Oh Venice. Venice, Venice, Venice. The beauty that you see in all of the pictures out there, it’s real.
The biggest negative I had heard was that Venice was a stinky city and fortunately we didn’t have to experience that!! Going in October was both a positive and a negative, but regardless we were happy to have spent some time in this city known for its romance, Venice.
Venice started off kind of rough
Upon arrival, we couldn’t take any cash out as it was a holiday back home. Then when we arrived at the hotel, there was a client who was losing her shit to the front desk about having bed bugs. Holy. Shit. Talk about a scare. Anyway, After we settled in to our hotel (and thoroughly checked for bedbugs) we went for a nice Italian meal at the restaurant next door. Some nice vino, pizza – it was what the Italians live up to! Absolutely delicious food. A major win compared to the disaster stepping off the plane.
The biggest plus – a budget travellers win
The positives upon our landing in Venice was when we went to go purchase a public transit ticket. A couple approached us offering their tickets, stating there was one day left on it. We accepted it as they said they were on their way to another country – a budget travellers dream! That saved us probably about 40 euros. Things were on the up from there!! Those tickets, ended up being valid for the rest of our trip except for our last ride back to the airport.
Over the four days we were in Venice, it rained… Basically every day. Except one!! Which happened to be a beautiful day – the day before we left. My favourite from our 4 days there.
One thing to note – if it’s been raining a lot, the canals flood! This means an alarm goes off around 8am that sounds like a tsunami warning. It’s crazy, the water floods into the alleys and literally go into the stores. Fortunately, a lot of the main alleyways they have platforms for people to walk on. Or you can have someone piggyback you like I had Matt to piggyback me (he had waterproof boots, smart).
Our bigger ‘touristy’ day
We ended up visiting the Piazza San Marco where you will find Doge’s Palace, we visited the outside, the San Marco Campanile and St. Mark’s Basilica. Since we were on a budget, we were only able to do what was free. This means that we couldn’t get into San Marco Campanile or Doge’s Palace. For free you can gain entrance into Saint Mark’s Basilica (aside from the extra purchase to gain admittance to alternate parts). PLEASE NOTE: Using camera’s of any kind are not permitted in St Marks. There are signs everywhere but despite that tourists were still taking pictures. We saw one who had a selfie stick in one hand, his umbrella open & a huge camera in the other hand.
I would highly recommend getting lost in the streets of Venice or spending that extra bit of cash to get the transit pass. We were able to see some amazing things. Burano and Murano were more than I expected and I had absolutely no idea they had even existed.
The smaller island of Murano is known for its glass blowing which you can pay 5€ to watch some glass blowing. It was interesting and crazy to see the intricate pieces that can make.
The other island Burano is known for its colourful homes with many little canals. It was probably my favourite stop we did in Venice. This could have also been because of the amazing weather that we finally had. We spent about 3 hours wandering through the alleys and colourful buildings.
The water bus takes about 20 minutes one way and it provides some pretty nice views on the way; some flooded buildings, ruins and lots of open water.
I wish we could have seen the sunny picturesque city for what its images show, we did get to see another side of Venice. The Venice where the alarm sounds to signify canal floods. Where people walk around in rain boots and shoe covers. Where the alleyways have a platform to walk on (the main alleys) while stores have 1cm to an inch of water covering their floors. Most of all, we got to see the less crowded, less smelly Venice. Overall, we got to see many parts of Venice, without hoards of tourists and we are forever thankful for that.