One of the most famous cities in the world, I visited Venice for the weekend back in October 2006. I enjoyed the sights, but probably enjoyed more just wandering the streets and getting lost. It’s a wonderful experience being able to walk around a city without having to worry about being hit by a car or bike.
The sights are quite impressive though, if generally teaming with people unless you visit at the start or end of the day. Since I visited visitor numbers have increased by ~50% and there has been an understandable backlash from the locals.
Thankfully I visited one of the most popular sites, the Doge’s Palace, at the end of the day when it was both quieter, and more atmospheric as I left in the dark.
The neighbouring Campanile in Piazza San Marco was a morning visit, with wonderful views as expected over the city and the Grand Canal.
Afterwards St. Mark’s Basilica was basically a procession of people shuffling through the golden church interior, impressive but not very enjoyable.
Much quieter was the interesting Museo Storico Navale next to the shipbuilding yards of the Arsenale, one of the largest industrial complexes in Europe before the Industrial Revolution.
One of my main memories of visiting Venice was a two day search while wandering around the city for the perfect carnival mask. There were so many shops with amazing displays, though I ended up buying a relatively cheap mass produced one from a stall, which currently hangs in my bedroom.
The Grand Canal lived up to it’s name, and I was glad that there didn’t appear to be any cruise ships around when I visited.
I also enjoyed but failed to take any decent photos of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the many churches I visited. Maybe I’ll return one day, though given the current number of visitors the chances are slim.