There was so much to see in Venice and I have so many photographs to share, this is going to have to be thrown at you in two parts!
We got back a couple of days ago after a long weekend. The weather was glorious, we were both in short sleeves for the majority of the time which is pretty special for November this side of Europe. Considering this time last year Venice was pretty much flooded I think we got lucky there!
The flight over gave some of the best views I have ever seen from a plane; sunset over the Alps.
We arrived early evening and greeted by the owners of the apartment we rented through Airbnb, Marcello and Luicina. We had a grand whirlwind welcome full of Italian-esque animated conversation and gestures. They showed us their local recommendations for food and drink, gave us a load of information of what to see and do, but there was one problem; we hardly speak Italian and they hardly speak English. Fantastic! Luckily Kristian’s very limited knowledge of Spanish, some creative hand gestures and Google translate worked well over a nice cold glass of Prosecco!
We stayed in the Cannaregio area, minutes from the Jewish Ghetto and a really nice atmosphere. This is definitely an area I would recommend to stay. Firstly there are less tourists, making it slightly quieter and less harassing. Secondly it’s only minutes from the water bus stop and 10 minutes from the train station. And thirdly, because it’s less touristic, things are slightly cheaper and a little more authentic.
The closer to the centre you get, the tougher the bridges to climb and more people to dodge. This isn’t fun with luggage so think about this when booking.
That evening we had a meal at one of Marcello’s recommended restaurants. It was quaint with quirky ornaments and pictures everywhere. It was full of locals, the food was fine (although not as tasty as I’d hoped) and to top it off was some excellent live music which was a nice welcome to Venice. Luckily this wasn’t anything like the girl band we saw a few years ago in Singapore, playing Guns N’ Roses on a couple of Casio keyboards. Never can I hear Sweet Child O’ Mine without thinking of them and crying with laughter! Equally, never will I listen to Michael Jackson, Human Nature again without thinking of these guys in Venice. Yes really. Awesome!
We then took a stroll to check out the surrounding area to work off that Prosecco and pasta.
The next day we walked, walked and walked some more. We got lost, we browsed in shop windows and people watched.
We took advantage of the cheap Prosecco (cheaper than soft drinks at times!) and while trying to live frugally we ate slices of pizza whenever hunger struck. Although you can pick up a reasonable meal if you look around quieter areas, food is generally quite expensive here so you’ll find if you’re on a budget it’s pizza or a sandwich. I didn’t take pizza pictures I’m afraid!
There are loads of intricate, colourful and downright bizarre things to look at in the shop windows. I found even passing the same shop ten times, I would see something new each time. The mask situation kinda freaks me out, but we’ll discuss this its own special post!
Before we move on, it is imperative we discuss the dressed up cat paintings. This was also prominent in Bruges mainly on embroidered cushions (a great trip I am yet to write about). They are utterly ridiculous and ludicrous in every way. Yet absolutely fabulous, I think!
This was the first of many newly weds we saw. Some just wandering around randomly in museums! Could this be the most romantic wedding destination? Lovely thought and has the potential, but there was no etiquette whatsoever when it came to people casually walking in front of their camera. Not for me, but sweet to see nevertheless!
We caught the most stunning sunset overlooking the lagoon and grand canal
The architecture is stunning, ornate features everywhere and always something to feast your eyes on. I have worked in the property industry for over 10 years on an off and I have a penchant for interesting and classic architecture.
I found it quite sad that a lot of the buildings were in disrepair. I appreciate they are struggling against floods and salt in the air which causes paint to peel and plaster to decay but even so, they are not being looked after as well as they should and it is a real shame because eventually history will be lost.
Well we’ve only just about got through a day and a bit believe it or not! Read part two here!
Thank you for reading! Have you ever been to Venice? What are your favourite things to do? Comment below, share the love and like away or follow me on www.facebook.com/thehardytraveller and Twitter @HardyTravellers