A week before my study abroad program began, I decided to take a trip to Italy first! Every moment there felt like a dream. First stop was Venice, and then I later ventured into Rome. The views of Venice were breathtaking – full of dreamy skies, beautiful aged buildings, and charming canals. It's a place that I will never forget.
I was in absolute awe the moment I stepped out of the station. Canals everywhere! It's so different from what I'm used to seeing. Walking around the streets, everyone seemed more relaxed and at a leisurely pace. I felt so peaceful here.
One of the things you must do when you visit Venice is take a ride on a gondola! There are many of these services around St. Mark's Square. It's a little pricey but definitely worth it to be taken around the area for an hour. Split between me and my friends, it cost about €16 per person. I would say the gondola ride was my favorite part of experiencing Venice.
My recommendation is to go around sunset! Go early enough so you still pay the daytime price (which is a bit cheaper than nighttime), but try to time it right so you see the sun setting during the ride. The scenery is beautiful at this hour. There's still good lighting and the skies become pastel purple and blue.
|Look at that sky!!|
As far as doing "touristy" stuff goes, we spent most of that time in St. Mark's Square. There's plenty of shopping, restaurants, and cafes. On our last day in Venice, we ate at Caffe Florian, the world's oldest cafe (opened in 1720!). They have a nice little selection of food. I got the Quiche Salmone e Spinaci and it was delicious!Caffe Florian is on the pricey side, so a quick tip if you want to experience it without shelling out tons of money is to ask for the bar menu and be seated in a separate section from the main dining area. The food is exactly the same, but astronomically cheaper! (For example, my quiche is €16 normally, but only €9 when ordered from the bar menu. The portion is also the same size.)
Make sure you take some time to wander about in the smaller streets. It's away from tourists so you can get some great shots without people getting in the way of your pictures. You will also probably stumble upon some great little places to grab a bite to eat. My friends and I spent our down time chatting in cafes and tasting different wines at the wine bars. Definitely try some authentic gelato, pasta, and pizza while you're there too!
We were only there for two short days, so I definitely hope to return someday! Two days just isn't enough to take in all that beauty.