Once a month I am going to ask the kids what there favourite experiences while travelling have been so far.
This month I asked Jasmine (20 years old).
What is one of the experiences you have loved so far?
Going to Venice in Italy with mum when I was 18 years. The food, especially the Gelato, the people and walking around the streets are my favourite memories.
Why should others do it?
Everyone should go there because it’s very different to other cities, everything is accessible by foot or boat and it’s amazing to see how the Italians have lived here for many many years.
As the airport shuttle bus arrived on the edge of Venice, we didn’t know what to expect. It was our first stop on our trip to Italy, one that was filled with excitement and anticipation. We gathered our packs and as we slung them over our shoulder we walked over the first on many bridges that filled the watery landscape of Venice.
Our first glimpses of the Grand canal overwhelmed us, it was very busy, filled with boats, water taxis, ferries and of course the iconic gondolas, with their ever watchful, and sometimes grumpy, gondoliers negotiating tourists through the kaos.
There are two ways to travel while in Venice, by foot or by boat, so soon after we arrived we took to the pavement with map in hand, to explore this historic city. Weaving in and out, along the easily negotiated laneways, over many bridges and through varying sized Piazza’s was a beautiful way to explore the city. We discovered many hidden gems, listened to the local artists busking and found plenty of church’s to call into to escape the hustle and bustle of the outside world.
Catching the ferry along the Grand canal was an experience, meeting people from all over the world as we were being squished on board, everyone eagar to see as much as Venice as we were, all the while I was hoping for the best as the boat sank further under the weight of the crowd. Passing under the Rialto bridge, we all glanced up at the crowds of tourists as they moved around trying to get the perfect selfie with their loved ones, with the canal in the background.
As we reach our destination we both looked at each other, wondering how we were going to negotiate our way off the ferry through the crowds, so with a variety of different variations on the word “excuse me” we made our way through the tourists and onto dry land. It was a walk to our final destination, St Marco Square, but it was a pleasant, if not crowded walk and I felt much safer with the cobblestones under my feet, rather than the water. After waiting in a never ending line for the bell tower in the square, and taking the rickety lift up, we were rewarded with a view over Venice that was amazing.
Ready to escape the crowds, we discovered a parkland, taking a stroll along the water to reach the lush green grass in which we could sun our feet and stretch our toes. Watching the local children play, made me a little homesick for my little ones, but was much more enjoyable then the hoards of tourists that we needed a break from.
Jasmines main interest in going to Italy, was the food, and Venice didn’t disappoint in this regard. She swears that it is here that she ate the best Lasange and Gelato (it was cheaper than using the bathroom!) she has ever eaten, and I have to agree that the gnocchi I ate in Venice was divine.
Visiting Venice was an amazing, the atmosphere, the energy plus the history made it an experience we will never forget.
Where we stayed: Hotel Boscolo Bellini, Venice. So convienint to everything! We got a deal I couldn’t get cheaper anywhere else at the time from a travel agent.
Need to know: Just soak up the atmosphere of Venice, walking around the streets we found the best way to experience what we wanted to see, ask front desk for any landmarks that you might be interested in, we didn’t go on a Gondala ride and don’t regret it, look at catching the ferry to feel the atmosphere on the water!, check out some of the smaller run restaurants for delicious meals.
Have you been to Venice?
What were your highlights?
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