I have to admit my time in Venice was not well spent. You know when you’ve been traveling too long and you just feel tired? You don’t want to take any photos, talk to anyone, or sightsee? That was my Venice. Although, that didn’t stop me from shopping, nothing does. I bought beautiful Murano hand-blown glass, a Venetian porcelain mask after trying on over 30, and as usual, spent my entire food budget on gelato. Check out my 10 travel tips for Venice at the bottom of this post!
Regardless of my tired eyes, I couldn’t miss the beauty right in front of me, like Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. Venice is quite easy to walk around and before you know it you’ve seen quite a lot, by accident! Couples holding each other as the gondola floated through the canals, decadent old buildings in San Marco square, and even a few marriage proposals! This is the place to go to with someone you love. There are so many hidden corners of Venice to explore.
Venice was full of tourists just like us, and sadly we never met any Italians there. Because sightseeing wasn’t on our list, we did what any normal, bored, sad to not have boyfriends, girls would do: sat by the canals, got drunk, and waited on a boat to drive us around.
The boat that came was a paramedic boat. The 3 men spoke no English. We brought our 2 bottles of wine on board and took off into the open water, past Murano Island. We drank and laughed because no one knew what was going on due to the language barrier. That was until they got a call… an emergency call. We were quickly dropped off, definitely not where we started… and were a bit too drunk to find our way. When traveling I cannot let being lost damper my mood or I’d be annoyed every day.
Headed to Rehab
We decided to take a nudie swim and trespassed across someone’s lawn to what looked like fresh clean water. It was out by the sea, not the canals. We went for a swim and then realized we had some peeping eyes. We couldn’t stay in the water forever so we got out, the men offered us an outdoor shower and towels. We were invited to dinner. Being on a budget, we stayed, even though the guys were oddballs, and had some veggies by the campfire.
Eventually I started to sober up, and I questioned why are these 20 men having dinner at a campfire together… all living in this house? When we couldn’t come up with a plausible answer we decided it was best to leave. On our way out we saw the sign: “Men’s Rehabilitation Center”. Just one look at the cotton-candy sunset made me forget what nonsense the day was, and we were off for more gelato.
1. Only get a tourist water transit pass to save money on rides if you want to ride on the Grand Canal very often. It probably won’t be necessary as most attractions are in the main square.
2. Be prepared that everything costs money & it’s VERY crowded, check out the sights in the morning! Sit by the edge and stare out at the teal water
3. A cafe near a tourist location will charge you maybe up to 5 times the cost of the drink you order, if you sit down. They can call it either a service fee or a “listening to the band” fee.
4. St. Marks Basilica, like all the great ones in Italy, has a very long line
5. Be prepared to have a difficult time finding budget accommodation like hostels. We ended up in a hotel for about 40 a night which was well over our budget
6. Taking a map probably won’t help. It seemed like everyone was a little lost, all the time. Just ask for directions, but remember most people are tourists just like you. Target shopkeepers! If you are on a tight time frame, take a tour! Sometimes hearing a local tell you the history of a building can make sightseeing 10x more fun. For all the things to do here, check out a walking tour of Venice to make it a little easier.
7. Like most major cities, you can get a museum pass. As always, only get a pass like this is you want to visit all the museums. You can even do a hop on hop on tour of Venice.
8. Because there are far more tourists in Venice than locals, you will have to look really hard to find quality local food. Most restaurants we went to were pretty crap and really over priced. If you have a kitchen at hotel, try to make a few meals at home, not only will it save money but it might taste better!
9. Take a trip to Murano to see the hand blown glass. Some boats will take you for free hoping you buy something, but be sure they don’t say you “have” to buy something
10. Don’t stay in Venice too long… Check out my tips for visiting the Vatican City in Rome.
Did you get more out of Venice than I did? let me know, so I can plan better when I go back!
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