In October 2016, my husband and I decided to take a delayed honeymoon to Italy. Our trip started in Rome, moved on to Cinque Terre and, after a bit of a stressful day dealing with a train strike, on to our favorite stop of the trip: Venice.
I am totally convinced that Venice is filled with a magical light. Tuck yourself back, away from the Grand Canal, and you will be enveloped in a soft, warm light that makes you forget you are a visitor and feel totally at home.
I am grateful to have a very patient husband who had no problem with me spending the majority of time running back and forth between bridges to capture photographs of gondolas. “Respite,” seen above, was one of those serendiptious moments when the gondola was parked, the hat was in just the right spot and that light I mentioned was spilling between the beautiful Venetian architecture.
The Venice that everyone knows from books and television is shaped like a giant fish, broken up in to several distinct neighborhoods with the Grand Canal snaking it’s way through the middle and numerous smaller canals branching out from it. The majority of tourists seem to stay near the Grand Canal, and while the bridges and walkways along the back canals are by no means empty, they are much more peaceful. Having been to Venice before, I knew that was where we wanted to be in order to really take in Venice.
While is was October, and starting to get a little cooler, there were still plenty of beautiful flowers tumbling out the windows of the homes. No matter that there are cracks and fissures in the buildings and bricks and plaster missing; that simply adds to the beauty of the city.
Cars are not allowed within the city limits (understandably, as there are no real streets) so the best modes of transportation are either walking or taking the waterbus known as the Vaporetto (or Batèo to the natives of Venice). The Vaporetto has 19 scheduled lines that travel throughout Venice as well as to the nearby islands of Burano, Murano and Lido. (more on a visit to Burano is coming up in another post). While you can also take a water taxi or a gondola, both are rather expensive and getting a pass (they come in multi hour, single journey or 7 day passes) on the Vaparetto ends up being the most cost effective option.
I am uncomfortable in crowds so, as previously mentioned, I tend to shy away from the uber touristy areas of the Grand Canal. The exception to that rule is that I strongly urge you to take full advantage of seeing every bit of it from the deck of a Vaparetto. If you take particular lines, and transfer where needed, you can see the entire city, and all it’s amazing architecture, from a safe distance from all the hullaballoo. (granted sometimes the Vaporetto itself gets pretty crowded).
Give yourself a few days to really take in Venice as each neighborhood has it’s own charms. Allow yourself a little extra time to travel beyond Venice to the outlying islands and your trip will be nothing short of magical.
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Enjoy and Ciao!