Venezia-Pizza, Gelato, Canals, Romance and Beauty!
Trip Start Oct 18, 2006
93Trip End Oct 19, 2007
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Me and Maria took an overnight train from Lausanne, Switzerland and woke up with the rain pouring down as our train pulled up into Venice, Italy! We stepped out and caught our water bus No. 1 up to our Rialto stop. We were too excited to sit down in the bus, so we stood with our umbrellas out in the pouring rain watching as we cruised down the canal watching the beautiful buildings seeming to sink into the water on which they stood. The sun had not yet come out and the canal was still floodlite with the lamps which adorned its edges. I took a big breath in and out- l was finally in Italy!
I had studied the Italian Renessiance in Year 12 at school and focussed for a semester on Venice Italy and its architecture, art and amazing history
Little though did we realise how difficult it would be to find our accomodation! If you have ever been to Venice you will no doubt understand! I was holding our map (thank goodness for slip lock bags in the rain!) and after what seemed like a lifetime of walking in the rain from one Campo to the next we finally found our street. I was extremely lucky to have found the hostel we were staying in. Not only is it almost impossible to find hostel accomodation on the island of Venice itself, its impossible to find it in a good location. Ours was in both- my research had paid of once again! Our hostel was on a quaint little side street, a 4 minute walk to Rialto bridge and to St Marks Square! Not only that it wasnt actually your normal hostel- it was more a two bed apartment with a small kitchen. But the best thing about our apartment- was the view!! Sitting on my bed or in the kitchen we had the most amazing view over a small canal with two bridges in site. I sat there when we arrived and watched the crazy tourists sitting in the rain in the gondalas they had paid probably one weeks salary to sit in. It was such a beautiful view- l could have stayed there all day and just watched the gondalasgo by with the men singing seranades which echoed down the cannal and the woman hanging their washing outside their windows
We decided to visit St Marks Square first- the main tourist desitination in Venice. Little did we realise that everybody else was heading there too. For a non-peak period- Venice was extremley busy and crowded! Trying to put on a brave face me and Maria faced the crowds and lined up with the rest of the tourists in the rain on the raised platforms which saved our feet from getting wet and frozen in the water that was fast filling up the square. Never in my life will l forget watching shops flooded with water, police patroling in gumboots, crazy tourists taking of their shoes and socks and hoping in the water just to get a good photo and dead pidgons floating by! All this distracted us for the real reason we were lining up in the first place- to enter the beautiful St Marks Cathedral!
The front of the Cathedral was completly flooded and as we walked on its steps we felt them sway underneath us. Its amazing to think that one day this amazing city will all just be washed away as it sinks through the next through generations- when it does l know the world will mourn its beauty!
The Catherdral was of course amazing for me to visit- having studied the architecture and its history
We then visited the Palace Ducale- Doges Palace- which if you have studied the history of Venice like myself it is a must see!!! The bridge of sighs was a definite highlight- walking over it and peering out its tiny windows you imagined how the prisoners who crossed it must have felt viewing Venice, the grand canal and sunshine for the last time before they were executed!
After visiting these two famous places we decided it was time to go in search of the perfect takeaway pizza
Me and Maria spent the rest of the afternoon wandering down the grand canal, around tiny sidestreets and over canal bridges, listening to the tourists being seranaded on the gondalas and lost in our own little worlds! We walked at dusk to the famous Rialto Bridge where we watched the sunset over the canal and Venice began to take on its beautiful nightime reflection and romantic mood. Being two single gals we started to get depressed and did what every girl does when she is feeling low- we shopped! We shopped through the market which covers this bridge and then decided we couldnt afford anything- so still feeling low we tried option number two for a girl- eat- again!
This time we went to the most recommeded sit down Pizza restuarant. We caught the water bus to the restaurant and l ate the most enormous small sized vegeterian pizza l have ever seen! By the time we finished them- it took us both an hour and a half (we were determined to finish it!) the night life of Venice was starting to hot up- particularly as we were in the student centre of the island.
So we headed of to a recommeded bar where we tried a Spritza- a Venetian specialty which they all seem to drink around 5pm after work- a mixture of wine, apple and something else
The next day we took the typical tourist photos in St Marks Square- and watched the many people get pooped on by the pidgons they were feeding in order to get that perfect shot of oneself covered in pidgeons in St Marks Square. And yes l was too chicken to do this- as l admit- lam afraid of flying birds! We walked around the square watching the people drink their 12 Euro hot chocolates and listen to the beautiful jazz and classical music being played around the square in its many restaurants.
Being a absoultely beautiful day- and not a cloud in sight- we decided to catch the water bus to the island of Murano which is famous for its glass blowing. It is about a 45 minute from St Marks Square to the island, and very interesting and beautiful one at that. We reached the island and l was immediately enchanted with the place- with its small canal and beautiful boutique shops. We went to two glass blowing factories where we saw the craftsmen or should l say artists as that is what they are to me as they magically manage to make from a piece of hot mould the most beautiful creations
Yes, Venice lived up to all my expectations. I was so lucky in some ways for it to have been raining the first morning as l got to see the square completely flooded where l viewed the very dark and moody side of Venice and then the completely dry, beautiful sun lite Venice a couple of hours later! Will l return- probably not as l feel l have seen everything there is to see- but then again l never did get to ride a gondala or eat pasta!