Senior Travel to Venice

Mar 15th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Travel

I would imagine that most all travelers at some point in their lives have wanted to visit Venice.  Venice is one of Italy’s top travel cities and a beautiful, romantic destination with many attractions. Its small, traffic-free streets along the winding canals make for great walking. You’ll find many magnificent churches and palaces, lively squares, and interesting shops. Offering scenic canals, beautiful buildings and world famous landmarks, Venice is an experience unique in the world of travel.

The city seems to exude romance, history, fantastic photo opportunities and good food, almost at every corner.   Venice has been known as the “La Dominante”, “Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic, “City of Water”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The Floating City”, and “City of Canals”, so take your pick.

Venezia stretches across 117 small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy. Exploring Venice is an experience that you will never forget.  Whether taking a gondola down a cozy canal or examining this romantic city’s unique setting and architecture while on foot, you will find Venice inviting and magical. Most tourists make a beeline for the Piazza San Marco (Saint Mark’s Square, also known as the Piazetta), a large, broad public square.   St. Mark’s is the main meeting place in Venice and host to the most well-known attractions in tourist Venice. As you land at the dock of St. Mark’s, you will see two columns. One is crowned with Saint Theodore, the patron saint of Venice, while the other is topped with the Lion of St. Mark. 

St. Mark’s Basilica was built to house the reliquary of St. Mark and the saint’s tomb is the focus of the cathedral.  Venetian merchants reportedly smuggled St. Mark’s body out of Egypt in the 9th century, packed in pork to avoid searches by the port inspectors who, of course, practiced Islam, a religion that considers pig and its by-products to be “unclean”.  Pretty sneaky huh? 

The Doges (dukes) ruled Venice and the Palazzo Ducale, serving as both the Doge’s Palace and the seat of government, was Venice’s center of power until the Venetian Republic ended in the 18th century. A tour of the building reveals the historic grandeur that accrued to Venice in its role as a major sea power and the mercantile center of the Mediterranean. 

Venice actually consists of many bodies of land connected by more than 400 bridges over its 150 canals. The Grand Canal is like main street, cutting through the center of the city. It is the famous waterway is approximately two-miles long and faced with impressive palaces that were owned by the city’s wealthy seafaring merchants. Take the Vaporetto and tour during the day and night to see the real beauty of the Grand Canal. The city is in on northeast coast of Italy. It is protected from the Adriatic Sea by a strip of land called the Lido. The region around Venice is called the Veneto. (see Veneto Map) Since it’s near the sea, Venice has moderate weather although there can be rain nearly year-round. Summers are humid and winters can be foggy and wet. To avoid the large crowds, spring and fall are the best seasons to visit. 

Visiting Venice provides just about everything you will need if you are on your own.  Seemingly Venice keeps flooding.  This site will tell you all about it. Ten Things to see and do in Venice will save you lots of time just searching for the important sites.  If you were to ask the Venice tourism office what there is to see and do in the city, you’d likely be given a long list of “must-see” sights and attractions – but only a fraction of those are actually what most people would consider “must-see.” You want to know what the real top sights in Venice are so that you don’t miss anything – especially if you only have a short time to spend in the city – but you don’t want to be tricked into paying a hefty admission fee for some tourist trap. 

So often seniors discover that there are few things that are free popular tourist attractions including Venice.  Here is a nice listing that will help you to find things to do without emptying your pocketbook. One of the best things to do in Venice is just walk around, strolling along the canals and admiring beautiful squares and buildings. 

For a full disclosure with lots of information on everything that you will need this TripAdvisor site has it all.  In addition Fodor’s is always a good addition to any planning for a highly successful visit.  Lonely Planet’s map may be of service to you as well. I will finish off with two YouTube views of Venice to enjoy.  Ciao Venezia e io ti amo.         jeb

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