Venice is one of my favorite cities in the world, which is a claim about as cliche as saying Paris is the city of love. With its canal streets, thousands of bridges, and mask shops at every corner, it may be hard to imagine a Venice that’s unique. And if you’re a hipster like me, that means it’s hard to adore a city that everyone else loves.
But two trips to Venice and a load of reading in-between has taught me that Venice is worthy of its reputation. Not only is it beautiful, romantic, and otherworldly–it’s also full of surprising history, people, and nooks.
Here’s my guide to falling in love with a city, and making it fresh again.
The Doge Palace
On my first visit to Venice, I didn’t do many visits to the big sights. I was only in town for a day, and spent most of it running from place to place in an attempt to see as much as possible. (Pro tip: Venice deserves much longer than a day.)
When I returned for a longer stay, the Doge Palace was on my list. But not long into my entrance of this old government building, it quickly became one of my favorite places in the city.
The capital seats of government are fun places to visit if you’re a nerd like me who enjoys contemplating the propaganda hidden in golden embellishments and angel frescoes. But even for the layman, the Doge Palace is jaw-droppingly awesome (in both the modern and the old-fashioned sense of the word). There are information plaques in every room in multiple languages, so even if you walk in with no sense of the Republic of Venice you will soon get all you ever wanted to know about their quirky and cool traditions.