Saturday, 4 June 2016

Mini-Breaking in Verona & Venice, Italy | Part ii

Following on from yesterday's post about the two days my Mum and I spent in Verona, today I'm writing up about our day trip to Venice. As I wrote in my travel bucket list at the start of this year, Venice is somewhere that I've wanted to visit for as long as I can remember. In my mind it epitomises Italy and its beauty and so I was hugely excited to be able to hop on the train last Wednesday and visit, even just for the day.


Firstly, let me just say that getting the train from Verona to Venice was so easy and quick that I would highly recommend it if you're not completely set on staying in Venice. Of course staying in Venice is such a novelty and I have no doubt that it would be amazing but if you're looking to save a few pennies, you can sort of get two for the price of one by staying in Verona which is a bit cheaper and just a one hour and ten minute train journey away from Venice. It worked perfectly for us, anyway!

We got the train into Venezia Santa Lucia which was about a half an hour walk away from the famous Piazza San Marco. You can get there slightly quicker by water bus apparently, but we thought we may as well walk it to get our bearings and take in Venice. The first thing to note is that, as they all say, it is absolutely beautiful. It really is the most special place and just walking down the streets and over bridges with all the gondolas passing by was magical.

By the time we'd got to the Piazza San Marco it was about 1pm and we were both hungry and wanting to get out of the heat (it was about 30 degrees celsius by this point) and so, again, having done some research, I took us to Ogio - found in this article - which is in the Campo dei Gesuiti. Their lunch menu is amazing as each day the chef prepares a range of fresh pasta dishes for just €8 including a coffee and bottle of water. I had spinach and ricotta tortellini and my Mum had spaghetti bolognese, both were absolutely delicious. Again, like Osteria Al Duca, it was a real hidden gem and, in this case, we were the only tourists in the restaurant. Considering how packed Venice is with tourists, we felt very glad to have found somewhere so cheap, quiet and amazing quality to have our lunch.

The highlight of the day for me though had to be the gondola ride. I've read a lot of pieces on Venice arguing over whether or not it is worth what can be the very expensive prices for a gondola ride. And Mum and I were dubious ourselves considering that for many of them it was €80 for a half an hour ride if it were just us (they charge you that no matter how many people are going in the gondola; usually up to six from what I saw). Luckily, we were stopped by a gondolier and, when we said we thought it was a bit steep for just two people, a mother and daughter were also walking past trying to find a better deal. So we all went in the same one - they were lovely so it worked out really well - and it was just the best way to see Venice. I didn't really think it could be all that different to seeing it all by foot but it truly gives you a different perspective. At the end of the day, it was still a bit extortionate and I'm sure that we could have shopped around a bit to try and get a better deal, but when in Venice, hey? We both thought it was definitely worth it as the gondola ride was really something else! 

We spent the rest of the day exploring some more, Mum bought some new shoes which she was very excited about, we had gelato, looked in a few museums and then went for dinner and had a pizza each which were amazing. Before we knew it we were back on the train heading to Verona. It was a lovely day but we both agreed we could have done with another day there so it would be nice to go back sometime and explore Venice a bit more. 

Mum and I had such a great time on our little break in Italy. I've only been on two holidays to Italy now and I'm definitely biased because of how much I love Italian and just think that Italy is beautiful, but I really do think that it's the perfect place to get away for a few days and immerse yourself in their culture. I can almost guarantee that you'll come back feeling refreshed no matter how much walking you find yourself doing there. 

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