Italy Trip: Last stop, Venezia

Apologies on the delay on this last Italy post. To close out this 4-part blog on our travels in Italy, here is Venice. One of my favourite movies is the Italian Job, where the heist at the beginning of the film is done in Venice. It was neat to walk around and see reminders of the film.

Upon arrival in Venice, it was wet and quite uncomfortable. Getting used to a new location, getting our bearings, and wanting to take in the coolness of Venice but feeling kind of damp made it a bit difficult to enjoy at first. Also, the narrow twisty streets of Venice are hard to navigate when you have no idea where you’re going, when there are people everywhere and when you’re carrying luggage. Once making it to our hotel, we rested and decided to venture out when the weather cleared up. Thankfully, it did clear up and we were able to take a stroll around Venice in the evening.

The streets of Venice turn at every point possible. The street names changes at each turn, and it’s really hard to know where you’re going. It may seem a bit silly, but in the evenings, it can have a bit of an eerie feel to it. It made me think that you could have some really interesting and creepy ghost tours of Venice. Once you get used to the layout, and can properly read a map, it gets a lot easier.

We made use of the vaporetto system as the water buses are a great way to see Venice. I even listened to some of the Rick Steves recordings for Venice.

Braving the weather in front of St Mark’s Basilica
These made me think of the part in Italian Job where Donald Sutherland’s character says to Mark Wahlberg’s character “See those pillars there? That’s where they hung people who felt fine.”
St Mark’s square in the evening
St. Mark’s square
Night shot of the Basilica of St Mary of Health, or Salute
Night shot down one of the main canals
The main elements of a Venetian life brought together. The homes, docks and boats.
A quick snap over the canal. It surprised me how expansive some parts of the grand canal were
In comparison to the above, there were also tiny side canals like small alleyways in a traditional city

One of the things that Rick Steves mentions in his audio guide, is that with the high cost of living, the fact that everything needs to be brought into the city, and it’s costly to renovate the aging homes, most locals are moving out of Venice. Imagine having to carry a child or even groceries across small bridges, narrow paths and windy streets – it’s quite difficult and can be a nuisance. He said that it may become a bit of an “amusement park” in the sense that no-one really lives there, but tourists go to see it, stay in the hotels and visit the restaurants. It’d be sad if that happens, but I can understand, especially considering how expensive it would be to live there.

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