People like to say that “there’s no place like home,” but, really…there’s no place like Venice. A city built on water, with canals instead of highways and gondolas instead of cars. Venice remains true to its history, culture, and architecture and refrains from modernism; which is why it is one of the most visited cities in the world. Venice is nothing short of amazing, and my experience, there, was absolutely magical. I want to share everything and I don’t want to leave anything out, which is why I’m writing a day-to-day travel diary. Hope you enjoy!
My sister and I arrived to Venice by train around noon and we were so eager to start exploring. We walked towards the exit and there it was, the Grand Canal full of boats and gondolas. I had already looked up directions to our Airbnb, so I knew we had to take a ferry boat down the canal. Right when we exited the train station we saw a ferry terminal and walked towards it. We purchased our tickets, boarded the ferry, and cruised through the Grand Canal for our first time ever.
The alleyways can be a little difficult to navigate but we eventually found our way. We checked into the cutest little room with a canal view and large windows that extended from top to bottom…AND it was pink! We freshened up as fast as we could and went out for lunch. We really wanted to eat on the edge of the Grand Canal but it can get a little expensive. After scoping out several restaurants, we finally chose one and, of course, had pizza and pasta. But since we were in Venice, we went all out and ordered wine and a chocolate dessert, too.
After abusing the capacity of our tummies, we walked over to St. Mark’s Square. It’s the cutest and most alive plaza I’ve ever been to. We walked around, took some pictures, fed the pigeons, and then decided to go up the clock tower — which ended up being the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. Venice from above is absolutely gorgeous, I wish the pictures could show that in its truest form but you must go and see for yourself so you can truly know what I mean. Not to mention, I went up there during sunset — I was in total awe. I just kept thinking to myself, “is this even real life?” You know when you discover that your crush likes you back and you kind of want someone to pinch you? Yeah, well, this is exactly like that, except, it’s a place and not a person.
After leaving the clock tower, we walked along the canal endlessly, exploring every corner, every gondola, and every building. I am one of those persons that find beauty in everything and I don’t have to be participating in an actual activity or attraction to have fun. That’s why this walk was so perfect. Because I was living in the present. I wasn’t thinking about yesterday and I wasn’t planning for tomorrow. I was just there. Like magic.
Apparently, walking over 10,000 steps each day makes you hungry every 2-3 hours, so, we were ready for dinner shortly after our walk. We had pizza and pasta for the kazillionth time. But, like I’ve said before, no other pizza and pasta *around the world compares to Italian pizza and pasta. Besides, we were at the edge of the canal but this time during twilight leading into the night, the moon shining bright and reflecting on the sea. Plus, we were assigned the best waiter ever and even called us by our name! After dinner, we walked back to our room and called it a night. 🙂
*Not that I’ve been around the world…yet.
On our second day, we woke up bright and early, got ready, and went straight to breakfast. Italy isn’t big on breakfast so we had veggie sandwiches near St. Mark’s Square. Sandwiches seem to be everyone’s go-to breakfast meal. We then walked over to a ferry terminal and took the next boat to Murano Island. This island is very well known for making glass anything; lamps, necklaces, bracelets, home decor, dishes, and anything else you can think of. They have factories open to public where you can observe how glass is created. My sister and I walked around and explored every little shop that called to us. After a while, since it was scorching hot, we took a break under the shade and enjoyed an ice cream cone and a smoothie.
After exploring Murano for a good two hours, we took the next ferry back to Venice. We decided to get lost in Venice and walk around without a GPS. We came across alleyways that were as wide as the width of our bodies. We also saw shops that were selling Venetian costumes and girls being fitted into dresses to compete during the Carnival of Venice. It was straight out of a fairytale. Once we found our way (without a GPS), we stopped by our room for a bit to cool off and then made our way to the restaurant down the street from our room. Guess what he had for dinner? Anyone? Anyone? Nope! Not pizza and pasta. Haha! Just kidding, we had pizza and pasta. 😛 Anyway, we met the sweetest couple from Massachusetts and ended up having dinner with them. It was lovely!
We ended our Venice trip with a bang and rode a gondola during sunset. Our gondolier gave us a brief history lesson on Venice. FUN FACT: Gondolas used to be for the wealthy, and, each family, once, had their own gondolier dressed in a colored uniform that represented the family name. ANOTHER ONE: Most buildings in Venice are completely empty on the first floor because the city floods every year. During winter, Venice floods so much that the second floors in each building have exit doors as if it were the first floor. We were so intrigued by the history that the time went by so fast. The ride only lasted thirty-five minutes but I wish it would’ve lasted forever.