Travel Tips by Venice Locals
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Travel Tips by Venice Locals

Venice Locals Want You to Know the Following about Venice

While the phrase “NVNQVAM DERELICTA”, meaning never abandoned, plastered on the wall of the Doge’s Palace in Venice initially held religious meaning, it remains a suitable motto for the city today. Venice has survived 1,400 years of almost constant siege–from Barbarians, Napoleonic armies, rising waters and loads of tourists. Today’s expensive cost of living continues to drive more and more natives to neighboring cities, but Venice locals that remain have an intense love and protective spirit for their gorgeous, watery metropolis. Here’s what Venetians want travelers to know about Venice.

It’s Good to Get Lost

Venice’s meandering streets are an obstacle for even those with the best sense of direction–so go with it. If you don’t get lost, you’re not doing it right. In fact, it’s best to explore this wonderful maze of a city in a bit of a confused state. Given that you will get lost, Venice locals suggest allowing yourself extra time to get around or arrive at your destination.

Venice Has Its Own Language

Despite its long, rich history, Italy as we know it has only been a country for less than 150 years. So it makes sense that regional dialects and languages are regularly used alongside mainstream Italian. The language of Venice known as Veneto or Venetian, is a unique language complete with its own dialects. Greet a local with “Ciao vecchio/vecchia” to say “Hi old boy/girl” or soften the z in “grazie” to an s sound.

There’s a Right Way to Enjoy Venice by Water

Water is no joke in Venice–when it was its own city-state, pollution of the water was a crime punishable by death. During these times, boats were slower moving and powered by people, so they didn’t cause much damage to buildings, either. Today, water is still a vital part of Venice, but also the means for greater damage. Modern boats are faster and larger so they create bigger waves that penetrate buildings’ isolation layers resulting in greater structural damage. As one local points out, “Venice is best seen from the water.” But choose your means of transportation carefully–only choose boats that obey the speed limit, such as vaporetti (water buses) and traditional wooden boats.

Napoleon Has Not Been Forgiven

When Napoleon’s army invaded Venice, it did everything it could to crush the unique identity and spirit of the feisty Venetians. Because a winged lion is the symbol of Venice, they destroyed all lions that were sculpted, carved and painted on all buildings and bridges. While a lot have since been replaced, there are still many spots where a rough stone scar marks where a lion head once proudly lived. These unpleasant reminders still upset the locals in Venice.

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01 Comment

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