Due(part two, in Venice)

Way back in July I started writing about my 17 days in Europe with my Roman holiday! One city at a time I thought as I could spread it out to a number of posts to keep me motivated and also fill out some internet space with some more non-creative-untalented-wanna-be-a-blogger-nonsense that no one wants to read unless persuaded by the author.
Though that is true, my reason for not writing here sooner is I have been pre occupied at the personal front.

Due(two in Italian) is part two of the series that started with Rome
ROMANTIC is the foremost adjective that should define Venice. If you are looking to honeymoon or are on the verge of a break up; either way, please go to Venice 🙂

The plan for the day of the journey from Rome to Venice(got free wifi on the train :)) was just crash in the room till evening and spend the evening out. But just upon making our way out from the train station, we were enthralled by its beauty and exoticisim, that I started screaming and jumping like a kid, by digging my nails into his hands.

Not wanting to waste any time at all, we soon made our way to the hotel which surprised us by giving a room with attached bathroom. Thank you San Geremia Rooms, we had a nice stay. Fully dressed up like on a beach, we dashed out to our very first public commute on waterways.

The city built on water completely had me super stoked as we walked along and there was water all along, everywhere, even in tiny back streets, with boats lined along the edges of the platforms. It was SUPER ROMANTIC. And there were sweet shops everywhere selling sweets of all kinds in different shapes, sizes and colors, sugar coated, honey glazed, syrup dipped. And gelato that I was still not done with from Rome! Yayy more eating!

Vaporetto the preferred means of commute made it very easy to to hop islands though if you don’t want to spend much on the expensive means, it is pretty walkable between places.
Being the first day, we decided to check out the more touristy island, san Marco. It was buzzing with people, a lot of people, literally could not take a picture even without getting someone else in the way. Though walking away from the main square and into narrow streets of San Marco, it is pretty charming with jewellery, towel and robe shops, eateries. It also seemed very fashionable.

While commuting on the vaporetto (public water bus; yeah, I din’t know of such a thing) we saw many couples and families going on the Gondola and looked like they were thinking “The vaporetto must be cool“. Honestly Gondolas looked boring compared to the joys of traveling amidst shoving, rude Italian office goers in vaporettos. I understand how they must feel if their city if full of slow moving tourists looking away while they are in a rush to get to work. And to see how sharp they are dressed even on a city built on water while the tourists are dressed lazy like in a beach town.
Italians are very well dressed. So please dress up well and do not let them down.

Among the many museums in Venice, I visited Palazzo Ducale and Scuola Grande di San Rocco.
The Ducale had a charm in terms of its architecture and decorative exterior walls with its mosaic work. But what really captured my attention in both museums were the works of the Italian painter Jacopo Tintoretto. Most of his body of work had characters in a swooping action that shone against a dark canvas. It had a kind of eerie effect on me, but something that I will always remember Venice by.

Apart from this, V went to Peggy Guggenheim’s modern art museum as well but I decided I wouldn’t like it. I wasn’t ready to take abstract art yet, for me it is more about clarity. But he enjoyed it and said I should have given it a shot. May be I should have. But it’s okay! I spent the time by myself  walking in Accademia, till I started wandering away and realized I am lost. Cursed myself about this later as it turned out to be a really long walk back in the sun from Zaccharia to Accademia. You know you are in a foreign place amidst local people there when you have to point to a neighbouring table’s yummy looking salad and order the same, right? This was my solo few hours in Venice and I enjoyed getting lost and eating!
Zachharia though looks like an ocean as it stands alone and away from the other islands and does not have very close neighbours. Good for sun bathing as it has very few tourists.
Accademia has not only beautiful churches and museums, its even amazing for nightlife. People carry their guitars and start playing by trees early evening. Late into the night, there are small clubs which sell drinks at their window so you can hang out anywhere with your drink.

With a bottle of Bellini

The number of churches, museums, restaurants, bridges, steps, canals to sit down at are many. Just keep walking, cross bridges, take a number of pictures from every angle, pack lunches, sit in front of anybody’s house, buy a hat. Just take it all in. Be slow. The kind of wind that touches your skin in Venice is like nothing else. Be delighted.

What is really shocking is on an evening’s stroll we came to a new part of the city which we had not seen in the last 2.5 days. There were buses and many cars there, the roads were wide and it was like any other modern city with roadways. It was truly shocking as there is no way you can drive in Venice, right?
This was the biggest island of Venice that you reach upon taking a right from Santa Lucia station. All other tourist attractions are upon going left from Santa Lucia station.

I had wanted to see glass blowing live in action where they delicately carve glass sculptures by blowing and melting the glass into shapely figurines. But once we reached Murano, V was more fascinated by the glass making and I wandered off after watching it for about 5 minutes due to my short attention span. But it does take a lot of effort into making the smallest of glass marbles even. The colors used and their placement by blowing hot air while pulling them into right shapes constantly is a painstaking task consuming much time. I did do a little bit of shopping for glass souvenirs, things being expensive though while V watched them make different shapes for over an hour like a kid who would grow up to be a nerd! You will definitely start admiring even the smallest of colored glass objects once you have seen a making live. The place is good for a stroll.

We had our little picnic sitting behind a factory, secluded on the wooden steps leading to a boat down on the water sipping Bellini
and taking selfies.

If you really want pretty, candy colored pictures and dress up and wear a hat and hold hands and
swing along and have a coffee while sun bathing on a chair by a canal with feet up though, the place to be is Burano! We crossed every bridge and touched end to end of Burano twice and took about a 100 pictures in front of so many houses and lace shops here. It is just a place to celebrate. It seems the government decides the colors that each house should be painted with, so that they look pretty together. Its wonderful how you can pose against anybody’s walls with their curtains flapping and decorative flowers by the window sill.

My fav pic!

In between the two more famous islands Murano and Burano is the little know Mazzarbo.
This was not even planned. We just happened to hop off the boat here as it juts looked lovely and peaceful. There were literally 5 other people we spotted on this island, I guess nobody lives here. There was a lovely vineyard which we walked through and it was connected by a bridge to Burano.

Its the small things like these also that add charm to a holiday.

     Just keep walking along on this road by the wall and you can see the colorful houses of Burano

The last day was reserved for beach Lido, a one hour vaporetto ride on the Grand canal. Perhaps its the best thing to do if you are looking to just acclimatize with the islands and the stops to get off at.

Venice is definitely the most exotic and extremely unique place I have ever visited. The night view and the day view of the Grand canal are entirely different things and one has to see both. Can I imagine myself living here? May be not!
But it is an experience I will always cherish and may be even visit again some day. The place is still so fresh in my mind, feels like I am still crossing a bridge and staring into the horizon on the Grand Canal.

My tips for you: Even if you plan on spending just a few hours in venice, its best to buy 12/24/72 hour Vaporetto tickets
Venice is expensive, even to buy water. So pack a picnic and you can have your lunch anywhere.
Use Ulmon and here maps to navigate through Venice

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