After spending a week in Florence, we took the train north and stopped in Bologna on the way to Venice. Erica and I spent TWO days in Venice, but to be honest, that was definitely enough time. The city was/is so freaking gorgeous, but it’s really not that big. Everything was really pricey compared to other places so we overspent our food budget big time.
Erica and I stayed at a hostel/hotel on the Venice Mestre (mainland) because the lodging was cheaper there, and we took the bus over to the island.
On day one in Venice, we instantly fell in love with the city. I’d never been to a place before that actually felt mysterious and magical, and filled with secrets. The little alleys and streets called my name, and we put our maps away (they didn’t help us anyways) and literally spent the entire day wandering around the city. Considering the fact that it’s an island, we figured we could only get SO lost.
My favorite canal!
It wouldn’t be a European city without a lock bridge over the Grand Canal, right?
The Grand Canal!
Just me and 1,000 of my best friend chillin on St. Marks. There were so many people on Venice it kind of creeped me out because I had this fear the islands would start sinking. Supposedly Venice will be closing to tourist traffic within the next 10 years…
Erica and I had this weird thing where we had to put our feet in the ocean whenever we came to one!
Fun fact from Inferno by Dan Brown (therefore 100% credible): The Bridge of Sighs (pictured below) is now a popular place for lovers to take gondola rides under at sunset. The bridge connected the palace (left) with the prison (right). Despite the current romantic notion, the bridge gained it’s name from the screams heard from the people captive in the prison. Who wants to cruise under the bridge at sunset now?!
After a full day of exploring Venice, Erica and I learned a couple things:
1. You can literally walk into all of the landmarks on Venice without a map in one day. It’s really not that big of a place and very well marked! Put away your map and wander!
2. You can also accidentally walk into the prostitution district without a map. (sorry we didn’t take any photos here… just laughed our butts off and RAN)
3. DO NOT, under any circumstances, drink the popular ‘Venice Spritz’. All of the touristy cafes sold it and we saw so many people drinking this toxic orange colored drink that we mistakenly spent 6 Euros on it. MISTAKE. That thing tasted like poison and I only drank a sip.
4. If you are dressed like us (wrinkly dresses, non styled hair, satchel, water bottle, and camera) the security guards won’t let you in the designer stores in that alleyway filled with every designer shop. Fine. I guess I won’t spend 700 Euros on a bag. #whatever
5. The food/drinks/gondolas are all more expensive closer to the train station (at the front of the island) so save some money and head towards the back!
Day two on Venice, Erica and I had already seen everything we wanted to so we reallyyyyy just wandered around before it was time to catch our overnight train to Paris.
Of course we HAD to take a gondola ride! We split it four ways with this really cute French couple who we met standing in line. Yay for saving money! Pictured below is the Rialto Bridge, this thing is freaking huge and has shops going along the top!
Boat ride with a random stranger because of Erica. Don’t let the smile fool you, I was terrified and he was CREEPY. As expected…
Got all of my belongings and ready to travel to Paris! Little did I know I wouldn’t get any sleep on that train overnight… and that babies are officially NO T my favorite.