Venice

19 09 2009

I visited Italy for the first time in 2007, as part of a whirlwind European tour. It was the first real backpackers trip I had taken since 1998, when I had travelled through Greece for a month. These travels helped me remember how much I love to travel! I promised myself then that I would never wait another 10 years to travel, and so far, it’s worked out.

This is a view of Venice from the airplane window.

Venice

It was interesting to actually visit Venice and Italy, because I think it’s one of those destinations that everyone has a pre-determined idea about. It’s so romanticized in popular culture. You imagine canals singing gondola drivers, and the Masquerade, and some of that is there, but of course, reality is never the same as your imaginings.

This is a pretty iconic image of Venice – the view of the canals from the Rialto Bridge. It looks lovely, doesn’t it? And it is! If you wake up early in the morning and get a picture before the rest of tourists wake up. After that, it’s a foot stepping, elbowing battle to the side of the bridge to get a clear picture. And those gondola rides?? They cost 100 euros and last about 30 minutes. Plus there’s no “O Sole Mio,” singing. The drivers do wear those striped shirts though.

Canals

The best part of Venice wasn’t the great lattes, amazing carbonara pasta, gondola rides, or endless canals. The best part was getting lost in these narrow, winding, cobblestone pathways. Late at night, the streets are deserted and Venice seems to take on a hushed and haunted feeling.

Deserted Streets