I’m going back to Venice!
Yes, we all know, Venice is absolutely amazing, and during my one week language course there I almost couldn’t believe it was for real. There are some clichés about Venice that I will try to avoid, mainly because they are true – it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and therefore there are also an abundant number of tourists, some places can also be quite pricey. But at the end of your experience in Venice that won’t be what you keep in mind, especially if you try to move away from the crowds.
It is surprisingly easy to find yourself in a peaceful street where you can actually experience the Venetian way of life (and practise your Italian language skills)! Exploring a bit further than the Grand Canal also gives you a nice perception of Venice; islands like Giudecca, Murano or Lido are only a boat trip away and aren’t usually so packed.
Seeing the ‘Piazza San Marco’ from the canals is a breathtaking sight at whatever time of the day but I was fortunate enough to have a different view. On my first day in Venice I got up really early, which was surprisingly active of me, to go to the Piazza, because I was so excited I couldn’t wait, (and I needed to be in classes a couple hours later!). I walked around the deserted streets … It was a clear day with a bit of the traditional morning fog that you can expect to find in a city surrounded by water and I will probably never forget the gondolas ‘parked’ close to the ‘Palacio Ducal’ floating on the water covered up in bright blue fabric, waiting for the early visitors…
The thing about being in Venice is that even the common day to day aspects become a memorable and unforgettable experience. There is something which comes to mind in particular. When a city doesn’t have proper streets, and the use of any vehicles with wheels is made impossible – bicycles are not that common due to the crazy amount of bridges and its steps – a city has to find other solutions. Venice has the ‘Vaporetto’ which is like the public bus over there. Let me just say that having to ‘catch’ the boat every day to go to school always made me smile! There are boat stops and timetables; it is really like a boat on wheels… in the water, obviously! This may seem silly but it’s how it works and you also have the taxi-boats, which are probably the most expensive kind of taxi in Western Europe, so I wouldn’t advise you to take a trip on them!!! But it’s nice to watch them going around every single canal, even the smaller and narrower ones…
All this talk of boats makes me think about another Venetian stereotype. I was told that every one in Venice has their own boat which, one would imagine, creates some problems. I mean how do you park it? Not everyone can have a parking place in front of their house, right? And also, if you want to go out for dinner or to watch a movie and you take your boat do you need to search for a parking place? And do you have to put a ticket in the window so you don’t get fined? Well if your boat happens to have a window! Obviously the time I spent in Venice on a 1-week Italian course wasn’t nearly enough, there is still more to see and to find out, so I guess I have no other choice but to go back and I would LOVE TO DO SO!!! The school is situated right in the centre of the historic heart of Venice, just a short walk from the beautiful ‘Rialto Bridge’, so really couldn’t be better located! It’s great to live and study right in the heart of this amazing city!
Just a last suggestion, as you probably know taking a ride on a gondola is an absolute must, but can sometimes leave a hole in your pocket, so you should know that all along the Grand Canal there are gondolas which take you from one side to the other, it only costs 50 cents and you have the time to take the perfect picture to show your jealous friends when you come back home!!! Try that and you’ll really get to enjoy Venice!