Venice – one of the most beautiful and romantic places I have visited. A must see city in Italy. Here are 9 things you might not have heard about “The Floating City.”
1. Venice is composed of more than 100 Islands
A detailed map shows that Venice is comprises 118 islands, separated by more than 175 canals. You can go from one island to another by crossing one of the over 400 tiny bridges. The Grand Canal is the biggest division between the islands.
2. The canals of Venice do not smell like sewage
Before travelling to Venice, I had heard from many people that the canals smell like toilet. Sewage. However, contrary to what other tourists say, Venice do not smell at all! Or if it smell something, it is a light smell of seaweeds, as in every other place on the seaside. That being said, some say that during summer when water levels are lower in smaller canals they can smell a bit. Other than that, the canals of Venice stays toilet-smelly-free.
3. Venice is an “almost” car free city
One of the things most people know about Venice is that it has canals where other cities have roads, and boats where other cities have cars. The lack of cars is one of the things that makes Venice so utterly romantic.
That being said, that there are no cars in Venice is not entirely true.
When I visited Venice, we arrived with car. Venice have a big car park over at Piazzale Roma. This is also where the city’s bus terminal is located. Furthermore, there is an island called Lido in Venice, which has roads instead of canals.
4. The best way to explore Venice is by walking and get lost
Walking around Venice will give you the best view of the city. It will lead you to 16th century churches and piazzas that few travelers get to see. Venice is best appreciated when you are just wandering around, not actually knowing where you are going. You will be surprised that getting lost in the small streets is a wonderful experience! Maybe be best you will have visiting Venice.
5. Transportation is expensive in Venice
Another reason why walking is the best way to explore Venice is that riding a gondola can rip off your wallet. Though it is very romantic. So if you would like to get into one, make sure you check the official gondola rates before. Bus-boats are pretty expensive, as well.
6. Food and accommodation is pricy – as well
It is not only the transportation that cost a lot in Venice. Hotels and hostels are also expensive. Budget hotels are rarely available. Food is as well very pricey. Venice is in addition known for have bad food. The best way to go is to eat where locals eat, and not in tourist oriented restaurants.
7. Do not feed the pigeons (if you do not want a high fine)
In Piazza San Marco, the square is full of pigeons. You might be thinking about taking a typical touristic photo while feeding the pigeons from your hands. However, you should know that you are risking a big fine. And with the prices that are already in Venice, you probably do not afford that! In fact it is strictly forbidden to feed the pigeons. This due to that they damage all the monuments and the beauties around.
8. Venice sleeps early
There is almost no nightlife in Venice. Shops and restaurants close early. However, Venice at night is probably the time when it is most beautiful. The lights that illuminate the streets, the fog over the canals, and the blanket of stars hovering above are just some of the reasons why Venice is truly romantic.
9. There is practically no off-season in Venice (it is always overcrowded)
Venice is overcrowded with tourists the whole year around. Maybe because it is one of most popular stops in Mediterranean Cruise itineraries. Avoid the herd and go where nobody else goes because every Venetian local knows that the undiscovered gems are hidden in the city’s puzzle streets.