What can I say about Venice that hasn’t already been said? Not much, I am sure. So for today’s Postcard, I am simply going to present you with five fascinating facts about the city, followed by five top tips for visiting, before sharing some of my favourite images from our trip there back in July of this year.
Five Fascinating Facts about Venice
- Venice is built on a total of 118 small islands within the Venetian lagoon.
- The city of Venice was capital of the Venetian Republic for over 1000 years: from 697 to 1797 AD.
- The foundations of the city’s buildings are constructed on top of piles made from water-resistant wood, sunk into the mud and sand of the lagoon down to the more solid layer of clay which lies beneath the water.
- The city of Venice is sinking at a rate of 1-2 mm per year, while floodwaters are rising: in 2019, The chambers of the Regional Council of Veneto began to be flooded around 10 pm, two minutes after the council rejected a plan to combat global warming.
- As a result of subsidence, Venice has not one, but three leaning towers (two of which are pictured below)
Five top tips for visiting Venice
- Often voted the most beautiful city in the world, Venice is a living museum, but threatens to become a tourist attraction all-but abandoned by its native population. Practice responsible tourism: respect the natural environment and customs, visit the quieter areas, visit off-season. You will see the city at its best if you do.
- See Venice from the water: Venice is expensive; make no mistake. Any activity within the centro storico is likely to have a relatively high price tag. If you’re going to spend on anything, make it a trip on a traditional gondola or water taxi. Seeing the city in this way really brings the magic to life.
- See Venice by night: this is when the city is at its romantic best, from twilight when the streets begin to fill with locals, to the early hours of morning when the moon is high and the city quiet.
- Avoid eating in the main tourist hotspots: one thing I’ve discovered about eating out in Italy is that all of the restaurants are good, except the overpriced ones aimed at luring in tourists with their iconic city views. Look for small local restaurants, and you can’t really go wrong.
- Stay on the Island: leave the car in the Tronchetto car park (or, better still, at home) and see the city on foot and by boat. Don’t waste time trying to commute from the outskirts every day: the hotels may be cheaper, but you’ll miss out on so much magic, it’s not a worthwhile trade-off.