Venice- You cant go there and not wish to get back here one more time before you die!
Yes, recession has hit Europe, and you can see that loud and clear in parts of Italy, like Venice, but the recession couldn’t take away from Venice its mystic beauty, and old world charm.
Arriving in Venice
We arrived in Venice via an overnight Thello train from Paris (extremely comfortable, lovely view of the Swiss Alps/French Alps on the way, tickets for 35 euros only if you book exactly 3 months from your date of journey, as soon as the tickets for your travel dates are available at Thello)
Staying and Local Commute in Venice
Now Venice was one place I was very clear that I would stay in a local’s house and not in a hotel and I was so right! It stayed at a lovely person’s house in Venice Mestre (booked via Airbnb) and he, his mom and his two dogs showered us with a lot of love! 🙂 If travelling to Venice, it makes a lot of sense to stay in Venice Mestre and not in Venice. The difference is that Venice is what you see in pictures..red brick houses, canals, water..Venice Mestre is the mainland- connected to Venice via a bridge. Not only will Venice Mestre be more economical, it will also have less tourists, and easier access to malls, pharmacists, grocery shops etc. On an average, it takes 15-20 min to reach from any point in Venice Mestre to Venice.
Also, local commute in Venice is either on foot, or via speed boats, or the expensive Gondola Boats. Venice Mestre on the other hand has buses and trains, making the entire city pretty well connected!
Exploring The Land of Canals
What hits first when you reach Venice are the small canals with water everywhere, the doll house type small foot bridges. Venice is best explored, without any map or any guide. If you really want to explore Venice, then you need to simply get lost in the streets of Venice and enjoy the small treats that Venice has to offer!
While the walls and gates of people’s homes in Venice may be a little lack luster and beatdown, but the way they adorn them with flowers makes Venice even more beautiful!
Make sure you start your Venice exploration by 10:00am in the morning, so you can enjoying basking in the sun, watching children run around, musicians play, artists draw and a lot of other lovely stuff, while having a glass of chilled local wine with warm pizza on one of the many restaurants in Venice
The Gondola Ride
Gondola- Just the word itself reminds me of old romantic movies! Gondola is what most people identify Venice with. You’ll find them everywhere, and each time you’ll resist picking your camera to get the perfect click. However, Venice being a town which runs mostly on tourism, Gondola rides are now stupidly expensive, leading a lot of people to share the rides with other tourists, which I feel basically KILLS the entire feeling for being on a romantic mini date with your loved one on a Gondola. Whats more, Gondola traffic jams can be worse that your everyday street jams! 😉
If you are lucky, you may find a Gondola Rider singing beautiful songs along with his Accordion! I was lucky to capture an entire video!! 🙂 🙂
Shopping in Venice
From high-end fashion stores to local brands at huge bargains..Venice has something for all. But be aware, the few lanes with shops can be super crowded…but fun too! 🙂
Venice Must Dos List
- Feeding the pigeons by hand! (Oh man..this was SO much fun!)
- Gelatos in the warm Venetian sun!
- Listening to a local playing a Venetian song on the accord
- Enjoying some wedding photography shoots! (A lot of locals travel to Venice to get their wedding photography shoots)
- Buying a Venetian Mask
- Taking home a packet of colorful pasta!
- Staying at a local’s house…enjoying the local coffee every morning!
- Capture an artist capturing Venice on paper