In a shout out to my best friend, Jess, I wrote the title the way she would talk/text. V stands for very, in case you were wondering. And very it sure was! If I could never leave Venice, that would be 100% fine and dandy with me. This weekend marked my third trip there: each time it gets better. Seeing as I was the only Italian speaker of my group of friends (and a weathered voyager of the Italian land) I took on the role of both translator and tour guide. My language was apparently on point, I even got asked by several servers if I was Italian! My heart soared. On the touring front I probably knew about 60-70% of what was going on but I acted as if I was fully in the know. It worked out splendidly, if you’re wondering.
The first night we arrived and went to a late (12am) dinner after which we promptly went to sleep. I should backtrack, we had a looong day of travelling. It took 1 tram ride, 1 hour-long shuttle bus, 1 hour and a half plane, another hour-long shuttle bus, AND a water bus to get to our location. Compared to what I had to do this summer to get to Venice from Urbino, this was a piece of tiramisu, but it did wear us out. The water bus ride gave us just enough excitement to energize us for a meal before we called it a night.
When we woke up bright eyed and bushy-tailed on Friday we started right in on our itinerary. I am using that word loosely to describe to the places I thought my friends should see. We started off by going into the Piazza San Marco, the main square in Venice. Now I am an avid museum, palace, and arts viewer and will basically go see anything but I didn’t want to subject my companions to that. They honestly got their fair share in Amsterdam. Consequently, upon seeing the length of the line for the Palazzo Ducale, we decided to climb the bell tower instead. This was a great way to start off the trip, we got to see the city from every angle and snap some awesome pics. My one caveat is that the only way to reach the top was by elevator: I like to climb my towers. After this stunning start, we went to the Teatro al Fenice (The Theater of the Phoenix) for some beauty and culture. I went there this summer and deemed it pretty and enticing, while still having the aspect of history. Perfect for our travelling group. After having lunch we went to the Rialto Bridge for a little shopping and then totally went the wrong way trying to find a wine tasting we had a reservation for. To be fair, although house numbers do not repeat in Venice, street names do. There was more than one Calle del Forno, is all I’m saying. Anyways, we ran across the entire city in 20 minutes and made it with 15 seconds to spare. The wine helped us rehydrate. That night we went to “The only Disco Club in Venice”, also known as Piccolo Mondo. There was dancing and bright lights, all in a teeny tiny club tucked into a side street.
Having seen a large portion of the city that first day (we honestly ran through it ALL) we decided the second day would be dedicated to the islands. For those who don’t know, there are 3 islands a water bus ride away from Venice that are just as awe-striking and even more quaint. These are Murano, Burano, and Torcello. Torcello is nice but realistically only has a couple of churches and not much else so we focused on the first two. When we got to Murano we immediately went to a glass-blowing show. The glow-blower made an oil pitcher, then a horse that stood on its hind legs. The final trick was blowing a piece of glass up like a balloon and then popping it on the ground. We screamed. We laughed. Definitely worth 2 euros! Afterwards we walked around, going into shops, trying to find that perfect specimen of Murano Glass. My friends basically got all of the souvenirs they needed on this one island. We had a lovely gelato by the water then moved onto to our next isle. Burano is probably one of the prettiest cities (villages) I’ve ever seen, without exaggeration. Every single house is painted a different bright color, mixed with the clear blue water it becomes something out of a dream. Burano is known for its lace and its masks so we stocked up on those while wandering and ogling. Dinner was a restaurant in a little piazza where we ate the obligatory pizza and pasta and revitalized ourselves. We spent about 3 hours on a boat that day between all the islands and Venice itself. All in all, a very pleasant day.
Our last day we wanted to go to the Accademia but it was Sunday and the line wrapped around the canal. The more important task was finding a gondola. Me being a local (basically), I told my friends that it’d be cuter and cheaper if we went further in. Lo and behold, after some extensive walking we found a hip and happening little canal with a reduced price gondola ride just waiting for us. Our gondolier was a character. He couldn’t sing so he played 60s rock-n-roll from a sound system I assume was in the gondola. He gave us fun facts and guided us through picturesque rios and vias. With five people, it was quite inexpensive; this is just something you obviously have to do in Venice.
We finalized our shopping and had an early dinner before we headed back to the airport. Like I said: if I could, I would’ve never left. I think I’m going to have to live in Venice someday, if only for a short while. I gotta get my time in before it sinks or something! Ok, I have to run. Midterms are over and we’re celebrating by going to Switzerland. See you there?