Ahh Venice. Venice was the second stop on our Christmas Italy trip and was probably the part of the trip I was most excited about. You constantly hear that Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and whilst I’ll admit it was very pretty, it left me feeling a little underwhelmed and it’s not somewhere we’d go again.
There are gorgeously picturesque buildings, canals, shops and so on to enjoy. It’s incredibly quaint, filled with bridge crossings, alleyways only just wide enough for a slim person to walk down, magnificent towers and churches. But once you’ve spent a day wandering through the tiny streets that criss cross the entire place, getting lost a hundred times when you’re sure you know the way, getting charged extra for coffee because you’re a tourist or being served subpar or even inedible food, then it’s really time to move on. We stayed here for the longest, spending 3 days in total, in 2 different hotels and we were more than ready to leave when the last day came around.
It was absolutely worth seeing and I’ll always be glad we included it in our trip, but one day and night would be sufficient. The food was very disappointing. One night I took one bite of my chicken and couldn’t eat another thing, it was disgusting. The waiter didn’t even bother to ask me why, so I can’t have been the first to be less than impressed. People will ask why we didn’t say something, get it changed, but I don’t think anything they could have produced in replacement would have been any better and when we’re abroad, we just can’t be bothered with the fight.
We were there just before Christmas so the weather was bitterly cold. It rained quite a lot and on the dry days, it was really misty, but this actually gave quite a beautiful effect, as the mist rose up from the canal, dimming the buildings all around us. It was slightly chilling but somehow striking at the same time.
We chose to travel by foot the entire time as the shuttle boat seemed pretty expensive for what it was, and we like to walk a lot when we’re visiting somewhere new. Getting lost can be part of the fun as you discover things you might otherwise have missed. The shuttle boat is probably good for people who don’t enjoy walking so much, but if you can’t walk, or have difficulty walking then Venice is a big no-no , even with the shuttle boat, you would really struggle to get around and see anything.
We didn’t bother with a gondola ride whilst we were there as it just didn’t seem worth it. We could see the canals, we walked along most of them, numerous times and there’s nothing you can see from the waters perspective that you can’t see from the street and at €80 for half an hour, for two people it’s really a complete rip off. Plus it was cold and wet, so walking helped to keep us warm. The men were also a little intimidating looking and there was no singing or serenading as they waded past, just grim faces.
Venice, however, is filled with immigrant sellers on the street, selling ‘selfie sticks’. Lots of tourists were loving and buying them and I do think they’re great when you’re travelling and want to get in the buildings and scenery behind you but the constant pestering did get a bit much. They weren’t too persistent (not like in Milan, wow they were annoying!) but when you’re walking over a bridge that takes 30 seconds to cross and no less than 5 different men are waiting to shout ‘FOR SELFIE?!’ at you and wave the stick in your face, it does get a little much.
We really loved our hotels in Venice, the buildings were incomprehensibly old and super old fashioned but filled with charm and the hotel staff were very warm and friendly, especially in the Palazzo Bembo, which I will review in full in another post. The decor was incredibly decadent looking, opulence from a time gone by.
All in all, Venice is worth a look, but not worth an entire trip, maybe a day or two at most.