VENICE TRAVEL - A city of alleys, islands, shops, and a lot of funny smells
Have you already seen my Venice video on Youtube? No? Make sure to check it out. My boyfriend made sure to keep it funny.
You have already watched it? Now you are wondering why you should read the blog post? Because this is where we’ll be sharing more insights & tips than in the video!
Our Arrival in Venice
Alright, let’s start with our arrival. Having spent some days in Rome and the Amalfi coast, we dared to take the train from Salerno to Venice - it takes like 6 hours and is actually pretty cheap (approx. 30 Euros) and comfortable. The place where we would stay during out time in Venice was right next to San Stae. San Stae is a station for the water-buses and actually a perfect location, because from there you can also take the water-bus to the airport and it is pretty central. It’s also mentionable that Venice is rather small, so you won’t have troubles getting around by foot. Everything is in walking distance, so you can save a bit of money you’d have had to spend on transportation. By the way, make sure to take the water-bus. A water taxi can get very expensive (50 Euros for an 8 minute ride). We took a water-taxi only when we were burdened with a LOT of luggages.
Anyways, let’s focus a bit more on Venice. When we arrived we were definitely taken by awe. Walking out of the train station, you’ll get the first peak of Venice’s beauty. The bridges, the water, the gondolas, the architecture. It all really harmonises with each other. After we indulged ourselves in one of the restaurants next to the train station (see video), we settled in our accommodation, recovered a bit from the train ride and when nightfall came we made our way through the alleys of Venice. Some of them are REALLY narrow, so be aware in case you are claustrophobic :P. At night time I also suggest to not walk around alone, as it can get a bit scary being so desserted and dark. As a group it should not be a problem, we made our way through the alleys and ended up shopping in Sephora (well me and Chloe). What a successful evening which was topped off by a nice dinner at a restaurant right next to a canal. It was one of the most romantic places at dawn which I failed to note down the name. The lights in Venice during the night are rather dark, so the lanterns at the restaurant created a very enjoyable atmosphere. Each one of us enjoyed their food while nipping on some delicious wine. We went back to our place with our bellies full and got a good night’s sleep, as the next day was packed with activities!
A Tour with The Roman Guy
It’s the next morning and after having some quality sleep, we were charged some more energy by having a very yummy self-made breakfast, including omelette, bread, fruits and most important coffee(!!!). After eating and finishing up with our matchy make up (check out the video lol), we made our way to St. Mark’s Basilika to get a tour by The Roman Guy. The tour included a tour in the Basilika, a tour through the heart of Venice and a Gondola ride (which were most excited about!). First of all, we ran a bit late, which is why we missed the tour of the Basilika, but the Roman Guy was caring enough to pick us up, when they were done with the Basilika. The Roman Guy’s server is top notch! The tour guide, a middle aged woman, was also very kind and gave us the tickets to enter the Basilika on our own once finished with the tour. We moved on and walked through the narrow alleys of Venice, crossing the Rialto bridge while listening to many interesting stories about Venice, getting information about many of the architectural wonders, and how life in Venice was and has been in general. The stories and knowledge passed from the guide offered a great balance between seriousness and humour. Also, be prepared to walk for a while. So better don’t wear high heels, but rather some comfy sneakers.
The Gondola ride
So let’s talk about the expected highlight from our Venice trip. The all so famous gondola ride, which you will see in any movie which plays in Venice. The end of the tour was the gondola ride. The tour guide somehow managed it. I have no clue how, as it all seemed very unorganised there, but anyways, 10 minutes later we were sitting in the gondola. Soon after we started with the gondola ride, it became clear that it’s not at all like in the movies. The elderly man steering the gondola seemed to be rather unhappy and bitter with giving those tours and there was also no singing. Just one boat after another and not the expected atmosphere. I am not telling you not to do it. It’s still worth the experience and maybe you’ll be luckier with your driver, but we would not do it again. I also reported this to the tour and they took in the feedback in good manners and observance.
How much money did we spend?
Let’s face it. Going to Venice will not be easy on your wallet. This is an expensive city due to tourism and it sadly is one of the reasons many Venetians (or Veneziani) have left the island. We actually stayed at an Airbnb-apartment, which was pretty affordable (Approx. 80 EUR per Person for 3 nights/4 people) because it‘s such a nice place. If you are only planning to go to Venice, you‘ll also wanna make sure to calculate the flight tickets. As we came to Venice by train, we did not have to worry about flights too much. Only the flight from Venice to Zurich costed like 60 EUR per person after that. The Roman Guy tour will keep you busy for half a day and would cost you 125 EUR, if you’d wanna do it. I highly recommend it, because I am that kind of person who is also interested in history, and alone the Gondola ride will already cost you A LOT (80 euros if I recall right). Having it included in the tour is utterly great! Also food and drinks need to be considered thoroughly, which might also surprise you to hear is it‘s rather expensive. The reason, that it’s so expensive is the logistics behind all the products that are being delivered into town. It’s all being brought in by boat and then needs to be brought to the restaurants/shops with a barrow. So, just make sure to consider that you’ll need to calculate at least like 13-20 EUR per meal. Because you will also be likely charged for so many extra fees (service, blah blah),…which is one of the things I dislike about Venice. I’d understand if the cost is high due to logistics and taxes, but I hate “under-surface” fees. Last but not least, depending on where you are staying or how much you like/dislike walking, you might pay quite a lot for the public water transportation. One-way tickets are 7,50 EUR. Also, don’t forget the damage you’ll do by shopping at Sephora, Moschino or one of the local stores selling chess board, traditional Venetian masks or dresses. Venice is full of shops.
In my opinion, Venice is a must see throughout your life. So if you get the chance, make sure to not miss it but also not to get your hopes too high. The city has a very unique atmosphere being situated in the middle of water. I also recommend you to go there rather sooner than later. Studies have shown that eventually Venice might get flooded (as far as you can trust studies looking into the not so far future). You might still wonder why I said funny smells in the beginning? In a city which is literally in water, you can be sure to come across some smells that might not flatter your nose. Also, very important, DO NOT TOUCH THE WATER. I just don‘t want to mention rats too much or be too graphic here. So, don’t touch it. We’ve seen a men refreshing himself by rubbing that water all over his face. Yikes.