When I arrived in Venice I had no idea where I was going to stay. I had some ideas from the Internet and my book but finding them was a different story. After an hour or so of looking around for a place near the Rialto Bridge, I found my hostel for the night. I checked in, grabbed a map and headed out.
When I think Venice, I think of a city slowly sinking into the sea with tons of gondolas, and bridges connecting the mini islands with buildings lining the waterways and sitting inches away from the not so inviting waters. My thoughts ended up being pretty right on. I visited the Rialto Bridge and St. Marco’s Piazza to make sure I got them out of the way and then just started walking. I’d say I saw almost everything there is to see in Venice without actually knowing I’ve seen it.
Venice makes it very easy to not know where you are but at the same time not be completely lost. If you walk around enough you’ll eventually find a building somewhere pointing you in the direction of a notable destination. The only problem with these signs is they sometimes point in multiple directions. For example, you might see a sign to the Rialto Bridge with an arrow pointing both left and right. I mean, I understand that the walkways (yes, walkways because roads are non-existent meaning sidewalks are obsolete) are so numerous and confusing that there are more ways than one to get to where you need to be, but it’s still a bit disconcerting to the Venetian rookie walking around to not have a direct path. But again, there are enough of these golden signs that eventually you get where you’re try to go.
Perhaps my favorite part of Venice was all the masks being sold. I knew it was a big thing here, but I guess I didn’t know how big and just how extravagant they could be. There were masks everywhere. Big masks, small masks, simple masks, artistic mask, masks based on pop culture, masks from way back when, and, of course you could find custom masks too. If only I was here while they were all being worn… *sigh*
I guess my thoughts on Venice, and granted I didn’t stay long or do anything that required me opening up my wallet, was that it would be best to return when I had someone special to share it with. If you’re not quite catching what I’m putting down then let me simplify it by saying it’s very much a couples’ city. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it or feel uncomfortable in any way, but more that some of the most intriguing activities, like say a gondola ride through the canals, would be best shared with others and not done on your own. So for all the perks travelling alone has, I will submit that Venice could have used another.