Hi all, and welcome to another non-typical travel blog! If you are looking for the main tourist attractions in Venice and their explanation, please, leave this page asap. If you are curious about the real Venice, please, stay on this page. Thank you.
I had to admit that I didn’t have high hopes when visiting Venice. When I asked others about their experiences, the top three answers I got were: too touristy, too hot and too expensive.
In other words; Venice didn’t sound to charming. Still, I went on a solo trip to the small island and I have to admit, I’m pleasantly surprised.
What you don’t have to do in Venice is to follow the tourists, stay in the touristic (famous) parts , eat in those areas, leave the city at sunset or go on tours. Trust me.
What I do recommend, if you’re on a budget, is to stay in Mestre. Mestre is not located in Venice itself, but on the mainland of Italy, at the other side of the bridge that connects Venice to the mainland. From Mestre, you can easily take the train for €1,30 single ride and you’ll be in Venice in 10 minutes.
Venice is a surreal city. Imagine hopping on and off bridges all the time, wandering your way through the very small streets in the charming city. Once in a while you interrupt your wanderings with a stop in a local bar for a glass of homemade prosecco, or you treat yourself a delicious Italian spaghetti carbonara in a restaurant at the waterside.
I got deducted by the smell of fresh pizza and made a stop at a local yet popular pizza place where they let their pizza dough rise for at least 24 hours. The current count when I was there was 32 hours. You can only imagine what the pizza tasted like.
Okay, now I’m wandering off too much to the food-side. Views-side, there is a lot to see in Venice. I was afraid I couldn’t see everything in two days, so I booked a Tripadvisor-tour. Unfortunately, I am a free spirit. A free bird. And you can’t lock a free bird in a cage. So, when people started to approach me asking if I was the tour guide, a little alarm bell rang in my head. I’m so different from these people, why am I here?
When the tour began, we all had our headset on and the tour guide had a stick with a flag (yes, really) and, at that moment, another alarm bell rang in my head. Should I turn around and leave right away? I actually want to explore this city on my own and freedom calls me!
I stuck around a little but more and then I escaped the tour. I told the tour guide I was sick, gave the headset back and took off.
Freedom never tasted so good.
I ran into the little streets and where tourists went right, I went left.
I decided for myself that was the way I was going to explore Venice. Just as I did in Malta.
Venice consists of two parts: the touristic part, where the ratio people vs space is way too uneven, and the “local, yet undiscovered by the touristic race” – part. You can only imagine where I wandered around, so where are my pictures come from.
I do recommend everybody visiting Venice to stay until sunset, because it really is a magical view from Piazza San Marco and the bridges nearby.
Also, at night, Venice is so much fun. You discover the nightlife and it’s vivid! All the locals come outside, go to bars and restaurants, and all the tourists have left. Many little shops are still open and the atmosphere is so much different than during the day – Venice during the night has a calm vibe, yet it’s vivid, and so authentic.
I will let the pictures speak from themselves, also because most of the time I didn’t have a clue where I was of what the church or statue meant. But hey, I discovered Venice and saw parts most people didn’t see, and that’s what counts for me.