I have always said that although Venice belongs to Italy, for me visiting it would be like visiting another country. Why? Because there is no other beautiful floating city. Venice is so special! Imagine being surrounded by water as far as you can see. Imagine that the only mean of transport is by boat. For me, the whole experience was mind-blowing.
*One day I saw a boy meeting a girl. He was driving a boat. The girl naturally jumped into the boat, kissed him on the cheek and they went on a date. Just like that. I think they were around 16 years old, yet the whole occurrence seemed so much mature to me. I sat there for a few moments trying to digest what had just happened and I knew that was the reason why I wanted to see Venice. To be amazed.*
We checked in at a hotel in Mestre because the prices in Venice were too high for us at that point so every day we took a train to Venice from the train station in Mestre (which was 5 minutes away from the hotel). The trip took 15 minutes and left us at the train station in Venice, which was in the middle of the city, so it gave us plenty of options in regards to future directions.
First Day – although it was raining, we put a smile on our face and make the best of the day to come. Our plane landed early in the morning so we were also a little tired, but hey, we were in Venice!
First, we visited the Santa Maria de Miracoli Church, the San Salvador Church, the San Zaccaria Church and San Sebastiano Church. It was a day reserved for churches, as Venice is famous for their amazing architecture.
Second Day – We had the most amazing breakfast so we were good to go. (I will never forget the chocolate and the butter croissants we ate at Hotel Piave). We took the train and went straight to buy a 24-hour boat ticket. Next, we went to Murano. It took us half an hour to get there from the train station in Venice. We were very impressed by Murano, a tiny island in the middle of nowhere who had everything you would think of – shops, restaurants, terraces, etc. We walked the streets for almost two hours and bought some Murano glass souvenirs.
The next stop was reserved to Burano, which was way more impressive than Murano. I liked the colorful houses so much! Everything was so beautifully painted and everyone seemed so happy that had I lived there, I wouldn’t leave the place for anything in the world.
Third Day – We stepped on the famous Rialto Bridge and stayed there for half an hour to admire the beautiful view Venice offers to every tourist.
Then Venice Arsenal was our next stop, closely followed by Venice waterfront promenade. The sun started to show his rays more, as the day was unfolding.
The last two stops of the day were Dogana da Mar, a place that allowed one to stay so close to the water while admiring the wonderful view of Venice, and Saint Mary of Rosary, an impressive fundament, who stood pretty much on the same principle.
Fourth Day – We left the best for the last day. We went to the San Marco Market, took a lot of pictures and fed the friendly pigeons which were all over the place. Then we took the elevator up the San Marco Bell. The view was breathtaking. One of the best experiences in Venice. Because it is situated so close to the bell, we entered the San Marco Church next. The view from the church’s terrace exceeded our expectations.It made the whole market seemed even more impressive.
Doge’s Palace was the next attraction we visited. Then we went to see the famous Bridge of Sights. We stood there for a few moments and tried to imagine what it had been like for convicts to have one last view of Venice before their imprisonment. Regretful, definitely. This is probably where the name comes from.
We ended the day and our journey with a gondola ride. Pricey ($100), but was worth the money. We got to see some of the most beautiful houses (Golden House) in Venice that couldn’t be reached by foot, to touch their walls, to see the seashells attached to their walls and feel the water’s temperature as we passed our hand through it. The wind’s breeze was also felt different. Because of their speed, regular boats made the wind feel very cold, while the gondola ride allowed us to feel the warmth of the sun and smell the salty breeze.
We left very early on the fifth day (6 a.m.!), but I think the four days were more than enough to see every corner of Venice. We will always remember how beautiful it is.
To be remembered …