This short weekend I went to Venice with Caroline, Meghan and Jess. We left home Saturday morning at 7:15 and arrived in Venice at noon, it was an early morning (6:15 wake up) and long train ride but luckily I slept for most of it. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do in Venice but I knew I wanted to go so I was up for anything! Venice is a city built on water, there are no cars only walk way streets and channels throughout the city to navigate. Everyone travels by boat or on foot! There are water buses, water taxis and most people have boats outside their houses. When we walked out of the station in Venice it was beautiful, the sun was shining right on the water, we got a ticket for the water bus and decided we needed to find where our hostel was and what exactly what we wanted to do! Jess had a great book about Italy that had some spots to hit.
We got to our hostel and checked in, the owner Arman was great he showed us on the map how to get to places and also told us about two of the islands: Murano we knew of which has the glass blowing factory and Burano which we had never heard of, he said, “if you miss Burano you miss something great in Italy,” all the houses on the island are brilliant colors, but none of the houses there are exactly the same color, every house is unique. He also gave us an apartment, with wifi something not standard, which was so nice.
We settled in and decided that today would be the day to go to the islands so we got over to the water bus station and went to Murano first and saw a glass blowing demonstration which was really cool. We walked around the island into tons of shops (Jess and I wanted to go in practically every single one) all with different types of glass–it was gorgeous. Then we were in our way to Burano–I think that this was one of my favorite parts of the trip. We got off the boat and it was so bright and colorful and happy looking I loved seeing all the different tones and colors it was truly something unique to see (see pictures below!)
After the islands it was getting a bit late in the evening so we decided to make one more stop before dinner. We went to Ponte di Rialto, it was so lively and such a sight to see at night all light up by the water with gondolas docked along the water. The bridge itself was so beautiful! We took some more photo ops, walked around and enjoyed the view before heading back before dinner.
Dinner was quite the struggle. We wanted to go to San Marcos square, the famous square in Venice. It has bands playing live music and gorgeous surrounds of the basilica, Doges Palace and had a pretty relaxing atmosphere. So we picked out a place and tried to navigate there. Walking through the square we saw a couple just get engaged–so romantic! However, as it approached 10:30 (an hour after starting) we still couldn’t find the restaurant and decided to just pick somewhere else to eat so we headed back into the main part of the square and sat down at pretty much the first place we saw to eat. The prices were pretty expensive but we were starving, Jess pointed out we may have just hit a tourist trap. Well, we got the bread and looked at each other–it was stale, and with high prices we knew this was going to be bad so we told them I was sick and ducked out of there–fast. We wandered a bit more off the beaten path and found a small place with reasonable prices that smelled really good haha. We got the house wine–delicious and light perfect with the spaghetti with scallops I ordered [seafood? for me? I know? My family/anyone who knows I don’t like seafood will be shocked that I am trying it–and liking it]. Being on the water the scallops were so fresh it was delicious. After dinner we walked back the square but everything was pretty much dead the bands were packed up which was a bummer but we wanted to get an early start in the morning so we walked back to the hostel.
In the morning we decided to go to the farthest point we wanted to see and work our way back to San Marcos square where we could get the water bus back to the train. We went over to Ponte dell’Accademia another famous bridge which had a great view of the Grand Canal. We continued to Punta della Dogana which is the very tip of the island of Venice and had an amazing panoramic view of Venice, the Grand Canal and the mainland. We took a look in Basilica Santa Maria Della Salute which was another very beautiful church. We headed back towards San Marco and went in the Doges Palace and spent about 2 hours walking around the incredible palace. So much beautiful artwork and detail it was enormous to say the least. We walked over the Ponte dei Sospiri, the Bridge of Sighs which connected the palace to the prison which was pretty creepy. We went also went to the top of the Bell Tower–another crazy incredible view, and last stop in the square, into the Basilica San Marco, a must do when in Venice, it was so pretty and so detailed but also so different from other churches I’ve been to here. I’m always in awe at the delicate detail that goes into the architecture here in Italy.
Finally, Barrie who was supposed to meet us for the day got to Venice at 2, she missed her earlier train but we were glad to have her for the most anticipated part of the trip: the Gondola ride. We got our gondola driver and he took us around the canals for 40 minutes pointing out different things thought the island while we drank our Bellini’s (peach and prosecco) which was is famous because it was invented/created here. It was so pretty, relaxing and fun to end our trip on the gondola.
I absolutely loved Venice it was so different from Rome, much more relaxed and leisurely, but we also didn’t have a moment if down time. I didn’t have any idea what I really wanted to do or see in Venice but I knew I wanted to go and it was an amazing time. And we fit it all in and in 28 hours! Now back in Rome to prepare for midterms!
Ciao for now!