After hopping on the train from Rome, it wasn’t long before I found myself slap bang in the middle of a new city—walking around Venice. But before we get to that part, let’s rewind a little.
After spending four days in Rome taking in as many sights and flavours as I could manage, I packed up my suitcase and made my way to the train station for the final time. You see, I was getting the train to Venice, something which was a total bargain at the price of £17 for a first-class ticket.
The train station itself, however, was chaos. I swear if it wasn’t for the attendants, nobody would have known which platform they were supposed to be on. But as I boarded what I could only assume was the right train and saw the sign “Roma to Venezia” I relaxed.
The train ride itself was surprisingly comfortable—at £17 a ticket I wasn’t expecting much, but the seats were wide, comfortable and even came with snacks. Something I wasn’t expecting—and had already bought my own provisions for *cough* tiramisu *cough*.
The three-hour train journey from Rome to Venice was over before I knew it, and after flinging my stuff into the hotel and freshening up, I made my way over to the bus stop opposite to catch a ride into Venice.
I had originally planned to stay inside of Venice, but with it being a last-minute trip over school holidays, hotel prices were through the roof and so I thought better of it. Because, let’s face it, the less you spend on hotels, the more you can spend on gelato!
Because of this, I stayed just outside of Venice, something which I originally thought would be annoying (all about that convenient life) but in reality, was no bother at all. It was literally just a short bus ride over the bridge and in 11 minutes I was in Venice.
As I got off the bus and began walking around Venice I couldn’t believe my eyes. It sounds silly, but there are certain places I assumed I’d never get to see, places such as Venice, or the Caribbean. So as I stood there, with boats chugging along the canals, masquerade masks hanging from kiosks and people herding themselves over the bridges, it was kind of surreal.
I began walking around Venice quite late in the evening, I think it was around 5 pm when I arrived but I cannot be sure, all I know was it was early enough that there was still some light from the sunset which was looming in the distance, yet late enough that it wasn’t the busiest in terms of people.
Which was perfect, as I didn’t really have much of a plan when visiting Venice. I hadn’t researched places to eat, I hadn’t researched places to explore and I most definitely had not researched maps or directions I should have been walking in.
Instead, I decided that walking around Venice would be completely random. Instead of using maps on my phone, I’d venture left or right whenever a turn took my fancy, to see where I’d end up.
It seemed like the logical thing to do. After all, Venice is a carless city filled with an endless labyrinth of walkways, footbridges and waterways to get lost in. So I did just that.
I walked over bridges
Gazed at gondolas
Stretched my neck as I looked at the architecture
Got serenaded by a man with a rose who insisted I have it because I was a “beautiful lady.”
And (begrudgingly) walked past a good doggo without petting him.
Until I ended up at Piazza San Marco, the principal public square of Venice, just in time for sunset.
Walking around Venice was magical. To say it was beautiful beyond words would be completely unoriginal. But that doesn’t detract from the truth of it. Venice is every bit as atmospheric as you imagine it’s going to be. The waterways just as busy and the small winding alleyways just as romantic. It was postcard perfect. If that postcard had been chopped up into random segments to make the most beautifully complex puzzle.
Walking around Venice made me realise that it was a place where all of the little things, like the stench that many find repugnant (but to me reminded me of Bangkok and instantly had me feeling homesick), or the shimmering water against the Gothic vanilla cream facades, or the people spilling out of tiny bars as they enjoyed overspilling glasses of wine and plates of Cicchetti, that made it what it was. It was a place that even with the thousands of tourists (including myself) descending upon it, still had a distinct charm which could be found just outside of the main walkways.
Walking around Venice is like going on your very own quest. You could find a little square where restaurants line the edges and children play football, you could find a woman hanging out of her balconette to hang her laundry from a rope that stretches between buildings, or you could find nothing at all. Quite literally because there were many times when walking around Venice, that I discovered pavements would end with no warning. No bridge, no directions. Just an end with no way to cross.
Walking around Venice is like walking around a giant, unapologetically dirty and beautiful, maze…
And I absolutely love it.