Welcome to day 2 of my Italy blog posts! This one is probably going to be my favourite one out of them all, as it's the day I visited the Floating City itself, Venice!
Venice is a place where I have wanted to go for the longest time. When I thought about Italy it always topped the list of places to visit so I knew when I booked Rome (which was always a close second), that I couldn't pass up the chance to visit there, even if it was only for the day.
We got a really early train to have the longest time possible exploring and it took us about 3 hours to get from Termini train station in Rome up to Venice. To say I was excited when we pulled into the train station was a bit of an understatement, I genuinely felt like I could have burst!
When you get off the train and step foot outside the train station you are met by one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen, the Grand Canal. You know them videos where children open their presents on Christmas day and they near enough self implode because they have got a puppy or that brand new computer they wanted? That was me when I first set my eyes on Venice. I literally was jumping up and down squealing with happiness.
The transport system in Venice is very unique. I knew they travelled everywhere on boat but I didn't know that there actually wasn't any roads with cars or anything on at all. I thought it was a mixture but it wasn't and when you are walking around and there's not a car engine or horn in ear shot, it really makes you realise how much you love the calm and tranquillity of this watery city. It was so nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of normal city life and experience the chilled (although very crowded) Venician life.
The main thing I wanted to do when in Venice, which I'm sure doesn't come as a shock to anyone, is have a Gondola Ride! I drew us some money out (we didn't take enough, typical us!) and we headed down to the Gondolas. We were going to barter with them and try and get a cheaper deal but now all Gondola rides are equal in price and you cannot bargain with them, so no matter how many people get on your Gondola, it is always €80 for a 20-30 minute ride. I think this was to cut the competition and make it a fairer way for the Gondola rowers to make their living.
We got in our Gondola and our lovely Gondola man rowed us off. I loved every second of it (although I'm not sure he agreed as we were scrambling round the boat every other minute taking photos! Oops haha) and even though it was pricey, I would definitely recommend doing it. If I ever go back to Venice, which I'm certain I will, I will definitely be doing it again. They looked so good in their stripy tops and their balancing skills are definitely something I was quite jealous of! I would fail miserably at being a Gondola Rower, I would spend more time in the water than on the boat 100%! I was really disappointed he didn't sing as well! I had been warming my vocal chords up ready to join in with Just one cornetttooooooooo! As you are being taken around the Grand Canal and off into the much smaller watery streets they tell you a bit about what you are floating past and some insight into the history of Venice. I would like to send out my sincerest apologies to our rower though for not listening to a word that he said the whole half an hour! Sorry Signore!
A little word of advice for anyone heading to Venice, make sure you have a phone with Google Maps on. It is probably the easiest place to get lost in, every street looks the same and we got very very lost trying to find our way back to the train station again. I don't know what we would have done without Google Maps, it was our best mate that day! It was funny looking around because I think everyone had the same idea as us, everywhere you looked people had their phones out trying to follow directions haha!
The day in Venice was amazing, I saw some of the most beautiful sights and experienced some things I had wanted to tick off my bucket list for a seriously long time. My only downside was that I wished we had been there for longer, but I can't complain too much because I know I will go back again and get to spend more time in the prettiest city I have ever seen sometime in the future.