On our Italian trip this spring, our final destination was Venice.
While I’d been excited to see Rome and was mad for Florence, I didn’t really know what to expect of Venice. Perhaps I’d seen too many pictures, read too many posts…but I was a little worried that it might fall a little flat after so much hype.
I needn’t have worried. Venice is a dream.
After catching the train from Florence to Venice and getting from the station to our hotel (which was a whole thing, involving trolleys and bridges and me almost getting lost when I got distracted by something shiny), we checked in and were soon out of the door to explore. These are just a few shots I took from the Vaporetto or while we traversed the back alleys and bridges on foot before supper, and these first glimpses had me falling in love with Venice, hard.
From well-known sights like the Rialto to simply taking in the views as we sailed along the canal, the whole city had an other-worldly feel. Even though it was busy (just look at the crush of tourists on the bridge!), the layout of the city and the water everywhere lent the whole place a feeling of peace and calm.
Outside every home and building there were moorings, with gondolas, rowboats, speedboats and water taxis tied up awaiting their next journey. The Vaporetto boats were so easy to use and as our hotel was right on the Grand Canal we were able to pop down to the stop speedily and get on our way whenever we needed to!
So many places had terraces and balconies overlooking the water, and as the sun went down these filled with people watching the boats go by. We had a balcony of our own and it was delightful to sit with a bottle of wine in the later evening and watch the people sailing past (and waving as required, of course).
So many of the homes and buildings had little flourishes and touches which made them stand out.
After our little journey on the Vaporetto we reached St Mark’s Square, and I took this quick snap before we headed off for a walk around some of the backstreets and smaller canals (we had St Mark’s and the Doge’s Palace on our list for later in the trip).
Away from the crowds around St Mark’s the city relaxed once more and as we made our way back across town for pizza and crisp Italian beer, I loved spotting glimpses of the city.
The gondoliers taking people to dinner, the tall buildings with their shutters, the higgledy-piggiledy back alleys… Our first few hours in Venice were a dream.
Have you visited Venice before? Have you taken a Vaporetto water-bus?