Next it was onwards to Venice. This was one of the cities on my 100 places to visit before you die list and I was hoping that it wouldn’t be too overrun with tourists such as myself. Well it was pretty much heaving with them, so I hate to imagine what it would be like in summer, with the heat and the damp, pervading smells emanating from the old walls and canals.
Venice is actually a great place to visit with children, which was unexpected. When you travel with kids you really need to pare everything back and not expect them to be able to squeeze in as much as you could alone. You need to keep things simple with a lot of breaks.
Venice really was divine – the architecture, the water views, the history. Many of the stores are a real tourist trap though with the same stock (not made in Italy) on every corner. We discovered that the best thing to do was just walk and not follow maps too closely. That meant we discovered gorgeous back streets off the beaten track and could revel in the views.
Apart from St Marks Square, and a ride on the canal, the only thing I had on my wish list was the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. My recommendation is to put this at the top of your list. It’s a must visit and made a big impression on me. The views out to the water are spectacular and the artwork is sublime. My kids are not huge fans of art galleries yet but they did enjoy the sculptures, particularly Marino Marini‘s 1948 – 8 Angel of the Citadel (see pic from photos top right ) which has pride of place on the steps with a view of the Grand Canal. I couldn’t believe the amount of art that was in the space. It wasn’t large when you compare it to the grand art galleries in Paris yet every painting was strong and told a story. It was such a beautifully curated collection. There are works from Picasso, Braque, Duchamp, Mondrian, Kandinsky, Miró, Klee, Ernst, Magritte, Dalí, Pollock …. It really was incredible and of course the setting helped to make it beautiful as it’s housed in Peggy Guggenheim‘s former home, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, situated on the Grand Canal in Venice. I really regret not buying some of the crazy Peggy Guggenheim sun glasses now.
Where’s the best place you’ve ever been on a road trip?
Here are a few of my Venice photos.
Notes : Images : All mine except Peggy Guggenheim : amis-fondation-maeght.com