To be completely honest Venice was not high on my list of places to visit in Italy. After going to Florence and Cinque Terre (places that were on my list), I had enough of the tourism scene. As selfish and silly as that thought process is, I knew I should visit Venice but I really wasn’t looking forward to the crowds. So when I met Giulio and he offered me a place to stay for a visit to Venice and I was flying out of Milan…it just made sense to make a stop over on my way out. Plus early November isn’t really a high season for tourists.
I got extremely lucky that the one day I decide to spend in Venice was the one day of sunshine they got. The rest were filled with wind and rain. And the sun made all the difference. I came at a great time because it was high tide season. Giulio explain that there is no better way to see Venice than when the water levels are high. It gives the city a real underwater feel. The highest water level we encountered was a couple feet in San Marco (St. Mark)’s square. Everyone else had rain boots on and we were not equipped. We saw a few tourists with some temporary plastic boot coverings, and I scoffed at the idea of paying for those when I could just roll up my pants and walk in. Just as I was about to jump in Giulio protested because the water could be really dirty. My reply was, “Have you seen what I swim with in the Puget Sound? Not exactly crystal blue water.” But as soon as he said “rats” and “sewer waters” I quickly dropped the idea. So since I didn’t pay for the normal touristy museum stuff I figure the 10 euro for the plastic boots was a justifiable expense for the day. I am so glad I did it, because there really is no better way to explore Venice than by wading around in the water.
My favorite shot of the day, was this server walking towards me dressed in a tux and rain boots. He was carrying an Ferrari bag and holding a cigarette Oh so Italian. I quickly snapped a photo, and I couldn’t have asked for better timing as he was looking directly into my camera. Another perfect example of “Life’s Random Moments”.
Venice was so beautiful I couldn’t stop taking photos. I’m not sure if I ever want to return because I had such a good day. There were hardly any crowds besides the main touristy waterfront and the train station. Everywhere else we walked were almost eerily quiet. Just as picturesque as the Cinque Terre, Venice is a definite must see. The architecture alone was fascinating enough. Giulio took me to a little off the path place, I honestly can’t even tel you where it was for this strange building. Giulio says the story is that long ago there was a really rich mad who had this giant stairway built as a way for him to get to bed at night…while riding his horse…I’m not sure what the building is used for now, but it’s a small secret the some tourists have been lucky enough to find.
Venice is extremely confusing. There are so many streets and walkways and of course, nothing is labeled. I am so glad I had GIulio with me, because my walking tour would’ve been horrendous. Listening to him share little stories of the places we saw was priceless. I felt so blessed to have such a great person to show me around. The charming street artists were my second favorite part of Venice. I think I captured some of my favorite photography moments with him.
Despite my first preconceptions, I thought Venice would cost me an arm and a leg. Especially after coming from Cupra. Lucky for my Giulio knew of a wine shop near the place where the gondolas are built that served a great happy hour. We had six mini sandwich bites, two glasses of wine, and two paninos all for just 14 euros. Just head NE of the Squero di San Trovaso (Gondola boatyard) and on the right of you there should be a little dark wine shop. If you reach the bridge to your left you’ve gone too far. It’s somewhere inbetween…sorry forgot the name. Definitely worth a stop for lunch in Venice! I am going to miss lunch happy hours in Italy. Or maybe I just need to bring that concept back to the states.
By the end of the day much of water that we were wading through had disappeared. It was strange.
I didn’t want to make this post too long, so enjoy the slideshow!
Pingback: One Year Abroad: Breaking it Down | Sandy Lam Photography