As many of you know, I traveled through Italy last week for 6 days. The trip was beyond crazy and fun. Since I visited 6 different cities I figured it would be best if I broke up my blogs posts so that I don’t cram too much into one post.
First stop: Venice
Venice is absolutely everything you think and hope it will be.
Except not exactly.
Before I get into the beauty that is Venice, I have a story to tell of our first night (or day) in Venice. There were 8 girls on this trip from my study abroad program. As soon as we finished our finals, we were on our way to the airport with blissfully excited hearts. We flew out at 6pm. But with the time change we were in Venice by 9pm. Now, Venice is an island off of the coast of Italy. So, there isn’t an airport on the island of Venice. If ever you go to Venice, you want to fly into the Venice Marco Polo airport because the Trevisio airport is nowhere near Venice.
In short, Venice is not all that easy to get to. Once you get to the airport you have to take a water bus to actually get you to Venice. Well, we rolled in to the water bus stop close to 9:45 and had to wait about 35 minutes for the next water bus. No big deal, we’re in Italy!(so we foolishly rejoice). Once we get on the water bus it was another hour until we were in Venice. But, we were told the stop that would put us closest to our destination (apartment reservation with Airbnb) was under maintenance. So, we headed over to Lido, another island, and were told to take a bus from their to Venice because that would be fastest. Well, lot’s of instructions and directions were lost in translation. By the time we had totally figured out where we needed to be, it was past midnight. I had been texting our host the whole time to keep him updated on where we were and how lost we were. He attempted to help us find our way but eventually became frustrated with how late we were and told us that he would no longer wait for us to come.
I stared at my phone dumbstruck and immediately stressing. How would I tell these 8 girls that our apartment had just canceled on us in a foreign country after midnight? Talk about stressful. Although we were all a tad worried about getting a room for the night, we put on positive attitudes and started walking around Venice to find any hotel or hostel that would let us in. And you know what?
No one let us in.
Every single hotel and hostel we stopped by refused us a room. For 4 hours we lugged our baggage through dark and cold alleys looking for any sign of human life in a hotel or hostel. Most were closed. Those that weren’t looked at us like we were idiots and said “iz imposible!”. We couldn’t believe it! Eventually, one concierge let us come into his lobby as he phoned hotels for us (because by this hour most of our phones had died and our international plans, of course, decided to stop working. Useless 3G). He couldn’t find us a hotel either. We ended up heading to the local train station and sitting in there from 5am until the sun came up and stores started opening. We crashed in one of the cafes; ordering warm drinks and food, sleeping periodically, and cleaning up before our full day in Venice.
After the crazy night/morning we had, roaming Venice during the day was a dream. Venice is entirely too beautiful for words. The weather was sunny with a slight breeze; just perfect. We fell asleep on some stairs just sitting and enjoying the sun (a treat for those who live in gloomy London). The rest of the day was spent leisurely walking around the many canals in Venice; enjoying the beauty of the City of Water. We ate gelato and had some delicious Italian food. We visited St. Mark’s Square and walked inside St. Mark’s Basilica and walked all around the Grand Canal. We walked about 15 miles total that day.
Venice was stressful, indeed. But sooooo worth it. If ever you have the chance to visit, please do. You will not regret it!