You may have noticed that the team at World Words has a bit of a soft spot for travel. Okay, let’s face it – it’s more than a soft spot. We’re in love. At any given time, you’ll find at least one of us on the move, discovering an exciting corner of the world. Sometimes it’s for work, but sometimes it’s simply to quench our own thirsts for exploration.
We love to share our travel experiences with friends, family and strangers alike, and the Our Travels blog series lets us do just that. We’ve written about adventures everywhere from Japan to Belarus to Guatemala. This month, staff content editor Eilidh McCabe looks at the highlights of her recent Italian trip to Venice. Read more below…
Why I went to Venice
This was not my first visit to Venice, so I already knew how magical the city feels. When I was picking a destination for my birthday treat this year, I was sure Venice would be a safe bet for a memorable trip with my partner. And with the final days of the massive Venice Biennale art festival overlapping with my 31st towards the end of November, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
My highlight of the trip
The Biennale embodies all that I love about Venice, and it never disappoints. Every two years, two vast venues – the Arsenale and the Giardini della Biennale – are filled to bursting with contemporary art from all over the world, as are smaller venues scattered throughout the city. During the two days (not nearly enough time) we devoted to exploring the Biennale this year, we experienced sensory overload from the sheer scale and variety of exhibits.
What else I love about Venice
There’s far more to Venice’s spectacular arts and cultural scene than the Biennale. Another one of our holiday highlights was the glorious morning we spent at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, where a wonderful array of Modernist art is set within the one-time home of the woman who collected it, the eccentric Ms. Guggenheim.
The beautiful lagoon islands we visited, Burano and Torcello, offered a different type of aesthetic stimulation. In the still winter air, Burano’s multi-coloured streets felt like a film set. There isn’t a lot to do there beyond admiring the rainbow of houses that fill the compact island, but the scenic lanes are the perfect place to go wandering with a camera, and the boat trip across is a pleasure in itself.
Torcello, meanwhile, has a far less cultivated charm. This gorgeous, leafy little place is one of the quieter islands, and if you get lucky with your timings, as we did, you can have it almost to yourself. The golden mosaics of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta are a prime attraction here, but the quiet pathways and picturesque gardens around the building are just as appealing.
Why you should go
Venice is a place where the senses are continually indulged. Every inch of the city is gorgeous, and wherever your gaze falls you’re sure to encounter another exquisite detail – even if it’s just prettily flaking paint on a brick wall. Add to that accidental beauty the elegant architecture, the rich art scene, the incredible restaurants, the sheer novelty of canals in place of roads, and some of the best people watching anywhere in the world (almost everyone, from toddlers to pensioners, is flawlessly stylish)… it’s a perfect city break destination.
How you can visit
We travelled from Scotland, but wherever you’re coming from in Europe, there are some ridiculously cheap Ryanair flights to Venice Treviso Airport available. As with most Ryanair airports, this one isn’t in the city itself, but the bus to the centre takes less than an hour. Accommodation is notoriously expensive in Venice, but planning ahead makes a big difference; we snapped up an Airbnb in our price range a couple of months before our trip.
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