18 August 2016

Suitcase. Venice, Italy - Travel Guide

Our final stop on the summer whirlwind adventure was Venice. I was beyond excited to visit this watery wonderland. Isn't it just fascinating that a city was built in the water all those years ago? I think the whole concept is thrilling.

We arrived via private water taxi (which is eye-wateringly expensive but an absolute must if you're in town), headed for our hotel not far from St Mark's Square to unpack, then set about exploring.

We quickly discovered that Venice is a bit like your overworked, easily-distracted boss. She's hard to get to know. Getting lost is a given. The crowds can be beastly. And yes, the whole place is sinking. Nevertheless, once we came to understand her quirks and learned to stray far from the tourist hotspots, we discovered her beauty.

I soon realised my favourite neighbourhoods were Dorsoduro and Castello. Away from the tourist hustle and bustle, these spots are effortlessly charming. Narrow lanes, quiet canals and residential properties. Just delightful.

I could never tire of wandering the streets to find hidden squares, twists and turns leading to quiet courtyards and climbing over bridges to watch the gondole [that's the plural of gondola FYI] pass by underneath. It's a magical place.

Of course the icons like St Mark's Square, the Bridge of Sighs and Santa Maria church are worth a quick stop, but don't waste too much time here. The best part about Venice is the wandering.

Despite this, there's no denying that I couldn't resist committing the ultimate touristy act before I left. Taking a gondola ride. Our gondalier's name was Jean-Paul and we had a hilarious time with him singing, telling tales and cracking jokes. I promised to come back and see him when I've found my husband, apparently it's good luck to row under the Bridge of Sighs with your lover.

When hunger strikes during the day I've got one tip for you. Farini. This delightful little bakery/cafe has incredible pizza slices, breakfast bowls, pastries and salads making it perfect for brunch, lunch or simply a snack. No pictures, sorry, we were too busy gobbling. Oh and best gelato, Cioccogelateria Venchi.

It was an incredible few days marking the end to an incredible few weeks. We took our water taxi back to the airport with heavy hearts but delighted souls. It was time to go back to Australia for some Aussie adventures but Europe, I'll see you next year.

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Photos by Krissie.