One evening at the lake Garda we had a geography crash course. To be more precise: geography of Northern Italy. Weather apps were merciless: it would rain. Heavily. So we took a map, a few weather apps and started looking for a best place to go. Apparently it would rain everywhere. Except Venice. So we went to Venice.
We googled only to things: the cheapest parking (Tronchetto) and a viewpoint. Everything else was as spontaneous as possible. And I’m not a spontaneous type when it comes to my holidays. It was probably the only time when I had no idea about a place I was going to, except the common knowledge. But I was ok with that. The best thing about Venice is getting lost in tiny streets, finding beautiful squares (classic church-square-cafe combo) and crossing bridges. Proper sightseeing wouldn’t make any sense, because almost everyone went to Venice. And when I say everyone, I mean EVERYONE.
And this is the biggest problem of Venice: everyone. Venice is an amazing and surreal city. Yes, I’m a fan and I’m also in a group of people who say that Venice doesn’t stink. And I feel very sorry for Venice, because with such a flow of people it won’t survive…
The day before we came to Venice, the city dismounted gates against a flood of tourists. Yes, a city built on water has to protect itself not from the flood of water, but a flood of tourists. The gates were shutting if there was too crowded in certain parts of the city. Controversial? Maybe. But at 2:00pm we simply couldn’t stand the crowds. My Italian friend said that there is an ongoing discussion what to do to protect Venice. One of the ideas is to create a booking system which will force you to book your visit in the city in advance. And you know what? I think it’s a good idea. Of course spontaneous trips won’t be possible anymore, but I don’t care. There are other beautiful places.
Let’s face the truth: we spent in Venice around 6 hours and we had enough. We haven’t seen the inside of Basilica San Marco or the Doge’s Palace. Everything was ok until we reached the Piazza San Marco. Piazza San Marco was terribly crowded. We sat on the stairs, watched gondolas and when we had enough, we escaped into tiny streets. As far from the most popular places as possible. And it was probably the most beautiful part of our walk. Wandering the streets, empty places. And then we reached Ponte Rialto.
Talking about Ponte Rialto: if you’re there, go to the shopping center nearby. Yes, I’m encouraging you to go to the mall. Why? T Fondaco dei Tedeschi mall has a rooftop terrace with a free access. All you have to do is go upstairs and book the entrance on a tablet. You can enter every 15 minutes, but you have to book 30 minutes in advance. In theory, because in reality no one checks the reservation. Very Italian, isn’t it? The view is really spectacular:
A few facts:
The cheapest parking is called Tronchetto, just be careful not to go to the VIP parking. And if you want to pay, you can do it only on the groundfloor.
Prices in Venice are not as high as we thought. Coffee was less expensive than in Modena!
Make sure to go to Venice as early as possible, before all day trip busses arrive.
Btw, Venice hasn’t change that much in the last 13 years: