When you try to imagine yourself seeing Venice (pics) firsthand, you may imagine the Venice you have seen in countless movies or on a postcard or perhaps in a travel publication or website. It turns out that Venice is exactly as I had imagined it to be. It completely lives up to all of the images formed through those movies and postcards.
Venice is 118 islands linked by canals and over 400 bridges. A few of the bridges are grand, such as Rialto and Accademia but most of them are simple affairs that get you from one side of a small canal to the other. Some bridges only lead directly to an entry doorway for a house or apartment building.
At first, getting around Venice seems daunting since there plenty of opportunities to reach spots without a bridge and where you reach a dead end. However, finding notable sights is made easier with frequent signs pointing the way. But, once you get oriented to those major sights you have to begin to experiment with random turns which take you away from the crowded main routes. This allows you to more appreciate what makes Venice special. And, of course you must get on the water.
The Vaporetto is basically a bus service on water. There are several different routes and they run frequently. We used the Vaporetto to take a day tour all around Venice as well as to visit some of the outer islands.
We visited Lido, Murano and Burano. Lido is a favorite summer destination for a beach escape. Murano is home to countless glass workshops that create swirling chandeliers, beautiful goblets, jewelry and a myriad of other creations. Some of the items seem as though magic has been conjured inside the glass. Venice was originally where the glass makers began in the 10th century but by the 13th century most had made the move to Murano due to the fire hazard in Venice. Burano is known for its shockingly colored houses, hot pink, royal blue and bright orange. They are also known for their lemon scented, S-shaped buranelli biscuits.