So we headed to Venice for our second time, but this time with Nat and Mark who had never been before. I wasn’t sure how Rach and I would go as Venice is a small place and there aren’t they many huge landmarks or big sights to see. The first time we came to Venice we were blown away by how amazing it looked taking a Vaporetto (water bus) all the way down the Grand Canal through the centre of Venice. They say it a lot about other places but there truly is no other place like Venice.
Most days when we headed towards St Mark’s square, as to be expected there were thousands of people. It made it a bit annoying as time because you rarely were able to take a full stride when walking, it was more like shuffling. Lots of people were attempting to get into the spirit by purchasing an over priced half face mask and walking around with it on looking a bit silly, especially in comparison to the people who went full on. On the first day, we didn’t see much in the way of costumes as I think we missed a parade. When we saw the people who were fully dressed up most of their costumers were great. There were so many interesting designs and bright, shiny colours. Some of them looked very eerie as a lot of the masks showed no emotions, just a flat expressionless faces. As you’ll see in the photos it was hard to get a photo without some goon getting in the way.
On the second day I couldn’t help but think I wish I’d spent our time off in a new undiscovered city. Venice is amazing and I still definitely put it in the must-see cities list, but the second visit just didn’t have the same magic as the first time. Rach and I had already seen the highlights of the city. I was thinking at this point that four days in Venice was going to be too long.
In St Mark’s square they had set up a huge stage and catwalk area for the carnival. On our last day we watched a parade of people in their masks and costumes up on stage. Again, nearly all of them were really amazing, shiny bright colours and full of detail. A huge amount of work and money must go into them. I have no doubt everyone was taken away by the costumes. After the parade as each group came off the stage they would wonder around and every one would stop and take photos, often they would be caught up in a crowd of paparazzi like tourists.
The one thing Rach and I didn’t do last time we was here was go on a Gondola ride. This is because they are way too expensive on the Aussie dollar. But this time we were on the mighty Sterling Pound and we could split the fare between four. The Gondola ride cost AU$135 for about 35 minutes. Now you can understand why we didn’t go on one last time. But between us four it only cost about â‚¤13 each which is a lot easier. The ride was scenic and serene. It took us through a lot of the little streets (of water of course) in between and through Venice. We passed a lot of hotels which had steps leading into the water â€“ an interesting site. The men who steer and push the Gondola along are very strong and can perfectly steer and power a Gondola along in tight spots or high traffic areas with total ease.
Another thing Rach and I hadn’t done last time, was to visit the glass making island of Murano. We ventured out there this time to see the many stores full of all sorts of glass items from jewellery, vases, ornaments, kitchenware to mobiles. All made out of pretty and colourful glass.
Aside from the Gondolas and the fantastic masks and costumes, another highlight was the breakfast. Every morning we woke up to fresh toasted bread with fresh bocconcini (white mozzarella balls packaged in water) topped with fresh sliced tomatoes for breakfast. Hmmmmm yummm.
Venice is a much better place without so many tourists. Surprisingly the weather was great for that time of year. Crystal clear blue skies, fresh days with a sun that was nice and strong when it was out. The trip was relaxing and at a slow pace, which was good because we arrive back in London rested and ready to go back to work (well as ready as you can ever be). I think I won’t ever visit a little city twice, seeing that our time here is limited. For those out there that are planning to visit Europe, make sure you see this amazing city on water.
The photos of the trip can be found here: