The City of Canals

Venice Travel Blog

 › entry 13 of 14 › view all entries

I had been in Italy a little over 10 days when we finally made our way to Venice from Florence. I had loved Florence very much that I was reluctant to go to Venice. But I was told I would not regret the decision to go; I never did. Some say Venice is overrated, that is it a tourist trap etc. I say, you want to visit Venice for the many reasons others go and for the very fact that it is a living testimony of the will of humans to survive against all odds. If you have never read or heard the history of Venice, you probably do not know that it was originally all swamp and uninhabitable. You do not know then that the Venetians arrived in this part of Italy to escape persecution and that the need to survive, remain free drove them to tame the swamp and make it the marvel that we now visit as a 'Tourist Destination'

On arrival in Venice, we went straight to our hotel to freshen up and relax after a day spend on the road. My companion a German and European at heart knew the roads of Italy like the back of his hands and had had no problems getting us to Venice without event.

While many go on a gondola ride, the canal walk is perhaps the most inspiring. The many canals in Venice are what make the city so special and attractive to many. The most famous of the many districts that comprise Venice is the area comprising the 118 islands in the main districts that are called "Sestieri". They include the Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, San Polo, Santa Croce and San Marco. 

San Marco is famous for the monuments and landmark attractions including the Basilica of Saint Mark. The other smaller districts include Isola Della Giudecca and Lido di Venezia. Other important islands include Murano, Torcello, San Francesco del Deserto and Burano, but there are quite a few others that I have not included here. The group of 118 islands which make up Venice and its lagoon were officially added to the list in 1987, for their cultural significance.

As I mentioned I visited in summer, which was a mistake. It was incredibly hot and sticky, the canals had a really bad odor mostly and the crowds of visitors took away what would have been a great vacation in Spring or late fall.

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photo by: asturjimmy