The train approached the city all too quickly during my early morning nap on our way to Venice from Florence. Rather than spending a full day and night in Venice, my travel partner managed to find us reasonably priced tickets to Milan at midnight that evening. This saved us money on getting a hotel meaning that we would check our bags at the train station upon arrival in Venice, entertain ourselves for 14 hours, then sleep as much as possible during the four hour night bus ride. Perfection. Spending 14 hours completely lost in Venice hardly sounded like a problem but yet a delightful way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
The weather was a cool 65 and the sun beamed as we ate our breakfast on the steps of the station while waiting for a boat taxi to take us to Piazza San Marco (St. Marks Square in English). Yes, a boat taxi. Andrea managed to save me from a gypsy, considering they’re everywhere, and we started our day on the further part of the island.
People rode in gondolas whilst getting serenaded by an obnoxiously dressed performer as we passed bridges, museums, and sinking apartment buildings. Once we arrived to Piazza San Marco I noticed nearly every vendor sold masks. Every single one.
Fun Fact: Commedia dell’arte is a form of comedy that influenced sketch comedy that many shows, movies, etc are based on today and it all began in Italy.
I studied this in college and now I was able to see that how much it had influenced the area. That said I bought three masks.
We climbed the stairs to yet another roof because not only does that make for a great view, I happened to love heights. It rained earlier that week and due to the lack of water drains a good portion of the square was flooded.
There were elevated walkways, and several closed off areas while rugrat like children splashed in all of them. “Cute”. The cafes lined the square under beautiful awnings as chefs and performers entertained their all too willing guests.
Once we viewed the chapel we spent the entire day getting lost in the winding roads, viewing museums, and putting 37,345 steps onto our imaginary Fitbits. The roads, or alleys, sat so intimately close together they gave the feeling of being indoors. No cars were allowed on the roads, for obvious reasons, as bikers and couples alike strolled along enjoying the intimacy of the city.
Museums, chapels, and theatres sat closely together to the shops and nearly every restaurant had patio seating. The architecture was much like that of Italy with the exception that from the boat you could see the beams and construction that kept this city standing. The beauty that sat on top of the broken made the city that much more darling.
Feelings can describe Venice far more than nouns and adjectives that give descriptions of what I saw. It made me feel, in the cheesiest way possible, alive. Not a single thing could have gone wrong that day and had Andrea not saved me from a gypsy and I got robbed for the second time while visiting Italy (see Rome post) I probably wouldn’t have cared. I was in the most romantic city in the world simply because I had the weekend off.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, should see Venice at least once in their life. And not just a picture but save money and visit because damn is it gorgeous. In the words of Mia Wallace “I said God Damn!”. By the end of the day we were drinking red wine and I was eating the best calzone I have ever had in my entire life until we finally had to say goodbye. We collected our luggage and boarded our bus to our third and final stop of the week, Milan. Oh, what a pity.