^By the border of Italy and Austria at dawn.
Visiting any city in Italy means going the scenic route. No matter how many hours that route would be, 5, 7 or 9, it’s a surefire beautiful and awesome opportunity to take drive by shots. It means even waking up as early as 5 in the morning while on board the night train to catch a glimpse of dawn is so worth it.
It has been six years ago since I last set foot on Venice. Then and there I have loved it and knew that coming back would be a very welcome option. Despite the fact that I would walk for hours wouldn’t deter me to explore this floating city…and, it’s exercise, too! Going up on the bridges, up and down, getting lost here and there would surely make one lose calories! Except, of course, if one eats pizza the whole time! ^_^ Here are some of the many beautiful things we saw in Venice, probably you’ll get some tips when you go for a vacation.
We got to the main Venice island shortly after 8 in the morning, yes, we took the night train which left Vienna close to 9 o’clock the previous night. We got to sleep on the train’s beds! 😀
We soaked in the smell of this Italian city, the sun barely shining yet, the scenery that welcomes tourists getting ready for a lot of walking. Of course, I sat, wonder and do what I love most, take photos of whatever I could. This trip was to actually rendezvous with H’s highschool friend whom he had not seen since…graduation.
The city of bridges is still as pretty as I remember, probably much colorful this time! It was still spring so the cold and blue skies were a perfect tandem to enjoy the long walks. The shade provided by the colorful buildings are a refuge when the sun gets a bit too hot. Or, one can actually cool down with a cone or cup of gelato that every Italian city offers on every corner! You just have to pick the best one! Yes, no matter what time of the day, a gelato is perfect to make you feel better! 😉
Our quest started then and there, conquering bridges, stone and wood…we went left then right, between stores to open plazas . We’ve met people going back, going ahead, selling stuff, performing with their instruments or simply singing their hearts out.
While I boast of having a good memory, I seem to not remember seeing love locks on any bridge 6 years prior. This time though, the Ponte dell’ Academia have a number of them already. It would be interesting to know how this would fare, and here’s hoping it won’t fall from all the weight accumulated by the locks. Remind me which city did such happen? Paris?
Brunch was toast, pizza and a handful more italian delicacies under the Campanile at Piazza San Marco (featured on my food blog). The danger of dining al fresco is obviously being bombarded by pigeon droppings, good thing we never got any. 😀 There was a huge crowd (like always) at the plaza, probably because there was a mass being held at St. Mark’s Basilica (to which the bell tower belongs to).
Venetian experience won’t be complete without riding a gondola, despite it being a bit expensive than the usual fare. (That’s 80€ for half an hour). There are of course, water taxis, waterbuses or vaporettos you can take to go around Venice. It would cost 7€ one-way for an adult and the same amount for children on a roundtrip, the tickets are valid 1 hour after validation. Note also that kids under 6 are free.
The highlight, probably, of every walking visitor in Venice is the Ponte di Rialto. It is the oldest bridge across the Grand canal, one of only four in the said canal. While there are a lot of shops on the bridge itself, both sides are open for people to walk about, gawk at and probably spend many hours wondering what if they actually find true love then and there. Uuugggghhh, sorry just got carried away.
The bridge is truly a busy site…and sight. Like in any other italian city, there are those selling imitation bags and whatnots. They’d go scrambling when the Carabinieri comes by. It’s amusing to watch. 😀
While there, don’t forget to grab some murano beads, masks (they’re really neat) and what other souvenirs the colorful City of Waters offer its consumers.
So finding some quiet streets and a good place to eat is not hard to do in Venice. Fresh produce, like below, is abundant and that goes well with your pasta and wine! I’m not sure what the rule of thumb is when dining in Venice but I suggest to try the restaurants far from the Grand Canal as the ones there might cost much higher. (It must be the view!)
Tired yet? Nah, with a beautiful backdrop of the sun, you can forget how far you’ve walked for 10 hours and just go on. And I haven’t started about the night landscape yet! 🙂 I would do that soon along with the musicians I’ve recorded and other details I could share.
In conclusion, I’d like to reiterate that Venice is so worth being listed as a World Heritage Site, along with its lagoon. Its colorful history and buildings will make you fall in love and wanting to come back all-over again, no matter if it’s summer, spring or fall.