Venice, The Sinking City!!!

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Hello there!

For this week issue, I have to share about any topic related to tourism and transport. Accidentally, Puan Fatimah, our coordinator and also my english lecturer..asked us to do an essay about the main cities that we like to go for a, as I did my research and thinking about the main city that I want to go..eventually, I choose Venice, the sinking city in Italy!!!

First of all, I would like to share what is Venice is all about...Venice, or Venezia as it is known in Italian, is an architectural delight, an entire city built on an artificial island in the middle of a lagoon. With palaces, churches and ordinary houses which have not changed since the 16th century, Venice wallows in the past, remembering a time when it was the richest city in the world, bearing the title 'The Most Serene Republic of Venice'.

Nowadays, much of the city is falling down, which enhances the charm or detracts from it, depending on your point of view. Many people hate the place, finding it dirty, smelly and crowded with tourists. But for others, it is the ultimate destination. Everybody knows the clichés about Venice, with canals and gondolas. You will be surprised to find that it really is like that, only more so.

Things to Do in Venice

  • Go for a Gondola ride. It's clichéd and touristy, but you won't forget it. Gondolas are expensive so pool resources and go as a group.

  • If you just have to go on a gondola but can't afford the price, there is a cheap alternative - there are public gondolas known as traghetti (ferries) that cross the Grand Canal at certain points between the bridges.

  • Eat a pizza. The Italians still make the best pizzas in the world. There's an excellent and extremely cheap shop that sells wonderful pizza by the slice; it's on the Calle Mondo Nuovo, just off the Campo di Santa Maria Formosa. That's north of the Piazza San Marco - you won't find it without a map, but it's well worth it!

  • Drink an espresso early in the morning, standing up at a bar. It's half price if you don't occupy a seat. For many Italians, this is breakfast.

  • Buy a painting from one of the many street artists. These are everywhere, but particularly at the Molo beside St Mark's Square. There's everything from views of the city to portraits of you or your loved ones, done on the spot.

  • Take a ride on a vaporetto (water bus) along the whole length of the Grand Canal.

Shopping in Venice

Souvenir Shopping
Central Venice is well supplied with souvenir shops, particularly on and around the Rialto Bridge. They tend to specialise in Murano glass ornaments and ashtrays, and carnival masks - and very nice they are too. If you're concerned about buying a genuine souvenir, always ask 'E fatto a Venezia?' if it doesn't have a 'Made In Venice' sticker on it - Murano-style glass made in Asia is quite common these days. It's also probably fair to say you'll get a better deal the further away from Rialto you are. The best deals for Murano glass, naturally, can be found on Murano itself direct from the manufacturers - where you can often see it being made.

Food Shopping
For the traveller on a budget, there's a small supermarket (a midget by usual standards, but far and away the largest in Venice) called Billa - it's the cheapest place to buy picnic food if you're looking to save a few euros. It's about halfway along the Strada Nova, by one of the many bridges. Another small supermarket is in the Dorsoduro area, just off Campo Santa Margherita, at the corner of Rio Tera Canal. There's a similarly-sized Co-op supermarket on Murano - which features a jumbo-sized lift to take you and your trolley up to the first floor. There are also some stalls in the middle of the Strada Nova selling fruit and veg - usually fresh and cheap, the produce is often grown on the nearby island of Sant'Erasmo.

Shopping in General
A few of the multinational chains (such as Benetton and Foot Locker, for example) have branches in Venice, but if you fancy some more normal shopping Italian-style, you're generally better off taking a train to the mainland and going round the shopping district in Mestre, where you'll find everything you need in the area north of the train station. The one exception worth going out of your way to find in Venice is the department store Coin5 on the corner of the Campo San Luca, north-west of San Marco. It's something like an upmarket equivalent of Marks & Spencer, and specialises in Italian clothes, housewares and the like.

In conclusion, I hope one day..I can have the chance to go to Venice one day, the city was so nice, unique and romantic place! Don't you think so???