It’s Venice – Venezia – and it’s AMAZING! I arrived, along with an estimated 80,000 tourists as it was Labor Day and I did not realize it! The first advice I was given was to “get lost in Venice”. Strangely enough I found Venice very easy to navigate – just keep walking – it’s an island – eventually you will come to water and you either go over it or around it. I stayed in a little apartment off of a quiet square near two water bus stops so could get anywhere on the island in a matter of minutes.
In order to see the back streets of Venice, I decided to take a Free Walking Tour. A sociology teacher guided us through the neighborhoods and back sidewalks of this amazing place – full of history and culture. She gave us tips on where to eat, shop and how to ask for things in a manner to pay what the locals do. It was such a fun way to spend four hours and see the whole City!
For dinner I tried spaghetti (even though pasta and pizza are not true Venetian foods) with mussels – continuing with my goal to try as many new foods and flavors as I can – okay Natalie was right – mussels are amazing! Later I attended a baroque I Musici Veneziani – Le Quattro Stagioni di Vivaldi – performed at the Scuola Grande di San Teodoro in Rialto – one of the most beautiful concert halls in Venice. The musicians were dressed in costumes from the 700’s! Walking home in the rain you couldn’t help but understand the passion Venetians felt for their city!
The next day I ventured by water bus to the surrounding town of Murano to watch the glass blowers make Venetian glass. Most of the factories are closed to visitors but I did walk down an alley and past an open door where several men were working – one smiled and invited me to stand and watch as he made a glass owl while listening to Guns & Roses song Sweet Child of Mine! I just found that very amusing!
From Murano – another water bus took me to the Mad Colored Houses of Burano. Every house in the town is painted a different color – bright crazy colors! I’m told if you want to paint your house you must submit your color to the Government for approval. I guess that is why there were never two lime green or hot pink houses next to each other! No matter what the weather – you just feel happy here – happy enough to eat pizza and gelato! Lol!
My last night in Venice I walked along the canals as the sun set. I don’t know where all of the tourist went but at times it was just me and the water! I had an early train to catch so was up and traveling by water bus with the locals at 7:30am. It was fun to watch all of the children go to school and to see how the town really operates with no roads!
Venice – I will return!!