Venice, first of 5 stops on our two-week tour of Italy. Home to streets of water, gondola rides, and super friendly pigeons. Venice comes only second to Milan in terms of cost of living, but they make it well worth it. The Venetian architect was breathtaking and very well preserved considering its consistent impact from the sea water. I had the pleasure of visiting Venice a couple of years back and I can say although I had a great time it was not nearly as much fun as this time around. For one, our stay this time around wasn’t rushed and two it didn’t rain. When it rains in Venice, it pours. Since Venice is surrounded by water and San Marco’s Square is below sea level when it rains or high tide comes in, the water rushes in through sewer drains, over the city’s bordering steps and quickly floods the square. Last time, we only stayed in Venice overnight and never fully got to experience all Venice had to offer.
This time around, happiness was discovered in the city surrounded by water. When you think of Venice most think that there are only gondola rides and food. If you are willing to explore that common misconception can be easily eliminated with trips to Murano, museums, and of course the traditional walking tours that will happen when you’re lost. Keep in mind that when you travel every place is not like home. Living in New York, I am used to wide open spaces and a fast pace walking. While Venice has the fast pace in some areas, such as, San Marco’s Square and their train terminal, for the most part Venice is pretty laid back and filled with alley way like streets that tend to open-up into squares at various times. Things I had to get used to, was not being able to cross the streets anytime I liked and relying on public transit (their boat system). Not ideal for those of you who easily get motion sick. Overall, I had a blast. I tried food and met people I never thought I would have encountered.
5 Things I Learned from The City of Venice:
- DO YOUR RESEARCH. When traveling to any country you should never go empty minded. Know certain customs and key language terms. For me, I learned to eat pasta properly, learned how to say where is the bathroom, where is the exit, do you speak English, and, of course, please and thank you in Italian.
- Travel Light: You don’t need to carry everything you own in your house overseas with you. To make sure I didn’t over pack, I packed all my essentials into a carry-on and then packed the entire carry-on into my checked bag. Yes, this can become risky should they lose your bag, but well worth it to have all that extra room when it comes time to travel home with all the souvenirs that you swore you wouldn’t buy.
- Dress locally and don’t overdo it. Yes, in Italy don’t wear sweat pants or that holey shirt you wear around your house, but don’t dress in your most elegant evening wear either. Find a comfortable in between and accessorize. Know the climate you are entering and prepare accordingly. Key term here is the little things matter.
- Try new things. The most important thing is try all the things that you thought you never would, and from where else, but the place that is known for it. In Venice, trying different seafood platters is a must. Venice being surrounded by the Adriatic Sea makes its living off its environment. Don’t pass up on these opportunities because you don’t know what it is… TRY IT!
- Lastly, don’t waste the time you have. You never know when the next time you will visit again. Plan according, and make sure that you see all that you possibly can then relax. Don’t overdo it though, you don’t want to come back from your vacation needing another vacation.