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Posted by Cayla Capri
Venice La Dolce Vita
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If Venice were a man, he’d have a perpetual smirk, five-o’clock shadow, penchant for adventure, and a dirty, glitzy little secret involving face paint and gaudy costumery. As a city, it defies romance so restrictively depicted by poet laureates, doleful concertos and dramatists worth their weight in Nobel’s. Truly, reading about Venice is like reading about a truffle made of Grand-Marnier ganache enrobed in the world’s darkest, most decadent chocolate; it’s really best experienced first hand. You’re going to fall for Venice hard.
the romance
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Nothing can ruin a day at the beach quite like the traffic-jammed road leading up to it. But Venice, a (basically) car-free zone, is only to be explored greenly, by foot, public transport or water. So breathe that sweet CO-free air in deep as you cozy up with husband on a celebrated gondola ride. It’s kind of an obvious choice for tourists, but for good, mood-making reason.
the scenery
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This city’s got history and energy, and a pulse to prove it. Piazza San Marco, or St. Mark’s Square, is Venice’s heart, and a great center for sightseeing, gelato-savoring, and vegging. Must-sees include Basilica San Marco, a spectacular structure jam-packed with sculptures; Doge’s Palace, a formidable Gothic building; and Museo Correr, an art and history museum.
the adventure
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Step outside the city’s border, if you can bear it, and check out one of Venice’s surrounding islands. Murano’s glassmaking factories make for some not-so run-of-the-mill souvenir shops. Torcello is Venice’s oldest region and home to the Byzantine Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, a cornucopia of antiquated artistry, like clerical thrones, biblical mosaics and paintings. Lido, bordering on the Adriatic Sea, is blessed with stretches of sand just waiting to make its way into your bed and travel case.
the secrets
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Venice is full of obligatory, mainstream world wonders, as well as inexplicably obscure galleries and museums (like. Ca’ Rezzonico and Ca’ Pesaro.) Make the most of the city’s dichotomies to get the full effect.
Take the “Secret Itinerary” tour at Doge’s Palace in the Piazza San Marco. For 12.50€, your tour guide will show you around the building where Venice’s civil and political history took place – including the torture chamber.
the attractions
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Every odd year, Venice hosts La Biennale di Venezia, a significant art festival held between June and November. The film and architecture festival is held every other year, so there’s always something good to see.
The Venice Carnival, a two-week long international sensation, is worth planning your trip, even your wedding around. Although the dates vary from year to year, the Carnival usually falls sometime in February, running up to the onset of Lent. This tradition, which began in the 13th century, fills the streets with adults and children alike; musicians and entertainers all gussied up in ornamental masks and elaborate costumes.
before you go
What to Expect
Spring: late March – June are the most pleasant months (low 20's)
Summer: late June – August are the hottest months (mid- to high 20's)
Fall: September – November are pleasantly warm (low 20's)
Winter: December – March is cool and rainy (around 10 degrees); it’s also off-peak.
Dress casual. Cover knees and shoulders when visiting churches.
The Lingo
A valid passport
Local Delicacies
Fegato Alla Veneziana: the most famous Venetian dish made of fried liver cooked with finely chopped onions
Polenta: a dish made from boiled corn meal