Basically, Venice is wonderful. It is a collection of winding canals and tiny streets with zero straight lines and many dead ends, so before I tell what actually happened, I have a say that I freaking LOVE Rick Steves! I’ve been here for a day and a half and he’s already saved me money and time enough to pay for the book. Ok, now, on to Venice! There are some things I didn’t realize about Venice that I probably should have known. 1. I knew there were no cars but I didn’t realize the streets were so narrow; I can regularly touch both sides. 2. On any given day, there are more tourists than Venetians. In fact, I hear more English being spoken than Italian, which makes me both sad and a bit more comfortable. Although I’m not fluent in French, by any means, I realize how much I do know by how much Italian I don’t know. Ok, now on to my night and day!
First off, I made it to my place with no problem. I took the 51 vaporetto route to San Marco and followed the excellent directions to the place. I was met by Jacob, a nice young man from California, who is currently running the place. It is bare bones, (in my room is a metal twin bed, wooden chair, and a small table not even a piece of art on the wall) but it is clean, quiet, safe, and cheap. I also get breakfast, which consists of cold cereal and fruit, basically my favorite normal breakfast. Here are some pictures of the room and the charmingly overgrown garden out my window
What I didn’t realize is that it is connected to a larger youth hostel, called A Venice Fish, which is really hopping, and where they serve free dinner and go out partying every night. Friday night, my first night here, I decided to go for the free dinner and I got lost. Like REALLY lost. I stupidly didn’t buy a map because I have an excellent sense of direction, which, in case you’re wondering, makes absolutely no difference in Venice. I wrote down turn-by-turn directions and that also made absolutely no difference. So I ended up wandering around Venice in the dark. I think my issue is distance perception. I’m used to running around Paris, which is pretty large, so when I look at the Venice map, I think of the streets as larger than they are. Here are some pictures I took during my wandering.
So, I ended up just going home. Luckily I’m REALLY close to San Marco and everyone knows where that is, so without TOO much trouble I made it back. Oh, and on my way back, I bought a map.
The next day (Saturday) I decided would be a museum day so, as Rick Steves told me, I bought my Museum Pass at the Carrer Museum instead of the Doge’s Palace. Thank goodness I did, because the line was super long. Unfortunately I couldn’t take pictures in the museum but I did take some lovely pictures of the outside and of San Marco’s Piazza. Here are some of those.
Then I went to the Doge’s Palace which was amazing. It was SO amazing that by the end I was overwhelmed with ornately carved, gilded ceilings and I was happy to get into the prisons. Again, no pictures are allowed in the palace so I took a bunch from the courtyard and then I took some in the prison. Here are some pictures of the courtyard.
Here are pictures of the prison. I was especially intrigued with the art that the prisoners drew on the walls and carved in the “window” sills. Here are some pictures from the prisons and the inside of the Bridge of Sighs.
Finally, I headed toward the hostel for dinner, called A Venice Fish. I was early so I wandered around a bit, visited the Rialto Bridge, and got a Spritz at a bar and did some work.
I made it to the Fish and had dinner with the kids there. I say kids because the oldest was 24 and they were all making fun of him for being old. We all chatted for a bit and then a large group of us went out to a bar and then to a pier on the Grand Canal to chill. It was very nice. I ended up home around 2am. Unfortunately I didn’t take many pictures of the night. I did take a picture of a liquor kiosk, which opens at about 10:30pm and just sells shots/mixed drinks. A kiosk that only sells booze. Crazy!
Overall, it was an excellent day. I don’t think I’m going out again tonight, I will stop by for dinner though, but that is for the next post!