Arriving in Venice, Italy we were ready to explore the enchanting canals architecture and alleyways while slurping down spaghetti, espressos and gelato! A photographer’s paradise was discovered around each bend; each with more obscure plazas dotted with bougainvilleas on balconies.
We could have spent an entire week roaming around Venice, the world’s only pedestrian city, since the absence of cars makes it even more pleasant.
The best way to explore was to eat our way through the island; espresso, walk, panini, walk, gelato, walk, pizza, walk was our regular routine.
The Rialtine island – the ‘main’ touristy part of Venice – was small enough to walk from one end to the other in about an hour or two.
If you want to get around a bit more quickly or lighter on the belly, you can hire a water taxi or take a vaporetti! Don’t be surprised if you are crammed into small cabins and get completely wet if you’re standing on the sides; these vaporetti drivers are racing for their pride!
Italians do everything fast; drink coffee standing at coffee bars, talk and walk at super-speed – get out of their way! Gondola rides were targeted towards the hoards of tourist buses on tours and cruises; but we thought the $100 for a 20 minute ride with 6 other people through a littered canal was a little cheesy and not worth the ride. I think lots of people were disappointed since there were rows and rows of empty gondolas at standby.
Most of Europe has been really ‘touristy’ like the gondolas so far and we miss the authenticity of the culture we were used to seeing in Asia, just by walking down the streets. However, we are definitely getting back into the whole comfort and convenience thing – bring on the easy travels, we need a break from bargaining and worrying about getting ripped off every minute – phew!