Almost everyone has a picture in their head of what Venice looks like. Cute villas, canals instead of streets and gondolas cruising those canals. This is pretty much the picture I had in my head before I left to visit for the weekend, and it was almost on point, except it was so much more beautiful than I could have imagined.
Three other girls and I decided to make the trip to Venice when the others went on the optional trip to Florence. We all woke up early Saturday morning to board a train that would take us straight to Venice, and it was only a little over three hours! I had never been on a train that traveled that fast. Before I knew it, I was opening my eyes from a quick nap and we were traveling over water into the city of Venice. It had rained but it was starting to clear up and we could see what was in store for us. As we exited the train station, Venice stood there before us in all its glory: people bustling about, beautiful buildings, and water, lots of it. We all headed to our hotel, which was very close, unloaded our things and were off to explore the city. Shout out to Google Maps for helping us navigate all the tiny streets, there is no way we would have survived without it. We had a quick lunch, some of the best ravioli I have ever had, and then we headed to Piazza San Marco. We wandered around a little bit, just taking it all in. It was all so beautiful. Growing up at the beach, I always love to be by the water in some way.
After some shopping, and of course gelato, we made our way back to the hotel and made plans for dinner. This was a difficult task. We thought we would be able to easily find the restaurant, but we were wrong. This is where I would like to take my shout out back, because Google Maps said we were at the restaurant multiple times, when in actuality, we were far off. We finally agreed to meet at the Rialto Bridge, somewhere we all knew since it was absolutely gorgeous, we had dinner and relaxed. Everybody’s food was delicious and we all had a great time chatting about how wonderful the city was, and how wonderful this opportunity was.
Leaving the restaurant was the funniest part. We took a wrong turn to get home and we all almost walked straight into the canal. Had one of the girls not said anything I’m not quite sure how long it would’ve taken us to realize it. Next, I really wanted to see how cold the water was so I went to feel it and accidentally stepped in it. We all laughed out loud and someone opened their window to shush us. That’s when we realized how quiet this town really was. With no cars and essentially no nightlife that we could see beyond the restaurants, it was the quietest place we had ever been.
The next day, before we left, we had to take a gondola ride. It was a little scary at first, but it was everything I had imagined. The canals were so quaint and it was beautiful to see Venice from this point of view. After, we wandered the streets, again buying souvenirs. Venice is known for it’s blown glass and let me tell you, I now understand why. Everything was so beautifully made I wanted to buy it all! There were bigger pieces I really wanted to take home, but knew it wouldn’t survive in my suitcase. As we went to grab lunch we passed a fish pedicure place. There was no way I was walking by this without giving it a try. It was, by far, the weirdest feeling I have ever felt. I definitely freaked out, but once I watched what the fish were doing, nibbling on my feet, it made it easier to withstand. This was a highlight of my trip.
It made me sad to have to leave Venice, but I know some day I will be back. This was an amazing weekend and I am so glad I used the time to travel to a new city. One thing I learned on this trip, and have to pass on, is use your free time to travel while you can. You never know when you will get this opportunity again, and if I could go back and do it all over again I would have definitely traveled more.