Venice, the city of islands, in Italy is a dream destination for many of us. I had seen a lot about Venice in the pictures and on the TV but I had never thought that one day I will be traveling thousands of miles away to see the beautiful city myself.
Staying options in Venice:
After finishing the visit to Rome, Venice was next on our list. Being a student, I and Shayan were still not sure where to stay. Surely, Venice was also little costly to both of us. Just to save money, we decided to stay in Mestre.
Mestre is also a part of Venice but it is located on the mainland while Venice is made up of islands. Both of these places are divided by the Venetian Lagoon. The reason we chose to stay in Mestre was because it was really cheap compared to staying in Venice. However, I think, if you really want to see the sunset and Venice at night, especially the grand canal, then you should find a stay in the Venice itself.
Mestre was around 10 Km from Venice. There are facilities like cars, train, subway, and buses from Mestre to Venice and vice versa. You can use those facilities to do commuting between the two cities.
For many tourists, Mestre is the starting point. There are a few reasons of Mestre being the starting point of traveling Venice.
- It is connected to the mainland.
- It is cheaper compared to Venice in terms of hotels, bars, restaurants, discos etc.
- Traveling to Venice from Mestre is not a problem even during the night because of the transportation facilities.
We had decided to stay at Hotel Nuova Aurora. However, when had arrived in Mestre, it was already late in the night there. We hardly used any smartphones then. Just on the name of reaching the hotel, we had a printed map in our hand. In the night, we walked around 30 minutes from the main station to the hotel looking for clues like street name and all.
As you know, in the foreign countries, it is already not so crowded. Moreover, it becomes really lonely in the night on the streets. But, I had a companion with me and that was Shayan. So, we were sure that we would make it. While we were walking on the street, we saw a lot of hookers standing roadside. Maybe, that part of the Mester area is famous for the hookers but we did not know that.
Being an Indian and being not so exposed to these things, we were also feeling scared at the same time as we passed a few drunk people also. Anyway, we finally made it to the hotel. The staff was really welcoming. They have a small pub there where you can buy drinks.
It was a late night and there was nothing many options left to it. But the hotel guy was nice and he helped us order some pizza on call. And that was the first time, we tasted Italian Pizza. So surely, they are yummy and especially, if you have walked half an hour in apprehension that if you are going to make it to the hotel or not. But anyway, we enjoyed that.
Venice Traveling Experience:
On day one, we started early to see Venice. Surely, the excitement begins when the bus starts to cross the Venetian Lagoon. It’s bluish green sea water everywhere. and that’s when you catch the first glimpse of the Venice. Once we got down in Venice. We had a map in our hands which was given by the hotel guy but we did not know what to do next or what to see next and where to go. So we decided to take a look around and walk the streets of Venice and maybe, follow the crowd for a while.
Venice is surely as beautiful as someone can expect it to be. If it is a clear day then the turquoise water and pale & red archaic buildings make a perfect combination for the candies to the eyes. There are a lot of pedestrians bridge from where you can get the panoramic view of the town. Below is a list of the basic information about Venice I think every tourist should know. It will also help you in getting familiar with the tourist town.
Venice Facts that I learned:
- Venice is basically a group of islands. It is separated from the mainland by the Venetian lagoon. On the mainland and another side of the lagoon is Mestre.
- Mestre is cheaper compared to Venice. Because of cheaper hotels, pubs, bars and easy commuting options, Mestre often becomes the starting point of the traveling to Venice.
- Since Venice is made up of islands, there are no car or any sort of road transport. Waterways are the main mode of transportation. You can use boats & ferries to reach one point from another.
- There is the main canal in Venice to which smaller canals connects. The main canal is called the “Grand Canal”.
Most of the places to see in Venice are located along the Grand Canal itself. That means if you are going to take a ride along the Grand canal, then the chances are higher that you are going to see the most of the places to see in Venice.
Gondola Experience in Venice:
One of the most amazing things that I saw in the Venice was Gondola. The gondola is a boat which used to be main waterways transportation. Though it is still there but it is used more for touristic purposes than daily life purposes. I heard that when someone gets married in Venice, they officially come to marry on Gondola which is obvious because there are no other ways in which you can reach a place other than Gondola in Venice.
Today also when you look around you will find new couples already married or going to get married soon are going in a Gondola. The boat person of the Gondola will decorate the boat very nicely. It will usually be decorated using a dark red or maroon clothing which seems more like a red carpet thing.
The boat person will take you mainly to the Grand Canal and beyond that. They will also sing the traditional song which Gondola boatmen used to sing to entertain you. Couples sit, relax, and watch the sunset together.
Venice photography & architectural traveling:
One of the things which I loved the most was that we hired a private boat. That boat took us to a lot of places through water where regular tourists hardly go. We had to pay around 20 Euros for an hour which I think, according to my experience, was a cheap deal.
That boat guy was also an Indian and he told us a lot of things which we could not have known if we had not met him. Some of the things which he told us about:
- Venice and its township and architecture
- How a house is repaired when there is canal everywhere and the walls of the houses are adjacent to a canal.
- The Venice house gardens
and a lot of canny things which were interesting to know.
Along the Grand Canal Experience:
The Grand Canal in Venice is one of the most touristic places. Some of the things that you should consider doing there are:
- Take a Gondola ride through the Grand canal
- Have dinner in the evening beside the grand canal
- If you are planning to stay there then that would be the best choice that you can make about staying in Venice
- Grand canal and the area around the Rialto bridge make an awesome place to visit along with doing shopping.
- If you want to travel cheap then take a ferry which goes to a further place beyond the Grand canal and you can easily see the most of the beautiful places to see in Venice which lie along it.