Italy: Venice

I won’t bore you all: Venice was probably my least favourite part of our trip. I was told that Venice would be beautiful and exactly how it looks in the movies. To be honest I found it really underwhelming, not very impressive, and run down with tourists. It was quieter in some streets but also smelly in some places. It was hard to find good food. I had a very disappointing and tasteless alio olio – you’d think it would be hard to mess up an oil-based (instead of sauce based) pasta! I was warned by my friend Craig about the tourists and the difficulty of finding good food.

A view of Venice from St Mark’s Campanile (a bell tower)
Venice as seen from St Mark’s Campanile
One of the quieter streets in Venice, near where we stayed
The quiet street from the outside of our apartment

The weather was muggy and hot, though of course that is what we expected. We did not go on a gondola ride but from what I’ve heard, we didn’t miss out on too much. They are very expensive. To travel across water you need to take the water boat, which is like a crowded bus on water. It makes it quite difficult if you have a lot of luggage.

There is not a great deal to see in Venice, other than simply exploring the streets and deliberately getting lost. So if you are the type to tick obligatory tourist attractions off a list, that’s easy. We were only there for about two full days.

We were lucky enough to be staying in a much quieter street that was only a five-minute walk from where we could catch a boat. I wasn’t a big fan of the apartment we had, though, something about it freaked me out. 😳 It might have been the many giant movie posters inside and the pin-up girl artwork, and the ceilings lined with wood… something gave me a very claustrophobic feeling. Other people who stayed in that Airbnb apartment loved it though, so maybe I’m just weird.

A view of Venice, water in view, taken from a vaporetto (water boat)
A quick photo of Venice that I took on our way to our apartment
A view of Venice in the late evening, taken from a vaporetto stop
Venice in the late evening

We did a half-day trip to Burano where we saw the famous coloured houses. It was definitely quieter and more pleasant, but the ferry ride was almost an hour. In the heat, it was not so fun. There is just one large park in Venice and it’s the only real spot of green. It’s a nice place to have a break.

A waterway in Burano with coloured houses down the sides
Burano in its coloured glory
A view of Venice from St Mark’s Campanile (a bell tower)
Another shot of the city

We went up the bell tower to get some good views. Even though it’s tiring to have to walk up stairs or wait in line for an elevator, I’ve learned that if you have an opportunity to go up a tower or a tall building to see good views of a city: just do it. I get an amazing view of Sydney for free from my office building since we are on the top level, and sometimes I feel like I don’t look outside enough. People would pay for a good view, even if you’re not up there for very long. Good high views of a city, in my opinion, are so rewarding.

I did finally have a good alio olio pasta on our last night in Venice though. Yaaaaaay. Yuuuuuum. That brightened things up.

Other posts about our trip to Europe

Comments on this post

Aww that’s too bad about Venice. I always thought it was such a nice city, especially with the view and history. I guess some things are better in our imagination than reality. Those are some really nice view photos though.

Even though Venice wasn’t all that special, it’s still good to have the experience in and avoid visiting again in the future XD. You captured some nice sceneries from Venice! I love how all of the houses are colored differently; it doesn’t give any sense of blandness.

Having a view from a high POV is a blessing! I would love to work at a place where I can see the city through the window, but I am scared of earthquakes ;~;. But yes! I paid over $20 to see the rest of Seattle from one of the tallest attractions.

Thank you for sharing your experience :D.

Wow those houses are so rainbowly! Looks neat! And the buildings in the last photo look awesome. Shame you didn’t care for it as much, but least you got some good pasta finally!

I’m trying to remember what my parents thought of Venice when they went. I think they said it was mostly tourists. It’s kind of disappointing when that’s all you see. They decided to do a gondola ride… and they said it was expensive, but they thought why not, you only live once haha. They also went to the island where they make glass and they said that was worth seeing.

Your city-view photos are really nice and Burano looks amazing, how the colours make everything seem so cheerful! So much in contrast to the other pics of Venice. Glad you found good pasta at the end of your visit :P

Oh no! :-( I’ve always wanted to visit Venice, disappointed to hear you found it boring. I’ve heard it’s very smelly too.