22 May 2011

Italy adventure: Venice

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: travel

Yes, I promise this is the last part of my three-part Italy adventure. Hopefully you aren’t sighing dramatically as you see another update about it in your Reader. Kidding!

Anyhow, after Florence, I entered the last leg of my trip, which was two nights in Venice and then returning to Rome for a final day before flying home to Chicago.

In talking to friends before I left, the verdict on Venice was split. Some said they loved it and one friend in particular said she hated it (she was very vocal about it too). But I’ve wanted to see St. Mark’s Square for a long time and, well the city is on water so I wanted to mix up the places I was visiting throughout the country.

Here is my verdict: Venice is beautiful but really, two nights there is enough (partially because it is so expensive)

I’ll get back to the cost stuff but first, let’s focus on beauty. Living in the Midwest, along Lake Michigan, I love water. I have always loved looking out at it because it’s soothing for me. And Venice has LOTS of water. When I walked out of the St. Lucia train station I was greeted immediately with a) burning hot sun and b) the Grand Canal. Yes, it’s not natural but it is stunning.

The main way to get around the city is by water too (or walking). I rode the Vaporetto several times down the Canal to sight see and get to my hotel. It’s a little nerve wracking at first (and bumpy) but it is a great way to see the city, especially the Rialto Bridge and get a great view of St. Mark’s Square/Doge’s Palace.

Here is the other thing about Venice: it’s very narrow. The streets are narrow and windy and honestly, you feel like a hamster running through a maze sometimes, but it’s awesome. I loved wandering around, getting lost, and finding myself sometimes going in a circle. The architecture of Venice isn’t as stunning as Rome (in my opinion) but it is very beautiful and fairly clean. But the canal does smell badly at times so I can only imagine how bad and crowded it is in summer.

Let’s get a closer look at the sights!

This is literally the only picture of me in Venice. Grabbed it while at a vaporetto stop en route to the train station

Gondola rush hour on a side canal

St. Mark’s Basilica/Square (so crowded)

Doge’s Palace (look closely and you can see it’s white and pink!)

View of St. Mark Basilica’s roof and Venice from above

View of St. Mark’s Square and Venice from above

Lovely live evening music from Quadri in St. Mark’s Square

Postcard Venice scene: gondola, bridge and bright buildings

Doge’s Palace (to the left) and prison (to the right) with the Bridge of Sighs in the middle. It’s currently under reconstruction and ads placed over the restoration scne

Approaching the Rialto Bridge on the vaporetto

View of the Grand Canal from the Rialto Bridge

Wedding party in St. Mark’s Square. Why they want to put pigeons on themselves, I don’t understand

As I mentioned, Venice is VERY pricey. Holy cow. And it’s not just hotel that’s expensive, everything is. Coffee, bottled water, food (especially) and entrance fees to museums. But, it was worth it and I’m glad I got to see it in person. And if/when I ever have money to literally burn (w/o consequences), I will go back!

So that is the end of my Italy journey. I’m still uploading a lot of photos from my trip to Flickr and created an Italy set for them. Some things that will be posted there that aren’t here are: day trip to Siena and my cooking class in Chianti. Those (and more Venice photos) are being uploaded tonight and more from Rome are coming soon.

Movie Review: Bridesmaids, time for some gross girl humor


  1. I’m glad that you had a good time in Venice and that the timeframe worked for you, too. We spent three or four days in Venice, and it was almost too much for me, but we DID have a good time at the museums and art galleries and going to see the Four Seasons played by a local orchestra.

    What was your favorite part of your Italy trip?

  2. Susan says:

    I wish I could have gone there when I was in Italy!

  3. Erin says:

    No discussion of the food in Venice? :-) I had one of the best meals of my life in Venice.

    I actually wish I had spent more time there. My visit felt rushed and since one of the days we were there was a Sunday there wasn’t much to do or see. Perhaps one more day would have been enough?

  4. We loved Venice so much. It was our first city that we went to in Italy and the people were so friendly and nice (especially coming from Paris). I absolutely adored walking along all the little side streets, popping into shops and eating gelato! We also splurged on a very expensive gondola ride that was totally worth it… When in Venice right!

    Glad you had such a great time and your photos make my heart ache for it just a little bit :)

  5. i enjoyed venice – but not as much as florence & rome – but a totally unique city! and you are right 2 days was perfect – i do wish i had gotten to go to murano though! i had fun getting totally lost and just wondering around venice though!

    love your pics! i have a ton of very similar ones!

  6. katelin says:

    i totally agree with you about venice. such a pretty city and definitely only needs two days to be done, haha. it’s so crazy looking at your pictures and knowing EXACTLY where you were standing when you took them, haha. is it time to go back?

  7. phampants says:

    Where you there when it rained? I was so confused by the walking planks. How they do it every time it rains is puzzling. But what is more amazing is how quickly the water drains!

  8. Carolyn says:

    I loved Venice, but thought that is was SO dirty! It also took me like an hour to find my hostel because it was so confusing! lol However I loved wandering the streets and eating gelato along the water. It can be magical. I hope you bought some Murano glass!! Or at least saw where they do the glass blowing! It’s pretty amazing!

  9. i love the “from above” pics! i too wouldn’t want pigeons on me esp in my wedding dress…but i guess it’s all part of the venetian experience? lol

  10. L.C.C. says:

    Italy is totally worth three posts :)

  11. Widget says:

    Been great to read your Italian adventure…just arrived back from 5 weeks in Europe myself on Friday. Jetlag from Milan to Melbourne (22hours travel and loss of one day) is a killer!

    Was in Venice for 3 days – best way to kill the 3rd day is go to islands of Murano and Burano (glass making and lace making respectively). I also got to the Ghetto in Venice – amazing!

    I agree re Florence and Rome….I also got to Verona and Milan so would love to hear about your day trips too!

  12. Deidre says:

    I actually spent 10 (TEN) days in just Venice, and I absolutely loved it. I found that most people (when I was there they told 90%) don’t go beyond St Marcos square.

    It is expensive, but man I enjoyed getting lost there.

  13. Jeanna says:

    I LOVED, loved Venice when I went there in college! I’m impressed you went on the entire trip by yourself – I ended up backpacking for a month by myself (after starting with two friends), but not many people are brave enough to travel alone. Awesome Jess!

  14. Lil' Woman says:

    Glad you had fun! :) again, I would love to see all those sights.

  15. A Super Girl says:

    I agree on the 2 days in Venice, and I didn’t even hit any museums. But it was fun to walk around!