Venice: “magical” or “no big deal”? Posted by Transparent Language on Aug 19, 2008 in Geography, Travel
Welcome to the Italian blog! I want to warn you right away that I am not planning to be the permanent writer of this blog. However, I will write it until I find a good replacement. So, if you know a candidate who can take my place, please let me know. In the meantime, I will do my best to entertain you and maybe even teach you a thing or two 🙂 Ready?
I have a theory about people’s attitude towards Venice. Most people, who never visited Venice, do want to see it. After they actually see it, they will fit into two categories of people. First one has people who fall in love with it, think Venice is just wonderful and magical and there is no other place like that in the world. The other category has people who think that it is really nothing special, paint is peeling everywhere, it smells and really, what is the big deal? As you probably can guess, I fit into the first category.
I really haven’t traveled that much, but I do have a couple of favorite cities and Venice, certainly, has a special place in my heart. I have been there many times, but last time was unexpectedly different. Previous visits have always been with a group, we spent a day there, at the most, did all the touristy things and had little time to explore the city by ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved it, but my last visit is the reason why I am just dying to go back (and I will, in August of 2010).
During my last visit only 3 other people came with me. We spent three and a half days in Venice. It did not feel like enough, but it also didn’t feel like it wasn’t enough. We stayed at this tiny hotel, called “Locanda Gaffaro.” It is just the cutest, little place with a great location and a wonderful owner. If you ever go to Venice, I definitely recommend it. http://www.gaffaro.com/en/index.htm It is right on the island, so you can just walk anywhere which you certainly should do. The city is really not that big, and it is impossible to get lost in it. Even if you do, you might find some charming restaurant that you would have never found otherwise.
I really don’t have enough writing talent to describe how I felt during that last visit, so let me just tell you about the highlight of the trip. It was the Gondola ride. You might think “oh, it is such a cliché”. Well, maybe so, but you really can’t say that unless you do it. And if you still think that, then you must fit into that above-mentioned second category. And then, I really wish you would stop reading my blog because I have no tolerance for people who don’t like Venice. Scherzo, of course 🙂
I read in some guide book that if you ride the gondola at night, it is cheaper. Hey, I am no Rockefeller, so that sounded pretty good. It also said, since there aren’t as many customers, you can just go to the place where gondolieri hang out and even enter into some price negotiations. I must say that was pretty good advice. The ride was just awesome. There were hardly any people around (during the day there are tons of people watching you from the bridges), and it was so dark and spooky, but in a good way. It felt like there was a presence, especially when we went by what was supposed to be Casanova‘s house. We didn’t even talk during the ride, everybody was just taking it in. All you could hear were the occasional shouts of the gondolieri to warn each other that they were coming. It was one of the most memorable moments of my life.