Happy Friday, y’all!
Up and onwards with my travel posts! Immediately following Milan, we had our weekend off so I traveled with three friends to Venice. It wasn’t too long of a train ride at all and it was super cool training to the island itself. Right when we exited the train station, we were met with the stunning Grand Canal. There were multiple boats sailing around already and people strolling along the bridges – it was gorgeous! We had to find our way to our hostel and my poor friend Benny was lugging a suitcase up and down the stairs throughout the city; he was a great (hilarious) sport about it though and was able to make light of the situation, even through the heat and a broken wheel on the suitcase. The beautiful canal views definitely helped!
The city is so breathtaking, I literally couldn’t stop taking photos! The canal water is a light green color, and the buildings in Venice are all warm-color tones: reds, pinks, yellows, oranges, brick… I was obsessed. The walk to the hostel probably took a little longer than expected just because there was so many photo ops. We even passed by a couple getting their marriage photos taken.
For our hostel, we stayed at the Casa Accademia, which we found on booking.com. It was in a great location, and when we first walked in, we were low-key spooked by all of the religious paintings hanging in the very bare lobby, but when we got to our room, it was just fine. It was just for us four and it was super spacious and well AC-ed. The room itself had literally the bare bones of what a traveler would need: beds, a shower, toilet, sink, and towels – but no soap. We paid a good price for it though, so I’m not complaining!
Once we settled in a bit, we wandered around the Grand Canal. It’s crazy to think that this beautiful city could be submerged by rising sea-levels some day; I feel truly blessed to be able to visit before it’s an underwater city.
We walked along the Grand Canal and stumbled upon Ristorante Rialto, where I ordered some pesto pasta (of course) – it was standard and just what we needed! The restaurant is located right next to Ponte di Rialto, the super large bridge that overlooks the Grand Canal. It’s a busy area with tons of restaurants and boats lining both sides of the canal.
Watching the sun set over the canal is probably one of the most stunning things I’ve seen this trip. Just the water overall in this city is beautiful! We walked around the city at night and grabbed spritz to cool down with as we listened to music play in piazzas.
The next morning, we stopped by Le Café for breakfast and this was the first time I drank a nice cappuccino in Europe and it really reminded me of Seattle. We did a lot of souvenir shopping after that, visiting perfume shops, glass-blowing shops, you name it…
Following souvenir shopping, we went to Saint Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace. There was a discounted price for students and you got to hit up a few places in the vicinity. Unfortunately, there were no doges in Doge’s palace.
After the long day spent at the museums, we randomly went to a pasta place (I don’t even remember what it’s called!) and ate and chatted for far too long; we definitely overstayed our welcome, but it was so fun just talking about everything and anything, and laughing at Benny’s jokes.
Pro tip for if you ever visit Italy: you must go to Tiger! I’m not even quite sure how to describe what kind of a store it is – they sell everything under the sun, in the cutest way possible! They have them all over Italy and they are oh so fun!
Of course, we had to ride on a gondola at some point, so we got one and split the 80 euro cost. They’re all 80 euros for 30 minutes, and our gondolier (Adamo!) didn’t sing to us, but did give us some cool facts as we sailed through the canals. Gondoliers have to go to school and get a license to gondola, did you know?!
The last cool thing we did in Venice was to visit the giant hands of Venice in the Grand Canal. It’s located at Venice’s Ca’Sagredo Hotel, and it’s super cool to read the story behind the sculpture!
On the train ride home to Rome, it was quite possibly the worst train ride ever. We had a disgusting couple (not PDA, just burping loudly and being inconsiderate overall) next to us and then the AC broke on the train. It was miserably hot: we were soaked in sweat for more than ¾ of the ride home.
With that being said, Venice was truly wonderful. People had told me that it’s a stinky city, but I honestly found it to be just fine. The beauty of the canals really did it for me! I’ll always remember my fond memories of Venice and the people I went with.