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Considered by many to be at the epicentre of the European pandemic, Italy has struggled to attract post-lockdown travellers. But with currently (August 2020) some of the lowest case numbers on the continent, Italy might just be the safest destination for post pandemic vacations.
Here's our guide to one of our favourite Italian cities, Venice.
While the idea of Venice doesn't necessarily conjure up images of the open road, the surrounding area has a lot to offer, best explored at your leisure in a rental car from Green Motion. Take in the sights of this amazing floating city, then hit the road and explore the beaches, mountains and natural parks of northern Italy.
While you are in Venice, make sure you take in these must-sees in the city:
Basilica San Marco – St. Mark’s Basilica is the third building on its spot on the Piazza San Marco. Two other churches were there previously, the first built to hold the stolen bones of St. Mark. The current is filled with amazing mosaics, domes, statues, and the High Altar that supposedly contains some of the saint’s remains.
Doge’s Palace – A series of 120 doges ruled Venice, and their incredible three story palace predates the Renaissance. The facade features beautiful arches and pink and white marble. The palace is located on St. Mark’s Square. The inside of the palace is remarkable, and filled with artwork. Tours will take visitors across the Bridge of Sighs to the nearby prison cells, one of which once housed famous Cassanova.
Take a Gondola ride – Some may say the gondolas of Venice are a tourist trap, but so are a lot of other fun things! A gondola ride can be very romantic if taken around dusk.
Lido – If you want to escape the city, Lido is an island between Venice and the sea that has a beach on where you can relax. Cabanas can also be rented.
Murano island – Close to Venice, Murano island is the home of the famous glass blowers of the famous Murano glass. Although the island is filled with souvenirs, it is an educational and fun afternoon learning and watching how the glass is blown.
Visit the markets – Venice has great markets where you can buy some delicious food at a fraction of the cost than at the restaurants. The morning fish market is a favourite. Head there early to watch the restaurant owners pick their fish and stay for the old ladies picking their dinners. There is also an organic produce market on Mondays.
Peggy Guggenheim Collection – This is a huge, avant-garde collection of art, comprised of more than 200 artists. There are countless pieces by surrealists, abstract expressionists, and Italian futurists. In addition to works by Max Ernst, Jackson Pollock, and various other big-name artists, the collection also includes local works.
Campanile di San Marco – Built in 1912, this tower is actually a replica of the original Bell Tower of St. Mark. It is said that every last detail of the structure is a match. You can climb up through the inner workings and get a great view of the city.
I Tre Mercanti – This food gallery can be found just a stone’s skip away from St. Marco’s Square. The specialty here is Italian dishes but the cool part is the number of regional specialties from around Italy. There are over 97 pasta sauces here! It’s kind of like heaven, really, especially the tiramisu.
Burano – Another one of the islands around Venice is Burano, which is known for its colorful, block-like buildings. The government actually regulates house-painting on this island. Wander the streets, and admire the many art galleries and shops along the way.