“There is something so different in Venice from any other place in the world, that you leave at once all accustomed habits and everyday sights to enter an enchanted garden.”
– Mary Shelley
Compared to the prices of everything else around Venice, it’s reasonable. Taking the elevator to the top of the Campanile of St. Mark’s Church provided the best views of the city. The problem is arriving at the appropriate time to catch the best weather, the smallest crowd, and the right angle of light. One of my hostel roommates took the journey the day after I did, but he had a view of the sunset — something I should’ve seen instead of morning.
Morning isn’t all bad. The weather is clear enough and the crowd is thin as most tourists wander the streets just after breakfast. It would’ve been better if I had a sunnier day like I had in Reykjavik.
The 323-ft tall Campanile di San Marco is just across from Basilica di San Marco in the corner of the square. On a clear day you can see all of Venice and the surrounding islands from the bell tower. Of course, scaffolding ruined the view of the top of the church, but I was more interested in looking out over the lagoon and square.
The campanile that stands today is not the original, as the original that was built centuries ago collapsed in 1902. The reconstructed campanile reopened in 1912. The rebuilt bell tower explains why there’s an elevator instead of narrow staircase up to the top. I was kind of looking forward to climbing the stairs to the highest point in Venice, but the elevator wasn’t so bad.
Usually I prefer the free views of the cities, which is why I enjoy hiking so much. I skipped the bell tower in Florence, which I heard is quite a view, so I decided to take in the view from Venice’s highest point as long as the line wasn’t prohibitively long.
How often are you willing to pay for such views of cities?