As I’ve written about before, Venice is the type of place you either love or hate and I’m definitely in the love camp so I wanted to share with you some of my favourite pictures taken in the city. Venice can be crowded with tourists, especially in the summer, but look beyond the clusters of people and admire the beauty of this charming city. It is definitely the less well known spots in the city that are the places I like the most.
I didn’t have a lot of time to spend in Pisa. I was in Tuscany as part of a Mediterranean cruise and had spent the majority of my time in enchanting Florence. I arrived in Pisa by train and took a taxi from here straight to the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa to save precious time.
What I saw on the taxi ride to the tower was a pretty town, with a river running through it and some lovely architecture. I’d heard from a few people that there was nothing to Pisa other than the tower and the area immediately around it, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that this didn’t look to be the case.
When I stepped out of the taxi the first thing I could focus on was tourists. So many tourists. It was crowded, with everyone attempting various generic poses holding up the tower. It was a pretty comical scene to be honest.
The coastal Italian town of Portofino is undoubtedly one of the most photogenic places I’ve ever visited. It’s one of those destinations where you can pretty much just drop your camera and still end up with some incredible shots.
I arrived in Portofino by boat, from the nearby town of Santa Margherita, which is another stunning town on the Italian Riviera (although, I don’t think there’s any coastal towns in this area that aren’t drop dead gorgeous!). Sailing in to the little harbour of Portofino I was taken aback with just how picturesque it was. It’s the type of place that in real life, looks exactly like it does on postcards.
Santa Margherita on the strikingly beautiful Italian Riviera was undoubtedly one of the best places I visited on my recent cruise on-board MS Ryndam. Sailing on our small tender boat from where the ship was anchored, Santa Margherita seemed to rise up out of the water before my eyes. It is truly one of the prettiest places I’ve ever seen.
Whilst staying in Rimini in July as part of the amazing Blogville project, I took some time to visit some different places within the Emilia Romagna region. Ravenna is famously known for it’s stunning mosaics and together with some other bloggers we headed to Ravenna to see the mosaics and explore the city itself. So here’s a few photos of some of the beautiful places in Ravenna…
Whenever the subject of the Italian city of Venice comes up in conversation there’s always a split in the proverbial camps. There are always people who say they’ve been to Venice and adored it and would love to return and then there are always people who say something along the lines of ‘oh isn’t Venice smelly and dirty?’ I’ve found that a lot of the time the people who are in the latter camp haven’t actually even been to the city and yet have preconceived ideas about it.
I’m firmly ensconced in camp number one with the Venice lovers. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Venice 5 or 6 times. The first time was when I was twelve and on holiday in Rimini with my parents. I pestered them until they agreed that we would get up at 4am and go to Venice for a day trip. (Yes, I’ve always been desperate to visit new places. And stubborn. Definitely stubborn.) I loved Venice on that first visit, and I think it’s safe to say I love it even more now.
St. Marks Square
One of the things I love most about Venice is the sheer amount of history that is captured within the canals, bridges and ostentatious architecture of the city. Walking around the city it’s easy to close your eyes and imagine the people who lived there centuries ago walking through the streets, going about their daily business.
I’ve visited the Doge’s Palace twice and both times I simply loved walking through the interior rooms with their ornate decoration and over the top Italian flair. Inside the Palace you can walk through the rooms that have been inhabited by various Doge’s throughout the years and even walk across the famous Bridge of Sighs. Earlier this year I was walking across the bridge peeking out of the holes that reputedly prisoners would glimpse their last views of the city before they embarked upon prison life on the other side. A huge clap of thunder struck just as I walked over the bridge and it added to the atmospheric feeling.
The Bridge of Sighs
The one thing I dislike about Venice is the sheer volume of tourists that are there all year round. The main areas of the city such as St. Marks Square and the streets and canals which surround it are always mobbed with tourists. My favourite thing to do is to wander off the main tourist trail and explore some side streets and quieter areas of the city. I think this gives a more authentic experience of the city and makes it more enjoyable to see the streets without bumping into groups of tourists following a tour guide with an umbrella every two seconds.
One of my favourite Venice photos
So, reserve your judgement on Venice until you’ve actually visited the city. If you travel there and decide you still don’t like it then that’s okay. Some places aren’t for everyone and we all have different likes and dislikes. But please, don’t denounce Venice until you’ve experienced it for yourself.