My parents and sister recommended that if I go anywhere in Italy, Venice should be at the top of the list. As Christine said, it would probably be the most different from anywhere I’ve ever been. Of course, she was right. (As big sisters often are.)
We spent Thursday afternoon, all day Friday, and Saturday morning (just long enough for breakfast and a good night’s sleep) on the island. It was a bit cold, but because it was SUNNY (sun has become a huge deal for us here in cloudy London) and not windy, it was still comfortable enough to walk freely around the island.
The water was so much more green-blue than I expected, and the streets so much tinier! The best way I can think to describe it is to say that the island is like a garden…lots of hidden passages that lead to wide-open spaces, a patchwork of colors and smells, and every turn leading to little bridges or canals. And as often as the pathways led to old churches and piazzas, they also led to the bright lights and posh tastes of Prada, Ferragamo, Versace, Armani, Valentino….etc.
By day, Venice is charming. By night, the city felt mysterious and haunting. People actually walk around in carnival masks and capes. There are also a LOT of crows in Venice (hence the masks), and even the seagulls are terrifying. I would place average seagull size somewhere between cat and shih tzu. Simply ginormous, and not shy around people. (I actually saw one ambush some guy who who holding food in his hand. Priceless.)
One of the highlights of Friday afternoon was visiting the Doges palace in St. Mark’s Square, where the Doges of Venice lived throughout the centuries. It was full of SO MUCH SPLENDOR. The ceilings, the walls, the floors, the staircases…every bit of the palace was covered in art. The tour ended—right around sunset—in the dungeons underground. Very creepy/cool.
In all, Venice was a great choice for a little weekend away. It was a welcome treat to escape the noise and busy streets of London, but I also surprised myself by being homesick not for the US, but for my little flat in Ealing! It was the perfect combination of showing me just how easy and rewarding it is to travel, but also for reminding me that I won’t be in London forever! Being away for just a few days made me want to see so much and do so much more, both here in England and elsewhere in Europe.