My summer holiday this year was a 10 day trip to different parts of Northern Italy. The start of that was Venice. And what can be said about Venice.
Easily the most beautiful and romantic town/city I’ve ever been to. Your Instagram feed would thank you for going. Everywhere you turn there’s old, rustic, Venetian charm.
I love that nothing is done by halves and nothing is modernised. The variety of colours covering the houses, the marble stone look-a-like covering the churches, and seeing police boats never gets old.
It’s a completely different way of life, and I love it.
I mean, it obviously survives off tourism, with the population dwindling due to the lack of jobs. And with that fact you’d think it would be over-run with tourists. But it’s not. The popular sights are busy, but go down just one side street and it’s completely deserted.
We stayed in a little apartment which we booked through Airbnb. It was perfect for us, and a much cheaper way to stay in the centre of Venice than if we booked a hotel. Living like a local really is the only way to do it.
People say that you need to just get lost in Venice, so much so that it begins to sound a bit cliche. They’re right though, I’m gonna add to the cliche. Just wander, because you can’t really get actually lost it’s such a small place.
Another cliche. A gondola ride. Before going I was convinced that it would be a waste of money, and, well, I loved it. I think the key is to find a good gondolier, so many just stare at their phones the whole time. But ours told us the history of some buildings we went past, took pictures of us at the end. Made the whole thing a bit more memorable.
Who knew cliches could be so good? I’d also recommend (sorry) an espresso in Piazza San Marco. Yes, they’re over priced. Yes, you need to avoid the live music. But you really get a feel of the place by just sitting and people watching and enjoying the time pass by. Who doesn’t love a good people watch? We spent ages watching exasperated parents try to drag their children away from puddles they were happily jumping into.
The highlight of our trip, which was part of my birthday present off my boyfriend (thank you!), was tickets to see the opera. Which I’m sure sounds extravagant, or not something most would like. But it was incredible because it rather than in a huge, impersonal theatre it was in an old house, amazingly decorated and full of atmosphere. You had these incredible opera singers literally a few feet away from you. I don’t think I could ever go to an opera again because it could never be topped.
Basically, Venice is, and will probably remain, my favourite city break already. I’ll rave about it to anyone who’ll listen. If you haven’t been, go. It’ll be a time filled with great food, beautiful architecture, and a deep nostalgia.
Can I go back now?