out of words yet to celebrate Venice? Is there any possible nook or cranny that hasn't been flashed with description and tortured with dewy-eyed poetry?
We all suffered with Shylock as school children and the hyperbole just kept coming. But let me say this as jaded and vintage world travellers, we cannot begin to tell you how overwhelmed we were with the joy, history and technicolour beauty of this Italian city of Venice. Want to know why?
First, there is the classic walking tour which takes all tourists past virtually every site they've ever heard about. A map is there so you know what you're looking at even if on the first round you don't know much beyond the name of the building. But then you start digging into the Doge Palace and discover the power and dominance of Venice in the 10th and 12th century.
Second, you sit in Murano and discover the stranglehold Venice had on the beauty of glass held as a secret whose sharing was punishable by death.
Third, St. Mark's Basilica and the square in front of it is all you've read about and more and just around the corner is a small naval museum that lays out the tools of the trade of a millennia of sailors who dominated the Mediterranean both militarily and in trade.
It even gets better. Cruise the Grand Canal in the evening with a glass of wine in one hand looking at the palaces built by those who profited much from this Mediterranean trade.
But, here's the kicker. The whole wretched place is sinking. There are no life boats. Go there while you can and go in January or February when the tourist mob are only awkward and not quite impossible.
Of course there are the blessed gondolists, the clotting Vaporetti and the water taxis that detract from your growing sense of history but given that this is the best Venice will ever be, go for at least 4 days. Sit outdoors at the bars in every square and drink in the joy and beauty of one of the world's most special cities.
Interesting Things about Venice:
Tips to Travel in Venice:
What is Venice to you? What did you like most of your trip there? if you have not yet been to Venice, why do you want to go?
Explore more of Europe:
Get one of these bracelets made from Venice Murano glass. For centuries, Murano crafters have made glass their obsession and to own one of these is to enjoy perfection.