We had one full day in Venice and we were determined to make the most of it.
I had read and done research to find out what the internet consensus was about Venice. How many days we should spend there, what to see and do, the pros and cons, etc. To sum it up for you the opinion of the city was basically split down the middle. Loved it or hated it. It was romantic but it stunk. There was so much to see vs. you could walk it in a day.
We settled on 2 nights, 2 days all said and done. One full day. The other days worth of exploring were split between the day we arrived and the day we left the city.
In retrospect I would personally have wanted one more day in Venice.
We had arrived the previous day ready to rumble at 10:40am and had made it to our apartment in Venice by 3pm. The rest of the day was spent getting lost and acclimating ourselves to the surroundings. In that half day we walked and walked...if you read my last post you would know we didn't' get home until midnight! I remember feeling so accomplished by the time my head hit the pillow. Venice is small and you can see much of the city in a day if you plan accordingly. In that first half day we made great headway and that allowed us time to explore Murano and Burano the following morning.
The water bus system in Venice was a little bit of a learning curve and cost us about an hour
of time to figure out (wrong direction, wrong stops, etc) but we were able to make it to our first island before noon.
Murano is a moderate sized island that's claim to fame is glass blowing. Walking off the boat I encountered a man who apparently was no stranger to the tourism game and was at the port loudly advertising and directing people towards his "glass blowing factory". We decided to pass on the obvious tour and further explore the island.
The first thing Allen and I noticed was that the town looked a little deserted. We walked the town streets and took pictures of some of our favorite buildings, art and landscapes. There were a plethora of shops all selling glass and all selling primarily the same gifts. A little bit of a let down to be honest after our initial trek there but hey, we're in Italy! Stop with the complaining! Time for some wine!
Sitting down in Murano for lunch we were seated next to an English couple who decided to talk with their guests about their "holiday" to America. It was hard to not listen in and was somewhat comical to hear what they had to say about our culture and cities. Apparently they went to Vegas with these high aspirations of "paradise" and were met with "filth", "tramps
on every corner", "and disappointment" which makes perfect sense I guess because as a foreigner who has never been to Las Vegas before I can understand how they would see pictures of extravagant hotels, pools and of the strip and assume that IS what the entire city looks like. Then you fly thousands of miles only to realize that it is one street, kinda dumpy and trashy - not metaphorically trashy but like literally trashy with stripper postcards and cigarette butts littered everywhere and homeless strewn about with signs asking for money to buy marijuana or "hey, why lie about it? I need money for alcohol" signs.
I guess San Diego didn't do much for them either because Coronado Island was "ridiculously
expensive" and the city was "full of beggars". But let's not go off on a tangent here. You can't win them all I guess and this post was originally about Italy, right?
Back on the water bus after our stop in Murano, we were headed to Burano. I didn't know what to expect but once coming into port it was clear that this was everything we'd been waiting for. We stepped off the boat and immediately went the opposite direction of where everyone else was heading. Wandering in and out of alleyways Allen and I were able to avoid the crows of people who had clearly gone down the main roads and saw some spectacular and colorfully painted homes with unique characteristics ranging from potted plants to tiled artwork. I couldn't help but think of the residents there who had tourists coming to take photos of their drying laundry, gardens and doorways everyday. I can imagine that would get tiresome or become somewhat of an annoyance after a while. They were all so friendly though. I'm sure it is something they understand, are proud of and may come along with the territory - to live in such a beautiful and special place.
Later in the day and after returning to the main island we were able to spend our evening together taking in the last of our moments in this city and reflecting upon what our highlights and thoughts were of this leg of our trip. We both wished for one more day but were so grateful and still on the high of the start of this epic journey were were about to encounter. THIS WAS ONLY DAY 1!
"Tonight we close the chapter of Venice and begin anew tomorrow with Bologna."
Is the best yet to come? Stay tuned!
XO - Noel and Allen