Does your family love to explore new cities too? Need to escape for a few days? Want to compare weekend breaks to top cities such as Bordeaux, Dubrovnik or Copenhagen? Well, our European Cities Experiences page might be right up your street.... but today's article saw us visit the 'City of Bridges in Venice, Italy. A city renowned for its Venetian glass, lace, art, carnival masks, churches, palaces and public squares....
Let's start with some basic facts about Venice.... it's an island city located on 118 small islands (a little like Stockholm in Sweden). Situated in the eastern part of Italy and near the Adriatic Sea, there are 170 waterways which separate the islands with over 400 bridges that connect these islands. But what really strikes you is the lack of car horns, alarms, or even squeaking brakes. There is just peace and quiet with a slight hum of the motor boats zooming by... and the constant chatter of tourists!! And there are a lots of them.... often over 70,000 per day in high season!!! In fact, it's led to a concern that they might even start to restrict numbers visiting this beautiful city (see this Telegraph article here)
It is a maze. Around one corner you could run right into the Grand Canal where you can hitch a ride on one of the famous gondolas (or try the Vaporetto Service on Line 1 to reduce costs) Whilst the next corner might see you crossing a famous square like the Piazza San Marco where the cobbled ground is covered in pigeons. Crossing the Rialto Bridge right over the Grand Canal gifts you the best place to see the city and to get your bearings...
Plus the Rialto Bridge puts you close to perhaps the best place for a takeaway lunch in the city.... a pizza place for the locals... making the most delicious array of pastries, pizza, olive bread... you'll smell the place, before you see the queues... but be prepared to wait it out... your kids will think it's worth the wait once they take that first bite!!! (but if you fancy sitting for a meal, this article might help)
Our trip across Europe in our motorhome has offered the kind of freedom we’d only previously dreamed of.... Offering us the freedom to roam, discover and travel wherever suited us... so if you're like us and seeing Venice as a family in a motorhome, you might want to consider 'Union Lido'... A luxury campsite village after a hard day strolling the canalised streets of Venice
So does your family love to explore new cities too? Do you believe that city breaks aren't just for adults and are a great way to learn, relax and bond as a family. If so, grab a seat, make yourself comfortable & discover some of the favourite 'family friendly' cities we've visited in our 400+ day Euopean Roadtrip
Across the bridge, you are in the heart of the city where you can take a narrow street called the Merceria that runs right through the city's chief shopping district and all the way back to Saint Mark's Square. The district is full of bustling people, mostly local residents, who are out for their occasional shopping, or have just gone for a stroll to get a couple of scoops of gelatto and just sit on a bench and chat with a friend....
Saint Mark's Square is the center of activity in Venice... and worth a detour to see this... but if you've got kids that need to be entertained... then try taking them across to the islands that surround Venice (like Murano) to check out the amazing glass... or grab a few minutes out of a busy day to experience a gelato that will make you want to come back for more (just check out this review of Suso (pic below))
We'd been inspired to visit Venice due to the strength of this region in European History / Politics, so if you're interested in finding out more like we were then (click here).... or perhaps see our Trogir, Croatia article to see just where the Venetian Lion was hidden in this stunning walled city...
We're pretty sure that Venice will be too smelly (yes that water - phew!) and too busy (yes it was packed!) or too expensive (a family of 4 ticket cost us 94 Euros for an unlimited daily travel pass - ouch!)... But if you can see past that, it's the type of city you'll be delighted to have seen... your kids will find something that they will remember for ever (the gondolier nearly falling in, the DHL canal boat service or those intricate masks!!)... and like us, you'll probably be glad you made the effort to see it
But if you'd like to see where else our Italian adventures took us (both this year and last year), then perhaps the below posts might be of interest... maybe you might even want to see when we slept in a volcano in Naples too!!!!
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