"Venice really surprised me" Venice by craic

Venice Travel Guide: 8,203 reviews and 21,709 photos

I have seen so many photos of it, and read so many books about it, and seen so many movies set in Venice I thought I was emotionally prepared.
My friend Riccardo warned me as I left Rome for my first trip there - No matter what you are expecting it will not be what you are expecting.
And this was very true.
I reeled back to Rome after my two days gibbering like an idiot.
It was more beautiful than I would have believed possible. And it was also smaller. On a different scale from what I was expecting. I described it as intimate.

Something about there being no cars in the streets makes it such a pleasant place to be for me. I am a non driver and in most places in the world cars are everywhere with their noises and their stinks and the aggressive way they make people react.
On my second visit with my family my daughter noticed a boat with two young people, turning up the music and setting off at a fast pace - just like two young people in a car. It made both of us smile.
You glance down a side canal, a man is unloading crates of soft drink.
The Vigili del Fuoco chug past in their boat.
It's a human city. The size of human beings.

On my first trip I purposefully did not take my camera. I was going to work there, give a lecture, not a pleasure trip, PLUS I wanted to see this city which I had waited so long to see with nothing in front of my eyes. I wanted to see it just as I saw it.
Perhaps that was one of the reasons it hit me so hard.
Sometimes I think we protect ourselves from seeing by taking photographs.

I will load some pics in a day or two from my second trip with my family.

I have a friend who is a local in Venice and she led me through the place taking her avoid-the-tourists routes - which kind of drive her crazy - which is why she never takes a vaporetto - and I saw narrow alleys (I mean narrow!) and odd remnants of former times and old stories - and i felt very much off the beaten path.
Occasionally we would burst out into a street full of tourists - but it was like we were invisible - they didn't see us - and on we plunged.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:More beautiful in its very own original Venice way than it is possible to imagine.
  • Cons:It closes up so early. It's 9pm, everyone go home to bed.
  • In a nutshell:There's only one Venice.
  • Last visit to Venice: Dec 2005
  • Intro Updated Jun 13, 2007
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Reviews (10)

Comments (44)

  • Manara's Profile Photo
    Jan 4, 2012 at 6:00 AM

    It is good that you always have your SOH with you, whether you are travelling or staying at home.

  • EllenH's Profile Photo
    Oct 25, 2011 at 10:57 PM

    loved the hotel but venice was way to crowded for me. Slovenia however was most awesome.

  • wise23girl's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2010 at 7:28 PM

    I have not been to Venice since 1982. Be nice to go again esp after reading your Venice writings. Marg

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2009 at 3:55 PM

    It's obvious that Venice made a deep impression on you, and I enjoyed your insights and the tale of the mechanized voice!

  • mindcrime's Profile Photo
    Jun 18, 2009 at 12:22 AM

    you are right, we took only our backpacks and we felt free to walk easily everywhere in Venice. great tips here!

  • Zvrlj's Profile Photo
    Jun 16, 2009 at 11:03 PM

    I have "tasted" your Venice, and it is great. We are about to make a tip on the Peggy Guggenheim collection since 2003. Guess we will soon. We share affestion for Magritte, Klee, Morandi, Marini... Lou Reed, but not for De Chirico and Pollock (V)

  • unaS's Profile Photo
    May 29, 2009 at 3:13 PM

    Well I'm glad to see that you had a much better experience of Venice than I did.

  • calcaf38's Profile Photo
    Mar 29, 2009 at 7:31 AM

    Thank you for visiting my Flores page. My mum is organizing a family reunion in Venice in October, so I'm getting prepared for a more civilized sort of travel than I'm used to...

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Mar 9, 2009 at 11:39 AM

    How great to have a local friend from Venice that can show you around! I have only visited on a daytrip in the end of July, and it was full of tourists everywhere I went.

  • junecorlett's Profile Photo
    Feb 11, 2009 at 7:03 AM

    We were dissappointed with the beaches of Corfu and Crete as well.Did not go to beach in Venice. South Africa's beaches are clean and beautiful.

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