We arrived in Venice when the lights of the night were in full force and never considered the evening could rival the day for beauty in this amazing city. A waterbus ride confirmed a palatable magic along the shimmering waterway of the Grand Canal and offered views of several highlights on the main channel.
The next day we found ourselves wandering Venice for over 10 hours. It’s easy to do, as there were bridges beckoning to be crossed, alleyways to be explored, piazzas to be strolled, and cafés to be experienced. Let’s not forget the Gelato stalls on almost every corner and the hundreds of retail shops looking for the tourist business.
We obliged in all and found a quiet café in the late afternoon to enjoy a glass of popular Prosecco while we soothed our tired feet and enjoyed some serious people watching!
On our second full day in Venice, we explored museums housing amazing art and artifacts dating back to the 13th century. We entered with reverence, almost every church we came across, and were surprised with the differences in each neighborhood church; their personality clearly defined. The most impressive containing several immense and intricate local Murano Island glass chandeliers.
We hit the “tourist” spots like the massive St. Marks Square and adjacent Doumo, which confirms our suspicion that you simply can’t have a favorite cathedral in Europe, because they are all so amazing. Each time you view one that is exceptional and tell yourself it is the most “particular” (we learned Italians love to use this word), one you have seen, the next visit to another changes that theory!
There is so much to see in Venice and a must-see destination on our list was Murano; a small island not far from Venice. The island is known for their beautiful glass-blown creations, and we enjoyed a glass-blowing tour at one of the many factories located on the island. The process to create a work of art from Murano Island glass is astonishing, and as luck would have it, the piece being demonstrated was a part from a chandelier. My husband was in heaven, as chandeliers are the mainstay of his company back in the states. It’s clear that just about anything you can think of can be created as Murano “art” including jewelry, vases, plates, frames and other wares. The city is very quaint and a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Venice and was definitely worth the side trip.
Back in Venice, we enjoyed a Gondola ride in the Grand Canal just as the sun started a slow decent into the Venetian horizon, winding through several smaller canals within the Venice grids. Roberto, a 5th generation Gondolier, explained his deep roots in the business, learning the craft from his father and grandfather. We’re told it is an art to navigate through the tight turns without hitting the walls and damaging the gorgeous and expensive gondola. The experience of seeing Venice from the waterline will never be forgotten.
Our visit to this amazing city culminated with a 5-course dinner at Bistro de Venise, one of a few Michelin-rated restaurants on the island.
The exceptionally prepared food was creatively served on Murano Island glass-blown platters, the service was exceptional, and the outdoor alleyway patio dining area was simply, magical.