By Sarah Dudleymore
Venice is known to be expensive, but don't despair. I have created a list for you to enjoy Venice to the maximum without spending a fortune!
1) Piazza san marco is excellent place to stroll around the square. Do some window shopping, take amazing pictures of the great architecture and if you like pigeons, then join them in the middle of the square as they love to just stand on people.
2) Bsilica di san marco "st. Mark's basilica" is the greatest of all venice's churches. To enter and visit the basilica of san marco is free (expect lines, don't try to enter with a rucksack or indecent clothing). If you also wish to visit the pala d'oro, there is a very relatively inexpensive fee to see it.
3) Venice churches santa maria della salute most part to visit the church is free. The sound of the organ music is simply amazing. San vidal - near the accademia bridge is free to enter only during the day time. In the evening is used for local classical music concerts. The church's treasure is above the high altar; a painting by vittore carpaccio of san vitale. I carmini (santa maria del carmelo) - is free to enter and it includes paintings by lorenzo lotto and cima da conegliano.
4) The rialto bridge is a great place for people watching and you get a beautiful view of the grand canal for both sides. Look down and watch the vaporetto boats and gondolas slowly making their way through under the bridge just beneath your feet. Make sure you watch the sunset from rialto bridge. A must see!!!
5) The rialto bridge markets are immense. Vendors here yell out many sorts of things selling their products. You can find the venetian carnival masks, beautiful murano glass pieces, clothing, leathers, shoes, fruits, vegetables, fish and meats. Sometimes even a strong wonderful aroma of herbs and spices.
6) The streets of venice are a narrow, winding, maze easily making you feel lost very easily? This is the fun part! Try to find your way back!!! Best point of reference, ask for piazza san marco and start all over again.
7) Window shopping in venice is like no other. The murano glass stores are like museums exposing beautiful pieces of art. Chances are you have already found one free thing to do.
8) Canal watching on one of the many bridges in venice and wait a few minutes is a lot of fun. Watch how the locals live their life totally different from ours. It is amazing to see furniture, ovens and refrigerators being moved aound on boats like you and I would use cars. The strange boat manoeuvres they do and to us would be so difficult to even try. My favourite is the firemen and ambulance service!
9) If you notice, the city/island of venice can be a very interesting place! You can hear sea gulls, gondoliers slowly skimming on top of the water, motor boats putting along, water splashing against the side of some sinking building and tourists speaking a world of languages. What you won't hear are cars, buses or scooters.
10) To see murano glass is not necessarily free as you must take the vaporetto to get to the island! But the fun ride is worth the small fee you pay. Once you are there all is free... Spend the day exploring one of the lagoon islands, walk around and look into one of the workshops as you will see glass maker artists at work. This will definitely make up the fee for the vaporetto ride.
Sarah Dudleymore is a professional travel consultant. She is working for "The Key to Italy" a travel agency specialized in Apartments in Venice for rent and Venice Accommodations.
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