VENICE

"If you read a lot, nothing is as great as you’ve imagined. Venice is — Venice is better."   --- Fran Lebowitz

It is difficult not to tell story about Venice but more difficult to tell story about it. I just lost my words to describe how grand is Venice. It is like love at first sight, leave you speechless yet poetic. One of the journeys in my life which I am sure will give me a never ending sweet taste, just like Capote said, "Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go". 

I traveled to Venice by train from Verona. The view from my window's seat was great, vineyard everywhere until it arrived in Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia. It was windy and the first thing I did was to buy city pass, costed me 27,90 Euro.There are several options of the city pass, ranging from 27,90 until 132,90 Euro. It valids from 7 days. Some city pass included transportation but some not, mine was not therefore I bought additional transportation ticket for 48 hr costs 30 Euro. More info of city pass and transportation ticket in here

Tips from me before buying any city pass, if you only spend less than 3 days in Venice, do not buy any of it. The city itself offers so much already, better spend time strolling the city, riding gondola, get lost between streets and canals and visit Venice Lagoon. Unless the weather was bad, cold and windy then perhaps museum or theater could be another alternatives.  

The best way to experience Venice is to put down the map and strolling around the small streets and blocks, crossing the canals through bridges and enjoy window shopping. Do not forget to stop by at mask maker showrooms. If you interested also could paint your own mask. I found a shop named Ca' Macana Venezia, they made Bauta masks used by the main actors in the movie Casanova directed by Lasse Hallström (2005)  with Heath Ledger as Casanova. Take a look their showroom in Dorsoduro and get inspired. 

Dining in Venice could be quite pricey. You could easily spend 30-40 Euro per person for dining in restaurant. I found the best way is to find restaurant that offers lunch package with fix menu. Usually consists of soup, pasta, fish or meat and salad. For the price around 25 Euro for two persons (not including drink), this lunch menu is life-saver if you try to minimize your budget. Do not worry about the taste, it is not less delicious than the expensive one. 

If you stay in Airbnb and have a kitchen to cook, I suggest you to cook and not always go to restaurant. Buy some olives, pasta, cheese, antipasti and perhaps pesto in a local supermarket. Italian likes to make their coffee in moka, although you might also find some instant coffee available. Well while in Italy why not try to drink like Italian? Practise your skill of brewing coffee with moka. One important thing, before you consume any tap water, ask your host or your hotel/hostel. My host was not encourage me to drink from the tap water, instead he kindly provided me some.

Dining in Venice could be quite pricey. You could easily spend 30-40 Euro per person for dining in restaurant. I found the best way is to find restaurant that offers lunch package with fix menu. Usually consists of soup, pasta, fish or meat and salad. For the price around 25 Euro for two persons (not including drink), this lunch menu is life-saver if you try to minimize your budget. Do not worry about the taste, it is not less delicious than the expensive one. 

If you stay in Airbnb and have a kitchen to cook, I suggest you to cook and not always go to restaurant. Buy some olives, pasta, cheese, antipasti and perhaps pesto in a local supermarket. Italian likes to make their coffee in moka, although you might also find some instant coffee available. Well while in Italy why not try to drink like Italian? Practise your skill of brewing coffee with moka. One important thing, before you consume any tap water, ask your host or your hotel/hostel. My host was not encourage me to drink from the tap water, instead he kindly provided me some.

Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco , often known in English as St Mark's Square, is the most famous square in Venice and no doubt the most beautiful one. To enter St. Marco Basilica cost nothing but patience. I decided not to join the queue instead went to the bell tower of St. Marco Basilica. It costs 8 Euro but worth the money. I did enjoy 360 degrees panorama of Venice and surrounding from the top. The tower itself is 98,6 meter tall. The original tower completely demolished in 1902, the current one is rebuilt and inaugurated in 1912. 

If you visit Venice for the first time, especially only for 2 up to 3 days, I suggest you not to waste money on museum because the whole city, every corner of it offers you quite an experience. The only place I visited that requires an entry ticket was The Doge's Palace. You will be amazed  by the architecture of the buildings, the interior designs as well as the history behind it. 

As the sunset comes, why not take  gondola ride along the canals. A serenade by the gondolier will give you an amazing moment that hard to forget. Forget about partner if you do not have one, the moment not only for those who are in love. It is for those who dare enough to take a memorable trip to Venice and be open to whatever the city might offers you. Venice is beyond imagination, It was a journey that enriched my soul and refreshed my mind.

From Doge's Palace to Gondola ride

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