My Story of Venice
After the day in Verona, on Saturday we took the train to Venice. The train ride took about 1.5 hours and it was a pleasant one.
Trains are a good and reliable means of transportation in Italy. Delays are quite rare, most trains (that I went on) are fairly new and some have air conditioning.
Tickets can be purchased online, from vending machines at the train station, or, if you prefer human interaction, from ticket offices, also located at the train stations. For online purchases, I’ve personally used www.thetrainline.com and www.omio.com (there are apps too).
In terms of pricing, it very much depends on distance, but also on the provider. For example, most trains in Italy are “Trenitalia” or “Trenord” or “Frecciarossa” (this one is the high-speed line). In most cases (if not all) the Frecciarossa has more expensive tickets, but it is also the fastest.
But enough about trains, let’s talk about boats. After reaching Venice and exiting the train station, there’s a big boat station right in front. Here, you can purchase tickets for “water buses” that will take you through the Grand Canal to the key locations around Venice, including Saint Mark’s Square, also making a few stops on the way.
The boat ride from Santa Lucia Train Station to Piazza San Marco takes about 30 minutes, costs 7 euros and it is completely worth it. I’d say it was one of my favourite things to do on this trip. Of course, the boat was packed, with everyone flooding to the stern to get the best view and the best pictures. And yes, I was one of those people – even got a chair. So if you can do that, get your elbows up and get in there. You will really have a great view.
Venice activities – the compact, lazy-tourist version:
We got off at San Marco Vallaresso, made a quick stop at the Royal Gardens, then made our way to the famous Saint Mark’s square, which, to my surprise, had no pigeons. None. There were a bunch of seagulls, but they weren’t flocking to eat from tourists’ hands. You’re probably wondering what’s with the pigeon obsession. Well, this wasn’t my first trip to Venice. Back in high school I went on a trip through Italy and made a stop in Venice where pigeons ruled this square. And so, I braced myself for the flutter of wings, rain of seeds, and piles of poop. I was pleasantly disappointed. However, I do hope the pigeons have been safely relocated and not exterminated.
As it is very close to the square, we also got a look at Ponte dei Suspiri (Bridge of Sighs), probably the most famous bridge in Venice. It’s a small one, but catches the eye, by being enclosed and having stone windows. It connects the New Prison with the interrogation room in Doge’s Palace. The name was chosen to suggest the idea that prisoners are sighing at the last view of Venice from the bridge, before being imprisoned. You can walk it by visiting the Doge’s Palace.
Next, we took a stroll around Piazza San Marco and admired Saint Mark’s Basilica, a magnificent structure. We decided not to go in, as the queue was literally circling the building, and the heat was already getting unbearable. After taking plenty of pictures we made our way through the streets and canals of Venice.
Food is always good (in Italy)
We crossed the big bridge we saw from the boat at Rialto, did a lot of window shopping too and finally decided on lunch at “Al Nono Risorto”. There was no planning, but simply saw this nice garden restaurant that looked inviting, took a seat and we were not sorry. The food was good, the waiter was nice and funny and we overall had a good experience. They had some lunch offers, so you could combine the first and second courses. However, I chose a platter of fried seafood that was very big but also very tasty. We also got some refreshing local beer: “Birra Venezia”, which came in 3 different colours and flavours: white, red, and blonde.
After eating, we slowly made our way back to the train station as all the walking in the heat took its toll.
Th-Th-The – That’s all folks (for now)
All in all, I hope you got some inspiration on what to do in a very short time in Venice, the lazy-tourist version. Stay tuned for part 3: “My Story of Lake Garda” coming soon.