There I was, sitting on the edge of Canal Grande – Ponte di Rialto to my right, the other side of Venice ahead of me, and a long stretch of walkway to my left – on a coveted spot, one I managed to snag after squeezing ahead through the crowd. Nothing special was happening, but it was a warm August night, a time when Venice is inevitably swarmed with travelers, so getting a sitting spot was indeed an achievement.The day has turned into night, the heat no longer oppressive, and Venice is now basking in glowing street lights, punctuated with bright neon signs from ristorantes and pizzerias.
We had gotten lost, again, on our way here from Basilica di San Marco; a 550-M walk that should have only taken us 5 minutes tops took us 20 minutes, all thanks to the complicated maze and alleys of Venice. Twelve hours earlier, we made our way from Milan (where I was mugged, no less), across the northern part of Italy to arrive at Santa Lucia, Venice’s train station. Greeted by the sounds of water lapping against the cement walls, the smell of salty ocean, and a glaring sunlight, we grinned broadly and walked confidently out of the train station.
After consulting a map from the train office, we dragged our suitcases and made our way towards our hostel: across the bridge, turn right, and take the second left – probably the easiest directions we followed during our stay in this city. There, beside a laundromat and tucked in a corner, is our home for the next several days. Per the usual norm, we put everything down and quickly set out again to the embrace of alleys and canals.
Venice, or Venezia, as the Italians say with their typical sing-song intonation (LOVE!!), is a city built on water and located on the marshy Venetian lagoon. As such, the city is humid and unbearably hot in the summer months. Despite this, Venice continues to draw visitors because of its beautiful architectures and downright charming atmosphere it exudes throughout its alleys. Here is a collection of pictures from those hot and humid days in Venice.
In hindsight, we really didn’t do much in Venice. The hours were spent walking through its maze of alleys and canals and stumbling across random churches every now and then. We operated on a student’s budget, so we opted out of a gondola ride, a decision I’ve regretted ever since.
As if this city can be any more charming that it already is, Venice is MAGICAL under the glow of the moonlight. Trust me on this: when you go, make the splurge and stay overnight in the city. Throngs of tourists fill Venice by day, but they retreat to their docked cruise ships or to their hotels in Padua (a city nearby where accommodations are cheaper) when evening falls, making the city much less crowded. There is something wonderful about Venice at night: Strolling through the darkened and narrow alleys, climbing over many bridges under the streetlamps, feeling the cool breeze, and listening to free concerts at Piazza San Marco.
Ah! Despite the crazy crowds, Venice left such an impression on me and I absolutely loved it!
Have you been to Venice? Did you like it as much as I did? Wouldn’t you want to be serenaded by an Italian gondolier while going through the back-canals of Venice? I would!
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