Unmasking Venice: Top 5 things to do

Breath-taking as expected. The city of water in Winter is quiet with hardly any tourists in sight, I have been told summer is a different story. January, despite the freezing temperature, seemed like a great time to explore Venice. Winter worked in our favour as a majority of the tourist shops were closed and we felt immersed in the local Italian culture. Perfetto’

I highly recommended visiting the Bridge of Sighs, which is one of Venice’s most famous sites. The bridge has many wonderful and not-so wonderful stories to tell, the enclosed structure is made of pure white limestone has no windows and thick stone bars, as this was built as a walkway for prisoners.

The prisoners would be led over the bridge into the interrogation rooms in Dodges Palace and most would not return. There are also many romantic myths around the Bridge, my most favourite is if you pass under the Bridge by Gondola or boat and kiss- it is the kiss of eternal love.

St Marks square also known as ‘Piazza San Marco’ is home to many of the beautiful heritage sites in Venice from Dodges Palace to the oldest coffee shop Caffe Florian 1720. This is one of Venice’s only open space and many of the sites surround this area, so it’s perfect to make this a meeting point, base or destination to complete some of the finest historical sites.

Quite cliche but it really is a must do if your visiting in the colder months. Gondola’s are everything expected and more. Romantic, dreamy, peaceful and an excellent, efficient mode of transport around the city! We were able to barter our price down to half due to the colder temperatures and less demand for attractions. Some of the original prices can bounce up to 160 euros for 20 minutes in the summer months. (Ridiculous!)

If you are lucky and also quite persuasive to bargain a suitable price, do not hesitate to jump onto one of these beautiful boats. This enables you to have a whole new perspective of the city, one you simply cannot witness from the pathways. Suddenly the whole city comes alive and when you look up, the colours, buildings and bridges connect to create an enchanted city on water. We found the soft sound of the paddles in the water so relaxing- I can definitely tick this one of my bucket list.

The best sites are found lost. During our time in Italy we did not use any maps, this was Ryan’s idea, at first I was pretty hesitant as I was so excited to see everything! The no map idea and walking aimlessly ended up to be all the more romantic and enchanting. We stumbled across many canals, locations and shops off route, despite the cold, we strolled, chatted and wandered the streets of Venice together. No matter who is your company or even if your exploring alone- getting lost in Venice is definitely the best way to see the real city.

BAG Topshop | COAT Jaeger | BOOTS Zara

The 5th essential is more of an activity, grabbing a local coffee and take in the awe-inspiring surroundings. Coffee is fundamental in Italian culture, especially a double expresso, so be sure to give this a try! After a long day of wandering around the canals, over bridges and relaxing in the bars we ended up on the famous Rialto bridge where I was able to snap away in golden hour. The whole experience in Venice was incredible and this city is really like no other.