This past Sunday I got to go on a magical day adventure to Venice, Italy, with my friends Caitlin and Ben, and I can not tell you how enough how amazing it was.
Venice has always been a place on my bucket list of places to see before I die, so to be there in reality was incredibly surreal. The city, unlike most places, is just as beautiful as it is in the pictures you see, maybe even more so. If you are one of those people who loves to just walk around a place, exploring, and wandering, then you would love Venice. Every twist and turn leads you even deeper into secluded, secret places that are more beautiful than the next. Perhaps Venice’s only downfall is that fact that it IS so beautiful, therefore, extremely crowded with waves of people like myself-tourists. But hey, you can’t have a city this beautiful and keep it secret. It’s also really not that hard to get away from the crowds. Most tourists stuck around San Marco Square, but we journeyed over to some of the lesser known parts.
To get around the city you either walk, take private water taxis, or the water ferry, which navigates the Grand Canal. We elected for the water ferry because everything else is incredibly expensive. We thought it was funny that we were essentially taking the bus or subway, but on water.
We took the 8:05 train to Venice and got there around 10:30ish, and by the time we were actually IN Venice it was lunch time. So we first took the water ferry to Piazza San Marco, which is where the majority of the attractions are located. This lovely arcade was once homes and apartments to procurators of St. Mark (high officers of state) when the Republic of Venice was around. The building was built in the early 16th Century.
Pictured above is part of the St. Mark’s Basilica, which began construction in the year 1084. THAT WAS 1,000 YEARS AGO ALMOST. I can’t even fathom a building being that old. The reason I don’t have a picture of the entire building is due to the fact the front was covered entirely with scaffolding for more construction. It’s not even finished 1,000 years later.
We walked a little of the beaten path and got lunch because we were all about to die of exhaustion. We, of course, got pizza for lunch and it was GOOD. :p
Then we went on our walkabout. Venice is famous for a few things-glass blowing, Venetian masks and masquerades, and the canals. So, we went on a hunt for a glassblowing demonstration, but were quite unlucky, as most places would only do demonstrations for big tourist groups. But we still got to walk around a gallery of glass, which was amazingly beautiful. Sometimes we forget that things we use everyday were once forged by hand, and each piece was an individual work of art. Now everything is made by machines..We also went in several mask shops. We found one really amazing one, where one lady made all the masks completely out of paper herself in the shop. She even hand painted them all.The walking around was definitely my favorite part..well…I did love the gondola ride A LOT. You can’t go to Venice and not in ride in a gondola. Sure, it’s touristy, but IT’S WORTH IT. You can take one anywhere around the city; The Grand Canale, San Marco, even the quiet secluded canals. We opted for the quiet, less crowded canals. The gondola ride was so calm and beautiful. I was imagining how the city looked hundreds of years ago, before tourists and modern technology showed up when the canals were used as the only means of transport. This was my attempt at a group shot..I rather like it to be honest :pThis is the skyline of the very impressive Santa Maria della Salute, which is one of the basilicas in Venice. It was built in the 1600’s when Venice had a terrible outbreak of the plague. When the plagued ended the Republic of Venice vowed to build and dedicate a church to the Lady of Health (or Deliverance (Salute)). Jack: “Do you trust me?”
Rose: “I trust you.”
Jack: “Open your eyes.”
Rose: “I’M FLYINGGGGGGGG!”
So that explains the picture below…Venice was so surreal. If you ever get the chance to go, do it. It’s got loads of tourists and some people say it’s overrated but they’re just wrong. If you take the time to really look and appreciate the city it’s so wonderful. The city is also endangered due to rising waters, and crumbling foundations, etc etc. But seriously, go!