Friday, 9 December 2016

Exploring The Floating City: Venice

This is the last of my Italy posts before things get festive and although I'm sad about it but at least I have something as exciting as Christmas to concentrate on. Back to business, we are talking about the city with no streets just canals. It has been on my travel list for a while, seeming as no-one got the hint and took me I went alone and had the best time.
I arrived as the sun was setting and soon discovered it is not the easiest of places to get around. When you can only get around by boat or foot things get a little bit more tricky. Being the type of tourist I am I wanted to go by foot in hope to discover more and get my bearings in this new place. I hold my hands up when I say the small side streets, dead ends, endless bridges and vast amount of water can leave you feeling a little lost. It took me around two hours to do a thirty minute journey to my hotel, whoops! I would say you get used to it but I can't say I did. Not a bad place to loose yourself though as it really is as magical as it seems.

After a goodnights rest I woke with an extra hour to spend, thank you clocks for going back. I headed out for breakfast which actually for an early bird like myself was hard to come across with most places not opening until around ten. After that I headed straight to St Marks Square, everything you need is in pretty close perimeter of there. I was one of the first in line for St Mark's Campanile, nothing like going up the bell tower to get some of the best views of Venice. I took my time appreciating the full 360 before heading back down to the now much busier ground.

I admired the St Marks Basilica from the outside before heading into Doges Palace. One thing I will say about the decor of these buildings is the top level of detail, quality of materials that go in to them and statement it makes. I was in awe of the 24 carat gold ceilings, intricate paintings and architecture. The grand rooms all hold their own story and importance making it an interesting place to walk around. 
One thing which was part of the Palace is the iconic 'Bridge of Sighs' which I walked through and later walked around to see it fully from the outside. This is something I have had pinned to my pinterest travel board since I made it, which for me was a real pinch me moment seeing it in person. I had a real sense of fulfilment in this moment, the feeling I had seen and done something I've wanted for so long. 

After this I headed to the 'Gran Teatro La Fenice' which is a beautiful theatre. Although I actually went during rehearsals I somehow managed to get a personal tour of the building including areas off the normal route. One luckily lady! Again another luxe building with dreamy interiors. There is something so inspiring about being somewhere special and with so much history. On the way back I made it my mission to find the Rialto bridge which is host to a number of stores and market stalls. I obviously got roped into what they had on offer thinking about bringing back something for my family and I wasn't disappointed, in fact it actually set off an obsession to stop and look at everyone I passed. 

The day was coming to an end so I made myself back to where I began, the square and helped myself to an ice cream. I would highly recommend the cherry and strawberry flavours it was delicious. I found myself a seat right near the open water and just relaxed listening to the small ripples crash against the curb. 
There is always a chance that when you build up a place so much in your mind that when you get there you feel slightly disappointed. I was over the moon when I booked the trip and when I arrived it only heightened. It would be near enough impossible to not enjoy the floating city, Venice.

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