Thursday, January 31, 2019

Been There Done That…Venice, Italy

Venice is such a magical city I don’t think I will ever tire of visiting. Should it be included on any of my future Mediterranean cruise itineraries I’m happy to wander the city’s maze of alleys time and time again, yet it’s always fun to seek out a spot to explore that I’ve never been to before.  Here’s a few “off the beaten path” destinations I’d like to share from a previous visit.

Burano:  I’ve taken a water taxi to Murano many times in search of a lovely piece of glass, but never made time for neighboring island, Burano.  I rectified that on a recent “girlfriend trip.” Burano is a fisherman’s island with brightly colored houses lining its boat-filled canal. It is said that houses are painted in this manner because it made it easier for returning fishermen to find their homes in the thick fog of the lagoon.  Strolling the streets is a photographer’s (and tourist’s) dream! My friends and I admired the lovely lace in the shop windows and made time for a leisurely lunch of fresh fish over just as fresh pasta! Exploring Burano is a wonderful way to spend a day.

Teatro La Fenice: Is your Mediterranean cruise beginning or ending in Venice?  If so, and if you’re there overnight, consider spending an evening at the opera.  Not just a visit to see the magnificent opera house (although that’s well worth a visit), but actually buy tickets and see an opera.  Teatro La Fenice is one of "the most famous and renowned landmarks in the history of Italian theatre", and in the history of opera as a whole. It’s where I saw my first opera and it was an amazing experience.  No, it wasn’t sub-titled in English and I couldn’t always follow the story line, but it was a wonderful way to immerse myself in the culture of the fabulous city of Venice!

Row Venice: I haven’t done this yet, but it’s on my list for next time! Almost everyone who visits Venice takes the time for a gondola ride, but did you know you can actually take a lesson in operating one? Row Venice is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the traditional Venetian style of rowing: standing up, facing forward, native to Venice and made iconic by the gondoliers. The company provides rowing lessons for 90 minutes for up to four people in a traditional Venetian hand crafted all wood batellina. The experience provides a great way to still see the canals of Venice but in a much more hand-on way, all while learning something new!

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