Going to Venice
Last week I went to Venice. Some of you have been following my adventures there through my instagram stories.
Why I loved Venice, even though it's extremely crowded (especially during the Carnival): it's relaxing and calming at the same time. The canals and the sea everywhere had something calming for me. Inside the city, there are no cars. You just walk to wherever you wan to go and if it's too far away, you take the boat. We mostly hiked to all our destinations. Hiking isn't normally my thing but I love it on citytrips. I love walking through all the small streets and I don't want to miss any buildings. Yes, any! So by walking through all the streets, I could watch all the different buildings and architectures. I loved the Venetian architecture. It's a mixture between the Italian style (like I know from Torino/ Turin) and the Middle East (Byzanthium). I'm not going to bore you any longer with talking about the history or architecture of the city. I'm going to take you with me to the places and views I loved most! Come along!
So my mom arranged this surprise trip for me. She went there with my dad in the summer and I wanted to go there too, one day. For my birthday (december first) my parents gave me the flight tickets, so I already knew what I'd get for Christmas haha: the location! We rented a lovely appartment next to the Rilto bridge. I loved it, here's the booking.com link if you want to check it out. https://www.booking.com/hotel/it/charming-house-malibran.nl.html
The first day, when we arrived, was the last day of the Carnevale/ Carnival. I reeeally recommend you all to go to Venice once in your life during the carnival. The costumes were amazing! The people wearing these costumes weren't even all from Venice. I spotted German people, French,... I think visitors from the whole world wanted to celebrate.
The best place to go costume-spotting is obviously the San Marco square. All the costumed people were walking there, casually posing for pictures. This is the San Marco Basilica by the way. SO beyond beautiful!
To give you an idea of the costume prices: a mask like this one costs about 20-50 euros. A cape can cost about 1200 euros, so if you do the math, for an entire costume you can pay up to over 2000 euros.
After all the costume-spotting we visited the Doge's palace. It's the most beautiful building in Venice, in my opinion. Inside the palace you can see all the original decorations and interiors rfom the old palace. My fave memory that I have of this castle was how many weapons and which ones they used during wartime. I have this obsession with war for some kind of reason. I find it very inspiring why and how people make war. As a pacifist myself, I do not believe in war, but I like to reflect about war. I want to know the motivation of people why they want to go to a war and why they won't mind to kill other human beings. http://palazzoducale.visitmuve.it/en/pianifica-la-tua-visita/tickets/
Day two: Valentine's day. Yes, I spent it with my love: a mummy haha!
On the tower at the San Marco square, you have this mesmerizing view. It wasn't my ultimate fave view though and I'll tell you later why.
The tower is called Campanile and has an elevator to bring you up to the top of the tower (about 98 meters high). We were there and had to wait in line for 45 minutes. In the summer, you can buy a skip the line ticket for it, but not in the winter so we had to wait... A ticket costs about 8 euros, which I think isn't that cheap but totally worth the view. BUT: this wasn't even the best view of the city! I explored a couple of less-famous gems that I'm sharing with you later.
On the tower, you could also see the mountains in the back. When we flew over the Dolomites mountains, the view was amazing! The mountains are very steep and rocky. With the snow in the back, it kind of reminded me about our trip a couple of years ago, also around this time of the year, to Marrakech. Which is also a sunny lovely city, with a view over snowy mountains in the back.
Next to the tower is the San Marco basilica. This is inside the cathedral. Gold everywhere. It's free entrance and on the terrace above you have a lovely view over the San Marco square. To go up here and on the terrace, you pay 5 euros. The terrace was the hottest and sunniest place in the whole city so we went there twice to go sunbathing haha!
Later that day we went to the musea of the San Marco square. We bought an online combi ticket to go visiting the Doge's palace and the San Marco musea. The ticket was 20 euros all together.
The inside of the museum was stunning. As a museum geek, myself, I was totally blown away. The museum had an old library with these cool vintage bookshells. It also had a lot of Roman antique items. Even better for a geek like me! I just love history, I can't help it. It's my passion. So if you're not interested in history, this museum will probably bore you haha! After a billion of hallways and original rooms, we found a mummy. My valentine's day could not get any better! Here are some of my shots in the museum.
To end the day of hiking-all-day we did a nice sunset hike to the other side of the canal. We started the trip on the Academia bridge and went further to the other side of the famous basilica.
Any better way to end the big V day with a romantic concert? NOPE! Or maybe, yes... To be honest, I really love classical music and when my mom found out about this costumed Vivaldi music event, I was so excited. I ended up being really disappointed. The artists played a LOT of bad tones and to be honest, they weren't that professional. It wasn't worth the 29 euros...
Day 3, the day we took a lot of boats.
In Venice, you can buy a ticket for 20 euros where you can get to go to everywhere in Venice and around. You can use this ticket all day so we just had to take this excuse to go boatin. I love boats. The sea calms me and I love the speed of boats.
We first went to the Murano island. The glassblowers- island next to the centre of Venice. I also wanted to go to Burano, the other island but my mom disrecommended it. You all know Burano from the colorful street-shots on social media, probably. But next to these couple of colorful houses, there's nothing to do or see on this island. Murano is much more interesting to visit (we taught).
In Murano, you can visit the glassblowers, but you need to pay for it or reservate... So if you don't want to do that, you can go to the glass-museum. It costs about 10 euros. There you can learn how they make stuff in glass and you can spot old glass-made stuff.
This is actually how they make glass pearls. They melt sand tht they've colored. Then they make long straws out of it and they cut the straws in pearls.
A maquette of a lovely french inspired garden, all made in glass. How creative!
Later, we started our round trip around the entire city. We first stopped at the San Giorgio Maggiore island.
As promised before, my other less-known place to watch over Venice. This shot was taken from the Basilica San Giorgio Maggiore tower. It's the tiny island of a monastery right in front of the San Marco square. I love the view beause you can see even more than on the other tower.
Venice architecture. I mean! WOW! I loved all the Middle Eastern arches, mixed with the European style. And all this gold with the paintings, SO beautiful. I took this shot on the Canale Grande, the main canal through Venice. A must: Take a boat that goes through the entire canal, it will gove you the prettiest views on the buildings and architecture. And if you are really wealthy, take a "gondola". It costs about 30 euros per person at least haha!
We ended the day with a PERFECT sunset. This was on the rooftop of a fancy shoppingmall. The inside of the mall was a cool place by itself too. Okay, I admit that I'm not able to buy any of the designers' stuff but I like just looking at the items. Who doesn't love a new collection-Louboutin shoe? The place is called T Fondaco Dei Tedeschi by DFS. You need to reservate to go up here, but you can do that on iPads there, or ony our phone. https://www.dfs.com/en/venice/t-fondaco-rooftop-terrace Here's the link, oh and by the way: this is the only FREE view in Venice. We totally froze our butts off by waiting for the sun to go down, but it totally was worth the wait. Good things, really do take time but are worth it.
Day 4: Yes, boatin' again...
On the last day we had a flight around 4:20 p.m. so we had the entire morning in Venice left. I wanted to go visit the opera house, since it's also a must visit, but it costs a lot... AND the weather was just so nice, we wanted to soak up some sun. As told before, the sunniest place in Venice is the rooftop of the cathedral so we went there for a second time, yes we paid 5 euros but that's fine. I want to pay for some sun haha! No problem there.
Now I'm ending this blog with my most cliché photo from my trip to Venice.
Thanks for reading this blog! X Steph