What a glorious first stop we had. After flying in super early, the one day we spent in Venice was like stepping into a completely new world. A new world filled with wealthy middle aged couples that had proudly hired out water taxis to glide through the rivers, taking them to their hotels that overlooked the basilica. A world that Noah, myself and our big old backpacks clearly didn’t belong in… We, much more interestingly, got a direct bus for 8 euros from the airport to the islands and then marched across the bridges for 45 minutes until stumbling into our quaint (10/10) BnB. Exhausted, bright pink and looking as if we’d taken a swim in the rivers instead of walking next to them.
In Venice, you really do not need a plan. Aimlessly walking with a few hours to spare will take you everywhere you need to go. We headed in the direction of the Basilica San Marco. I found that the thing that delays you most when trying to get anywhere, is the compulsion to stop and take a photo of every canal street you come across… I have so many of the same photo because you just don’t get over the iconic beauty of the rivers.
The other unmissable beauty was St Mark’s Cathedral. It’s one of those places you feel the need to whisper in because you’re afraid you’ll somehow manage to damage something if you don’t. The Venetian Mosaics cover the inside walls with light bouncing from them and the view you can obtain from the higher balcony is not one to be missed. (2.50 euros for EU members of 18-25 years) A perfect view of Doge’s Palace is glorified with the backdrop of the canal, which looks even more amazing at sunset. Even better still, the view from the bell tower opposite the Basilica is meant to give you a view of the majority of Venice; I am too scared of heights to have climbed it.. Do be careful of what you chose to wear on the day you visit though, as it is still a place of worship. Make sure you cover your knees and shoulders, otherwise you will be asked to purchase a wrap to tie around you.
There isn’t much I want to singularly gush about within Venice because the beauty was its entirety and structure. It was magic to be able to just aimlessly wander down any street and still be able to find our way to somewhere. We didn’t have a Gondola ride because it was 70 Euros per boat, per half an hour and I really do believe that, unless you want the novelty, everything you will see, you can reach by yourself on foot.
Money wise, because everything was so expensive (the rumours of its expense are true!!*crying*!!) we couldn’t afford to do much… so ironically we saved a lot of money. Obviously, the ‘high street’ shops include brands such as Prada, Gucci and Mont Blanc, so we spent a lot of time gazing at shop windows in fear of actually entering because of intimidatingly beautiful shop assistants. However, this didn’t stop us gorging on our first Gelato and Pizza.
We spent the majority of our evening sat on the edge of the river in front of the Punta della Dogana.
It was so peaceful there after spending all day in the bustle of the main streets. That was the bizarre thing about Venice and that’s what made it seem…fake? In the nicest way that word can be used? One minute you were face to ponytail with the other tourist trying to take a photo of a bridge, then the next moment you are sat eating gelato watching the water taxis float by as if it was the most normal thing in the world.
If you do ever visit Venice (so so so worth the experience), here are the few things I would recommend:
- Go for a city/weekend break, not a holiday.
- Go and get the overlooking views.
- Get all your food to go unless you want your bill doubled by the service charge.
- Walk everywhere!!!
- Take some time to explore side streets, you will probably discover something special.
Thank you for taking the time to plow through this post! I hope you enjoyed it,