I'm Portuguese, live in Lisbon and I'm a travel addict!
I've been traveling since I was a teenager and I've been around the World a few times already.
This is my attempt to share with you my experiences and the knowledge I've collected after more than 20 years of non-stop traveling. Hope you like it!
You can read more about me here.
Venice is a beautiful city in any season, but in the Winter time it seems to have a special beauty that adds drama to its romantic aura.
In the Winter it’s easier to walk along the canals and get away from other tourists. It is easier to feel the essence of the city where Marco Polo grew up and from where he departed to discover new worlds and cultures.
I start my walk in S. Zaccaria and pass the Bridge of Sighs where, according to a legend, prisoners sighed when they saw the World for the last time before entering their prison.
I then arrive at St. Mark’s Square and stop to watch the movement around me. So many gondolas, so many people…
There is no shortage of queues to enter St. Mark’s Basilica and the Ducal Palace. And there are tourists (myself included) photographing every inch of its walls, every mosaic and sculpture.
Everyone is trying to retain all the memories and perhaps collect a little of the history of this city that was once a state.
I daydream and imagine other times when Venice was even more glorious and monumental. Times when the palaces were beautifully adorned and received masquerade balls where lovers exchanged promises.
I walk away from the most popular streets and continue on to Campo Manin, where I see the magnificent Winged Lion – the symbol of Venice.
I start to explore the narrow streets around Campo Manin and find myself in a dead end. It could have been bad, but no, to my surprise – I discover a hidden pearl, an amazing building: the Scala Contarini del Bovolo.
Venice is full of secrets 😊
There’s hardly anyone there. I climb slowly up the grand staircase and admire the mix of Gothic, Renaissance and Byzantine styles of the building. On top there’s another present: an amazing panoramic view of the city!
I continue through small canals, away from tourists, where everything is calm except for the occasional gondolas that pass under the bridges carrying couples in love.
I continue now to the Rialto, the most famous bridge / market in the city.
The sun is setting and it is the ideal time to stop and enjoy a beautiful meal overlooking the Grand Canal.
I start with a Spritz, because in Venice you have to be Venetian! 😃
After dinner I return to St. Mark’s Square and stop at Florian, the oldest and most traditional café in Venice, and order a hot chocolate. On the street musicians, hired by the café, entertain tourists with beautiful melodies.
I close my eyes, listen to the music, and enjoy the hot chocolate. What a beautiful day…
Venice, I’m in falling in love with you all over again! 😍