Venice, one gelato at a time

Venice, one gelato at a time

What can I say about Venice that hasn’t already been written by thousands of people before me? Like Paris, Venice definitely lives up to the hype, and has a certain unknown quality about it. It’s definitely a one of a kind experience that hits you from the moment you step out from the train station. The moment we stepped foot on solid ground we were transported back in time to a city that is literally a part of history. History is filled with stories of turmoil, and our first few minutes in Venice were no different. The hotel I had booked was directly across the bridge from the train station, and by the time we were able to find the right door to go into we were faced with some interesting news. Apparently Mick Jagger had stayed in our room the night before, because we were told that the room we had reserved was not available because it had been trashed. My heart sank at that moment assuming we would be out of a room in one of the most visited cities in the world. Luckily for us the hotel had booked us a room at another hotel just down the road. After walking for a few minutes we found our new room, which included a toilet that was literally separated by inches from the shower and shower curtain. Now I’m always interested in multitasking but the idea of peeing and showering at the same time never crossed my mind.

 

This is the first thing you see when you leave the train station

After taking care of the room situation, we were on our way to explore the city.  Our hotel was located on the northern end of the Grand Canal, and we were about a twenty minute walk to most of the big sites. Everywhere we turned there were gelateria’s and pizza shops just waiting for us to indulge in. I grabbed the first of many one euro gelato cones that I would have, and we set off to the Rialto Bridge area.  The walk is supposed to take twenty minutes, but it ended up taking twice as long as we discovered just how easy it is to get lost in the city. Venice is made up of hundreds of little alleyways and bridges, which makes the task of getting to one place in a straight line nearly impossible. After following the bizarre mostly ineffectual signs on the sides of the buildings, we were at the Rialto Bridge. This is my favorite area of Venice, because you can see all the way down the Grand Canal. It was even more perfect because we made it just as the sun was setting, and all the businesses around the canal light up.

 

The Grand Canal all lit up

We grabbed a quick dinner of pizza and Fanta and continued on towards the big open area of Piazza San Marco. Quick note on dinner, both of us have been holding off on eating pizza throughout the entire trip, just waiting to indulge in Italy. Needless to say it was worth the wait. From San Marco we enjoyed views of the enormous St. Marks basilica and the Doge’s Palace. The whole area really was incredible and it was easy to marvel at the size and grandeur of the architecture. With the sounds of the Adriatic Sea lapping against the Gondolas we enjoyed a nice walk back to our hotel, gelato in hand.

The next morning we woke up early to visit the famous Rialto Market, which takes place daily in the bustling Rialto Bridge area. This market is designed for the locals who buy all the fresh fish and produce they will need for the day. The stalls were filled with countless sea creatures ranging from squid and shrimp to octopus and sea urchins. It was hard to tell how locals decide which stall and vendor to buy from, when everything looked fresh and similar. I can still smell the sea water from those stalls, and hear the fast speaking Italians brokering for their catch of the day. Visiting the market made us hungry, so we stopped to grab lunch by the canal. Pizza was once again on the menu, and we both devoured a small pizza each. Feeling stuffed we went to get in line to visit the inside of St. Marks. Like every church so far in Europe we were impressed.  It’s amazing to see how much detail and work went into building churches that are hundreds of years old. Speaking of visiting churches, that was pretty much how I passed the time in Venice. The city literally has hundreds of churches littered throughout the city, and I made sure to go into as many as humanly possible. Some of the bigger churches even held art work from some of the most famous Italian painters. While I don’t know them or their work personally, I’ll be sure to ask my mom to tell me all about them.

Some delicous fish from the Rialto Market

That’s really all from Venice; we both are excited to head to Cinque Terre in the morning, and maybe without internet there. If that’s the case that last sentence is going to feel strange seeing as we’ll already have left Cinque Terre when this post goes online. As always thanks for reading and I can’t wait to see all of you when I get home in only a week! I can’t believe how fast the time has gone. For now, you know what to do, enjoy the pictures from Venice.

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