With many traditional Summer holidays out of the way, and with most children now back at school, I thought I would look at some places that are perfect for an Autumn City break, a few days out of the rat race in places that are perfect for soaking up some culture, fine food and wonderful atmosphere.
I am going to start by looking at Venice, which is, in my opinion, one of the most wonderful and unusual places on Earth. A city, that was once an independent City state, dissected by Canals, with no cars to be seen or heard, and possibly a city now sinking under it’s own weight, Venice is beautiful and otherworldly, and certainly a place that needs to be seen to be believed. A favourite for day trips for those visiting nearby Lake Garda, and also for School Culture Trips, Venice is a place I have visited twice and long to return to.
Here are some of my highlights.
The Doge’s Palace.
One of the main landmarks of Venice, the Doge’s Palace is two tales in one. The opulence and grandeur of the palace is in marked contrast to the dank, dark and sinister prison, which is reached by crossing the famous Bridge of Sighs. A must see for lovers of Venetian Gothic architecture, the Doge’s Palace became a museum in 1923, and is big enough that you could easily spend a day there.
St Marks Square and Basilica
Probably the most famous area of Venice, the Piazza, as it is known, is famous for the Campanile (Bell Tower) for the pigeons, and for flooding. It is also best avoided for coffee, as you may need to remortgage your house to have a drink here. On the first occasion I visited St Marks it had flooded, and you needed to walk on raised boards to make your way around the square (wellies are a must in Venice.) The shops in St Marks and the vicinity are of the designer type, so window shopping is a must. The Basilica of St Marks is beautiful and awe inspiring, in Byzantine style.
The Venice Carnival
If you visit in February you will experience all the joys of the Venice Carnival. The streets are lined with performers and the stores are filled with the beautiful masks that signify carnival, and there are special balls, dinners and events during the celebrations, which fall on the lead up to Shrove Tuesday (Lent.).
Have you ever been to Venice?