If you want to sweep someone, or even just yourself, of their feet then Venice is the place to do it. However cliche it may be, this waterlogged city is so gorgeous and steeped in ancient and contemporary history that you just have to love it. I found myself totally enthralled by Piazza San Marco, and fantasised about running through the streets with Casanova (the David Tennant incarnation of course) and became utterly obsessed by the history that runs through such an unusual city.
It is almost physically impossible to take a photo in Venice and it not be quite obviously Venice. Unless it could be the Venetian in Las Vegas. So don’t worry about postcards, just be a snap happy tourist and soak up every canal and tiny alleyway and bridge and balcony. It’s beautiful. I was utterly caught up with the romance of the city for the first few days we we were there. In fact it is almost impossible to go two hours without spotting a couple getting engaged or married and rather than being nauseatingly cheesy it all seemed simply lovely.
If you’re planning a trip to Venice on a budget then I have a few top tips for you!
1. Stay across the Lido. The hotels in the centre of Venice are generally hilariously expensive and whilst beautiful, you can appreciate their beauty whilst staying in a cheaper hotel across the water. The other side of the lido has a gorgeous beach and a simple water taxi will take you straight across into Venice city centre.
2. Eat in the streets. The side streets of Venice are crawling with tiny pizzerias and coffee shops that will sell you a hearty meal and more than half the price of some restaurants. Of course it’s lovely to have a long, relaxing meal by a canal, but you can’t always afford that every night! I found a delicious place that sold a huge slice of pizza for €3 about a five minute walk from San Marco.
3. Avoid the Gondolas, get a water bus pass! Whilst the Gondola’s are obviously the cliche of all things romantic, you can get around the city by boat in a much cheaper way by getting a water bus pass! Try tourism offices and see if you can get a good deal on a 24, 48 or 72 hour pass.
If you’re a movie buff then Venice is full of locations from Casino Royale, The Italian Job and countless other romantic movies. The shops are exclusive and the bars are expensive but you can always feign wealth and fame when walking alongside a canal. The market stalls are all full of trinkets and Venetian masks and if you’re willing to haggle you can grab yourself a souvenir at an almost bargain price.
The churches, the palaces, the canals and the food are all beautiful throughout the whole of Venice. Whether you spend 24 or 124 hours there, you’ll probably never work out the intricate system of roads and waterways but you’ll absolutely enjoy it.