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How To Skillfully Navigate Venice

Short answer: Don't! 

To anyone but local Venetians themselves, Venice might as well be a labyrinth. Built over an archipelago of 118 islands linked by bridges, the city is a real challenge to accurately navigate that one might as well purposely wander around and trust in the gods to find the way back home. 

Bridge of Sighs

* A few random turns and we find the infamous Bridge of Sighs (in the far background). Local legend has it that it was called so as this was the bridge leading to the prison from the Doge's Palace, and convicts were known to "sigh" as they got one more glimpse of the beauty of Venice before being incarcerated.



Venice

* Different bridge styles connecting the same two islands.

Venice

* It also pays to look up as well! Each building has its own character and story to tell.

Venice

* Curiously, some canals are a lot less busy than others. No tourist gondolas in this side of town!

Venice

* Locals live a good walk away from the touristy areas (Piazza San Marco and Rialto Bridge). Some 55,000 people call Venice home.

Marco Polo House

* Being the super power that it was, Venice was also home to a lot of history's important characters. One such man, Marco Polo, was renowned for introducing Europeans to tales of the wonders of China and the East.

Venice Garbage Collector

* In Venice, all supply deliveries and trash collection is done via special speedboats!

Venice

* A few hours of random turns later and we came across this beautiful square.

Basilica San Giovanni e Paolo

* Containing the Basilica of San Giovanni e Paolo!

Basilica San Giovanni e Paolo

* Famous for being the burial place for most of the Doges (Rulers), aristocrats, and artists of Venice!

Basilica San Giovanni e Paolo

* In typical medieval and renaissance style, tombs and sarcophagi adorn the walls of the Basilica.

Basilica San Giovanni e Paolo


Venice

* You gotta love charming European squares, with their random monuments!

Venice

* Somehow this area reminded me of the Flatiron district of New York, but set in the 15th Century!

Venice

* It was at this point, seeing tourists dragging their luggage, that I knew we were near the city center once again.

Gondolas

* Parking, Venetian-style!

Venetian Masks

* Masquerade parties were the rage all over Europe back in the Medieval period. The tradition lives on with dozens of stores selling interesting paper mache masks.

Venice

* A gentleman (I'll assume to be a philosopher) inviting us inside this mysterious building.

Venice

* Now THAT'S a good (and fancy) dog!

Venice

* Brooklyn brownstone houses, but set in the 15th Century!

Rialto Bridge

* Having found our way back to the city center, we made sure to spend a great deal of time around the Rialto Bridge. Full of stores, cafes, and souvenir stands, the Rialto has stood for centuries as Venice's center of business and commerce.

Gondola Ride

* The Rialto is also the best place to experience the most touristy of Venetian activities - the Gondola Ride.

Gondola Ride

* Historically, Gondolas were used as the main means of transportation around the islands. Today, they proudly ferry willing tourists around, at a fixed cost! 

Gondola Ride

* Our Gondolier was so skilled at navigating the tight waterways, that he could do it while glued to his smartphone!

Gondola Ride

* Not freaky at all!!

Gondola Ride

* Prepare to become part of the Venetian attraction experience, as tourists love to wave and take photos of those in Gondolas.

Gondola Ride

* While a bit overpriced (around 80 euros), a Gondola ride is a must for every first-time visitor to this amazing and unique city.



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