First of all, what you have heard about the views in Venice is absolutely true. They are impeccable.
We arrived in Venice mid-day on a Sunday after taking the train from Rome. It was only like a 2.5-hour train ride which wasn’t bad at all!
Arriving in Venice, we knew that the AirBnB was walking distance and we had the address. What we didn’t know (aka I didn’t pay attention to my messages and emails from the host) was that Google Maps doesn’t have the city perfectly mapped because there are so many tiny little walkways. So we walked to where we thought it was and it definitely was not it. Eventually, we had to post up at Burger King with wifi and contact the host to ask her to come find us. She did, she was very nice and understanding.
There were SO MANY PEOPLE in Venice because of Carnivale. We knew it was going to Carnivale when we were there but we just didn’t know the extent of it. Basically, it’s a 2 week long Halloween and everyone dresses up (some of these costumes were SO ELABORATE) and celebrates. Once we finally got to our Airbnb (this one we had to stay in a private room rather than our own place because, with Carnivale, the prices were so high or already booked) and got settled, we went and got some pizza and decided to go explore the city.
From one end of the island to the other, it is only (at most) about a 45-minute walk. So the island is not very big. And there are 3 main bridges across the main canal. There are also water taxis, gondolas and those boats from The Italian Job (lol) to help get you from point A to point B. We hopped on the water taxi to take us to San Marco Square where there is shopping, food, beautiful views, culture and Carnivale celebrations.
It was actually pretty cold in Venice, so you can see that we are bundled up in most of the photos to stay warm. But it wasn’t unbearably cold, so that was good news. But LOL at Hannah in this first pic on the water taxi. She was a tad bit cold.
First Night in Venice!
We went to dinner at Ristorante Al Bacco Felice which was really close to where we were staying. Of course, we had wine and then limoncello for free…gross every time. After this, we wanted to go to a bar somewhere to drink and hang out, so we walked to a bar called Chet Bar. The whole trip, we carried around a deck of cards with us so when we were at places like this, knew no one and had nothing new to talk about we could play games. Also, this would attract new friends!
So, after a few games, two guys started playing gin rummy with us and they were really cool and funny. One could speak fluent English but the other one could not speak ANY English. Tbh, I thought they were dating the whole time. We were all drinking, carrying on and having a good time. Then they suggested that we go to a bar near the Rialto bridge and we headed that way. This was when I finally (like 2 hours after meeting them) realized they were not dating. We take a 15-minute walk to the new bar and this is when I realized it was really late at night, we did not know these guys and we had been drinking quite a bit. I grabbed Hannah and said let’s head home!
Below you will see how far we were from our house. It should have been a 17-minute walk.
But, if you have ever been to Venice, you know that the alleys they call streets are not very easy to navigate. There are not city blocks, and there is water everywhere. So you may think you are going the right way, but you come to the end of the street and it’s water with no bridge.
We. Got. So. Lost.
You guys, Hannah and I were lost as hell for almost 3 hours in the middle of the night, alone and pretty tipsy. I am laughing because looking back it is kind of funny. But in the moment (about 1.5 hours in when we realized we were lost), it was less than fun. We had our phones, but could not put in “directions to get home” because we had no signal or wifi. So we knew generally where our place was but we were really just kind of saying “okay let’s go straight here, take a left, go right, left, etc” and hoping we were going in the right direction.
Long story short, we did not die this night. We did walk about 5 miles trying to get home in the dark, where creepy people were lurking and cleaning up the city at night, homeless people were mingling and we had no phone service and NO IDEA HOW TO GET WHERE WE WERE GOING. I mean we were LOST, y’all. So, my tip to you if you ever go to Europe. Download offline maps (this was something we learned the NEXT day) and you don’t need to have phone service to get actual real life directions in the moment.
For perspective, you can’t see a skyline or really any landmarks when you are in the thick of the city. So imagine being lost in a really tall corn maze at night with no cell phone service or ability to give up and walk through the walls.
Day 2 in Venice
We slept in the next day (which we had already planned on doing) until about noon and took it REALLY easy. Walked very slow, ate gelato from SuSo Gelato twice in one day, stopped for coffee about 12 times and reminisced on getting lost AF the night before. We were low key mad at Venice for sucking us up into its maze. You would have been too.
LOL this was us trying to take jumping pics. Look at the sheer excitement. *Internal thoughts: yaaaaayyyy Venice, ouch our legs and feet, why did we just jump in the air??*
This is the Bridge of Sighs. They call it this because this was the last thing the prisoners saw before they were taken to the deep dark dungeons (or something like that).
We never did a gondola ride. No real reason, we just didn’t really want to that bad, so didn’t make time for it. But, all of the gondola boats were super boujee! Also, I REALLY wanted to take a ride on an “The Italian Job” boat, but they were WAY too expensive….like more than a YOLO expense. BUT LOL at the background of this pic where the gondola dude looks like he is about to go for a swim!
Finally, the sun setting in Venice on our last night. it was definitely beautiful. Would I go back? I think I would. But it would need to be a bit warmer and probably not right in the middle of Carnivale. Although that did offer a LOT of good people watching.
For those of you who have visited Venice, what was your favorite parts?