I absolutely loved Venice! There are some places that are so overhyped that you think you can’t possibly love it that much but I adored Venice.
The canals, the buildings, the experience. It was all amazing and I adored it.
(By the way this is part 13 in my series on my recent trip to Europe. You can catch up on the previous posts in this series here)
We had a bit of a rocky start in Venice, I have to say. We had the car so we were staying on The Lido, which is an island where you can drive your car. There are no cars in the main part of Venice (due to the obvious lack of roads) but you can drive to the main terminal in Venice and park there and take a water bus into the main part of Venice.
We drove to the terminal where there is a car ferry you can take from Venice to The Lido, and this is where we encountered our first problem. There was a ferry strike!
The ferry strike meant we waited for a fair few hours in the line for the ferry on the off chance they decided they would run a ferry that day (they said they might, we should have known better than to trust people on strike!). Our lack of Italian was also not overly helpful in this situation.
We ended up packing a small backpack with our clothes for the next day so we wouldn’t be lugging all our luggage onto water buses across the city and left our car at the terminal until we could go back the next day and take it on the ferry.
The strike also affected some of the water buses so we took a water bus to Rialto in the middle of Venice and then walked to San Marco where we could catch another bus to The Lido and get to our accommodation. It also started pouring rain in the middle of all this so not an auspicious start to our time in Venice!
Luckily we weren’t deterred by our less than stellar initial experience and got out and explored the next day.
We like to get up nice and early to explore so we were up and into Venice before the crowds descended. Seeing San Marco (St Marks) Square basically empty and no one looking at the Bridge of Sighs was really special, I love those crowd free moments when travelling.
We did a lot of walking in Venice, it was fun trying to get away from the crowds and find the quieter and more local spaces.
It’s a beautiful building and it was fun to wander around and see it all. I think the coolest part of it was walking through the Bridge of Sighs into the adjoining prison.
The bridge connected the palace, where the courtrooms were, to the prison so they would be taken straight from the courtroom though the bridge and into the prison.
It is supposedly called the Bridge of Sighs (a name given to it by Lord Byron in the 19th century) because prisoners would get their last look at beautiful Venice out the windows of the bridge and sigh, before being imprisoned.
The next day we took a water bus to Murano, an island near Venice where the world famous Murano glass is made.
I loved Murano, it was beautiful and much less crowded than Venice proper. We had a lot of fun wandering around Murano and checking out all the beautiful glass for sale. I really enjoyed Murano, it was kind of a more chilled out version of Venice. And yes, I bought a fair bit of Murano glass jewellery!
After that we headed to Burano which is famous for its brightly painted houses. It was lovely, I just preferred Murano. Burano was much more crowded, and has less canals than Murano, but the painted houses were really cool.
I badgered Stu into taking a gondola ride as I have always wanted to do it and you can’t go to Venice and not do it! Stu was surprised by how much he enjoyed it. I thought it was really good and it was cool to see the city from the water!
I’d go back in a heartbeat. I just really enjoyed it, which is surprising for a very touristy city.
Have you been to Venice before? Did you love it?
I’ve broken my Europe trip up into easy to manage pieces, otherwise I’ll be drowning you in hundreds of images at once! So you know what’s coming, I’ve prepared a list of the 24 parts of this series:
Part 1: London
Part 2: Cambridge
Part 3: Paris
Part 4: Amiens
Part 5: Battlefields
Part 6: Ieper (Ypres)
Part 7: Amsterdam
Part 8: Berlin
Part 9: Prague
Part 10: Cesky Krumlov
Part 11: Vienna
Part 12: Salzburg
Part 13: Venice
Part 14: Pesaro
Part 15: Amalfi Coast
Part 16: Pompeii
Part 17: Rome
Part 18: Florence
Part 19: Tuscany
Part 20: La Spezia
Part 21: Lyon
Part 22: Loire Valley
Part 23: Normandy
Part 24: Mont St Michel
Let me know if there is anything in particular you want to know about any of these places and I’ll try to include it in my post!
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