Tag Archives: city

My Top 10 Beautiful Places in Venice

I started writing this list in the first day of spring, in March, at midnight, when outside was snowing with huge fluffy snow flakes. From my window all was white, beautiful and perfectly calm. It was the last and so unwanted winter episode that made (almost) everyone crazy throughout Europe. I thought then it was the perfect moment to mind travel back to Venice, back to the Carnival madness and to my favourite beautiful places there.

I don’t know where time has flown away so fast. Now spring rules the cities and our livers with summer like temperatures, blue sky, blossomed trees and flowers scent in the air. Anytime actually is a perfect moment to remember Venice. Soo…

First, let’s agree something. On blogs, sites, forums are countless tops and lists of do that – and go there – and eat that – and you must’t miss… blablabla. My advice: read and ignore 80%. The rest of 20% that maybe you’ll consider nice to do, you’ll remember for sure. it’s a fact that no one can make a top appealing to everybody. So if you’re not into museums, with long waiting lines, but rather prefer to walk till you drop on the streets, you think shopping while traveling is a waste of time, you chase sunsets and panoramas and are never too tired for a late night walk, you are not afraid of getting lost, you are more likely to choose street food instead of restaurants and you simply can’t say no to ice-cream… than you might find some ideas for Venice:

10. The Carnival. There are two types of Venice: the one during the Carnival and… the other one. Make sure you get to see the first and take part at the feast, because true Venice is during those weeks, when the city goes wild and fancy. You will feel as a time traveler among all those people in costumes of counts and countesses. Buy a mask, wear it and dance in San Marco. I got mine, a beautiful black one, from Zago & Molin, for 15 euro.

Carnevale marks Venice

9. Best panorama in Venice can be seen in Campanile, the tallest building in the city. The entire lagoon, the Lido, the roofs, all under the majestic picks of the Dolomites.

8. A classic one never hurt anyone. So go for a gondola ride! Take it from Rialto Bridge, go behind one of the most famous bridge in the world and head to the narrow canals with small bridges. See Casanova’s house and enjoy the gondolier’s Italian love songs and   stories about the old times. The maximum of people is 5, so if you want to save some bucks, share the ride with other people and you’ll pay 16 euro each.

7. Have some fun getting lost. Venice is a labyrinth. Try finding San Marco without using Google Maps. Start, let’s say, in Piazzale Roma. It’s not so much fun getting lost while searching for a toilet. Been there, done that 🙂

6. Walk. Eat. Enjoy. Repeat. You’re in Italy, it’s pretty hard to have bad food. Well, I did but let’s just call it bad luck. Follow your instinct and maybe check TripAdvisor, if you don’t like taking culinary risks. If you like Neapolitan pizza, try Rossopomodoro, close to San Marco. For ice-cream addicts, Gelato Fantasy is the place.

5. Have a Prosecco at Caffè Florian in San Marco. Established in 1720, it is said to be the oldest café in the world. Imagine all the events that happened in three centuries. The place is not cheap, but it’s worth every penny. During the Carnival, when all the people wearing costumes gather in San Marco, it is an ideal place to admire them.

4. For those who enjoy the vibe, the colours and flavours in the city markets, the best place in Venice is Mercato di Rialto. And I guarantee you won’t leave without buying some fruits or food.

3. Find your quiet place. Escape the noise and find Calle Tranghetto Vecchio, a small dark street. Step into the light, on the wooden bateau bridge built at the end of it, facing a beautiful 180′ view of the Grand Canal. Watch the boats passing and enjoy the view away from the crowds.

The Grand Canal view

2. Midnight walk. Even during the busiest times like the days of the Carnival, you’ll own the city after midnight, when most of the people are already dreaming in their beds. Instead, you’ll live the dream. San Marco is now finally empty, quiet and amazing.

San Marco by night

1. Sunset on Rialto Bridge. This is my favourite view in Venice. The palaces, the Grand Canal, the seagulls and the gondolas, all in the orange sunset light. And if you feel like, take a waterside-bar break and enjoy a glass of Italian wine. Now that’s a moment you’ll always remember.

Now all you have to do is buy the tickets to Venice and have some great time in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

P.S. “Never to go on trips with anyone you do not love.” ― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

How to enjoy a rainy day in Bergen

“Did you had a rainy day in Bergen?” It’s what a friend who used to live in Oslo asked me when I came back home. It’s seems that’s natural for this region. Yes, I answered. Smiling.

Just close your eyes and imagine: it’s January, you woke up in a small room at your accommodation in Bergen where you took only one night, it’s warm and you’re lazy, outside is raining and you hear the big drops punching the window. But you need to shower in a freezing bathroom, pack your baggage and leave the place. The flight to Oslo is in the evening. And this lucky one was me…

What did I do? Stay indoors, make a few long calls home, order some food and took a nap. Kidding!!!

I survived the freezing bathroom, let my baggage there and went out. The rain was bearable, with episodes, it wasn’t cold at all. I was in another beautiful place, had a few hours to get to know the city better that I did the previous evening.

I went back to Bryggen to see it in day light too. No wonder is on UNESCO list of heritages since 1979. It’s a line of old colourful wooden buildings facing the port, with small shops selling Norwegian products and restaurants inside.

 

I took the first street at the left and started to go up. It’s so simple with towns built by the water, you can’t get lost.

Soon the small white houses on little streets appeared again and I stopped in front of many of them to admire the simple beauty.

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But I was on a mission, walking in the rain: to get the best top view of the city, on Floyen, 300m up. And since the cable car is not for me, I decided to walk all the way up. And I had the best views of the city, the harbour and  the red roofs, Things got complicated with the rain that was stronger now and even more complicated when I realised on that weather I cat’t walk further. I was ready to give up and started to descent when I finally found the last stop of the cable car. And so I got to see the gorgeous panorama of Bergen, with the fiords visible in the horizon, the hills, the houses and the dark grey water mixing the light blue-green one. Although it was not that high, at one point I almost got pushed down by the very intense wind.

I could’t take my eyes from that breathtaking view, every detail of it was an entire painting.

The cable car let me after right in the city centre, back to concrete and traffic. And on my way to the best meal I had during my 8 days in Norway. The moment I got to the restaurant I have read about I was freezing, my coat was all wet and I felt tired. I hat meatballs with mashed peas, potatoes, carrots and some cranberries. De-li-cious! I took a place in front of the window for some street watching.

The last hour I spent it to say goodby to those adorable white wooden houses, the small empty streets while the dark was covering the city. It’s funny that today I saw a top of the most romantic places in Europe still untouched by the frenetic tourism. Bergen was number one. All I can say it that I’m happy I got to know it a little bit like that, serene, rainy and beautiful. I love it!