We took the high-speed train from Pisa to Venice and arrived into a gloriously sunny day in Venice. It was just as beautiful as I remembered, however it seemed just as confusing!
We got a ticket for the water bus for 7€ which took us from the top of the grand canal right down to where we were staying at the bottom of the canal. The boat was actually an awesome way to sit back and take in the sites of Venice. We made our way slowly through the winding canal, under bridges and passing boats and gondolas as we went. We were also able to see some buildings that you might have missed while walking around. We jumped off at our stop and found our hotel in record time! After dumping our bags we set off to find a supermarket to buy lunch and snacks for the coming days, (as prices in Venice can be very high!) we then took a spot along the water front at a nice restaurant and ordered our dinner where we were treated to a beautiful sunset! We ate our dinner as the sunset grew prettier with each minute.
We woke up the next morning and headed out on a mammoth walking tour around Venice. Finding our way back to the grand canal we walked down the side streets until we came to ‘Teatro La Fenice’ a theater which holds the opera, the building was impressive to say the least!
Everywhere we went there was small canals never more than about 10 meters away with gondolas everywhere!
We continued through the side streets until we reached ‘Piazza San Marco’ or St Marc’s Square. The square was huge but thanks to the time of year not as busy as I remembered! Right in the middle of the square stood the Basilica Di San Marco a huge cathedral decorated with intricate designs and sculptures, to the right of the Basilica was the ‘Palazze Ducale’ or the Palace of Dodge which for 16€ you can go inside and visit the prison and the Bridge of Sighs which was given its name because it was the last view of Venice that prisoners saw before they went to jail and they would let out a sigh. However if you do not visit you can still see the Bridge of Sighs just to the right of the Palace.
We grabbed a seat on the canal front and relaxed in the sun, after the last week of hectic travel and site seeing adventures we were loving the sun and the chance to just relax and rest. The air felt so fresh and clean, especially after the air in Korea which made us constantly sick and it felt strange being able to notice such a big difference! As we started to bake in the sun we felt it best to gather our things and move on.
Travelling back through the square and straight up we made our way to the ‘Ponte Di Railte’ the grandest and best known bridge along the grande canal. On our way we stopped in at loads of different shops and checking out all the art shops and mask shops. We bought a bottle of absinthe each (more for the fancy bottle I think considering we are not big drinkers!!) and a few very small souvenirs for friends and family back home. Andy also decided that he wanted a mask to put up in our house (when we eventually go back to Oz) but not just any mask, the mask of a creepy red devil… Not sure where we are going to put it… Maybe at the front porch to scare away any would be robbers!!!
Finally we found the bridge which was packed out with tourists and even a bride and groom who seemed to be following us about Venice!
We found steps under the bridge to stop and enjoy a spot of lunch and relax! I think I will forever think of Venice as a beautiful city where you can relax!! When we had finished we headed off again taking in as much as we could. It is an insanely beautiful city that you should just walk through and get lost in enjoying the atmosphere and view!
As much as we would have loved to take a gondola ride we just couldn’t justify paying 80€ for a 30 minute ride, however if your heart is set on riding on a gondola then you can hop on a ‘traghatto’ which is similar to a gondola but without the fancy decorations and is what the locals use to get across the canal. You might only be on it for a few minutes, and you must stand but at 2-5€ a ride its a much cheaper option to get the Venice experience. You can see signs for the traghatto at the sides of the canals away from the bridges!
All in all Venice was one of the most enjoyable cities we have visited in Italy… not so much for site-seeing but more for relaxing, getting lost and just wondering around taking in the sites, smells and tastes of the city.
Next stop…. Paris!!