on March 8, 2005
Venice is a wonderful place to explore. Park your car at the spacious parking next to the city’s library at Nokomis Avenue and walk up to Miami Avenue. The Venice Historic District is a well-preserved gem surrounded by waterways and graced by Northern Italian architecture and beautifully landscaped boulevards dating back to the original city plans of 1925. The street names in the area reflect the Italian influence – Via Venezia, San Marco, Firenze, Milan, Turin, Salermo, Sorrento, etc.
On the corner of Miami Avenue you will find the small Fountain Park. It features a cast-iron Italian fountain; across the street from it is a café with delightful meals. Turn left onto the Miami Avenue. The picturesque avenue is filled with charming gift shops with exotic imports; small, inexpensive antique stores; and many restaurants (American, Italian, and British). You can park your car along the street or at a small public parking (free for 2 hours), but we found it is difficult to find a spot here.
At the intersection with Nassau Street, turn left. Down the road you will find the Triangle Inn, built in the Italian Renaissance style (today it houses local historic museum on its first floor). It is very interesting building, with a tower and arcade loggia. The museum is free and open Mondays and Wednesdays from 10am to 4pm. Another landmark on the Nassau Street is the former Venice Hotel (now the Park Place Residence).
Retrace your steps back to Miami Avenue and continue walking west, turning into Granada Avenue. Walk down the wide avenue and you will notice massive banyan trees and live oaks draped with Spanish moss. When you reached the end of Granada Avenue, you have reached the Gulf of Mexico. Venice Beach has picnic areas, beach volleyball, and lifeguards on duty during the day. Take a stroll on the beautiful beach, and then turn right.
Here at Venice Avenue, stately Mediterranean revival houses line the road. Parks, fountains, statuary benches, and nostalgic streetlights add to the Old World ambience. Here and there you see beautiful wrought-iron doors and window details, charming courtyards, and lovely archways. As you progress towards the Tamiami Trail, more and more boutiques and restaurants greet you. You can find every kind of clothing imaginable, from beachwear to eveningwear. Stop for a lunch, cup of coffee or tea, ice-cream cone, or sweets at one of the many delicious treat shops. This is the area where you can see the famous Pigs in Paradise (have your camera ready).
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