Mega trip 2014: Part 8, Venice

Travelling many times from Croatia to Switzerland via Italy and having train change in Mestre (one stop from Venice), it was impossible to resist and not no visit the Venice itself.

I didn’t expect any good from such a popular touristic destination. To my deep astonishment, I liked this city and soon you will see why.

My friend spent a night in this place (he missed the last train to Trieste). He said that it’s cool when you exit from the railway station and there is water in front of you, not a road.

Indeed, it is cool! Such a big difference with nearby Trieste, where you exit from the station and end up in front of the road which you can’t cross – so many cars, buses and scooters.

Navigation in Venice requires mind to adjust to the new rules. GPS is working bad on narrow streets, houses have numbers based on the distance from Grand Canal, destination signs cover only a few places. Little by little I started to use old method for navigation – counting left of right turns. I learned quickly whan means sottopassagio, I realized that bridges are essential and then I finally found my hotel :)

Somebody said that Venice channels do smell. I was there in the beginning of April, it was warm enough (around +20), but I haven’t notice any smell.

All channels are a little bit different from each other :)

Another thing, beside smelling channels, was the statement that “Venice is full of tourists, not authentic and overcrowded”. Well, looking at the pictures of Venice in summer I can belive, but who the hell urges people to come there during summer?

Well, Venice is a busy city and main streets can be a little bit overcrowded even in April. But there are so many nice side streets, passages and embankments!

And most of the people were Italians. This was another surprise. I thought that Venice is like a big museum – nobody is living there, just visiting. No! It’s a very lively city, local people can be seen everywhere. There is very energetic day and night life in Venice.

This is view from my room :)

Private bridge. Something unbelievable :)

And a really narrow street. BTW, I didn’t see any place in Venice, which felt unsafe. People are everywhere and this gives a sense of safety.

History and arts are everywhere in Venice. This façade is from 1604.

Soon I found the way from Santa Maria Formosa square to the seaside.

San Marco square is a good place to experience cultural shock :)

Venice in night is beautiful as well. The only thing I missed there are trees. For some reason, there is only stone everywhere.

Historical an cultural wonders of Venice casted simple but important thing even in my mind – this is a car-free city. It’s even more unbelievable, if you look outside of it, to the rest of Italy, which is quice car-centric.

I enjoyed to walk in Venice, because there is no road noise there. I enjoyed fresh air and possibility to look around and wonder without need to be aware of moving and killing cars. This feels so great!

People in Venice walk, because it’s fast and convenient. Some use boats. Police, ambulance and all kind of service bodies use boats and legs. Nobody is complaining that something is too heavy to carry, you just have to bring it by boat and then carry by foot, there is no other way.

There is no problem to find some good food in Venice, of course. Price can be not so nice like in non-turistic parts of Italy and there can be an extra fee called coperto, be aware of it.

I found a cheap place with good food and beautiful view on Fondamenta San Giobbe, near the university.

Old Venice is nice, but why not to visit the New Venice? It’s also nice and authentic, but much more open (and therefore sunny). A perfect place to spend last hours in Venice (the railway station is not far away).

Before Venice I was only for a short time in Milano and Trieste and I can’t say that I liked them (and Italy in general). Venice changed my mind and I decided to discover more of Italy. As a result, I did in May a 5-day bicycle trip, visiting Muggia, Padova, Cittadella, Bassano del Grappa, Merano and other nice places. You will see them soon in my journal :)


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Part 7 can be found here.

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