Railtrip through Italy: Venezia (vol. 1)

18/08/2017: VENEZIA

 

After staying two days in Rome and one in Florence, it was Venice's turn! 

One train and two hours later, we were at Venezia Santa Lucia railway station. I remember our faces of astonishment when we came out. We couldn't believe that we were there: a big canal in front of us, tones of small buildings and all the noise from tourists feeling the same way we felt.  

We couldn't wait to arrive to the hotel and start exploring the city! But it was not going to be that easy... We print a map in a "normal" size, you know the right measure to orient us. Wrong! There was no name in any street and there were many canals that didn't appeared in the map. Another funny thing about Venice was that every number existed just for a house, and they were not distributed in any logical way (or at least we didn't find it). So we couldn't know if we were close to our hotel! 

Suddenly we realised that there were four places indicated in every street and two of them were Piazza San Marco and Gallerie dell’Accademia (where our hotel was placed nearby). After arriving there and cross the same streets twenty times, we found it. Time to explore the city!

Every street we walked was beautiful and better than the last one. I thought that the city wouldn't surprise us at all after seeing so many documentaries. But we were amazed by everything we saw, it didn't feel like a real city, it seemed a movie set. What we also couldn't believe were the prices! It was hard to find some place "cheap" to eat.

We started the afternoon walking and getting lost through the narrow streets. The city was super crowded, but sometimes you were able to  find a small square with no one in it, a little moment of peace among all the noise. Those were probably the best moments of the day, like if we have discovered a new place in the city (even though we knew it was not true).

Our next touristic stop was Piazza San Marco. As soon as we arrived I felt like I was in the city center of Barcelona: thousands of tourists, pigeons and noise. There were queues for everything so we decided to visit Basilica di San Marco, which was free. After half an hour, we entered there with our shoulders covered to keep the tradition. It was dim inside and everything covered in gold, and it was FORBIDDEN taking photographs. Yeah, sure.

We finished the afternoon with even more canals and gondoliers. It was quite expensive to take a ride with a gondola (50€ for half an hour) and the canals were so crowded that there were Gondola jams. And without knowing it we saw five of the most important bridges of the city.  My favourite one? The one with il Ponte dei Sospiri, a baroque bridge where the prisoners saw for the last time the sea and the sky before being taken down to their cells. 

In the evening we had dinner in front of the sea and an ate ice cream to see the city dark and empty.