When I started the blog, I said there was going to be a mixture of posts… so here is the first travel one!
Being the place I have visited most recently, I thought Venice was probably the place to start.
Now, it was honestly amazing… but at first, I really didn’t take to it. The weather probably didn’t help, because on the first two days it was pretty cloudy and we occasionally got rained on (and when I say rain, I mean it absolutely chucked it down, I may as well have jumped in the canal). It was easy to see that it was a pretty place, and with there being no traffic – all the travel is done via the canals – it was unique too. But for me it was just very busy and cramped, and a lot of the side alleys away from the centre were quite run down…
However, on the third day, my opinion completely changed and I fell in love with Venice. Honestly, I don’t know why I changed my mind so quickly, I think maybe it was partly the weather, and the fact that I realised how beautiful the majority of it was, and I got to see it at night.
There is so much to do and see in Venice. If the man on the gondola was correct, there is still around 120 churches to visit in Venice, and a lot of these are absolutely beautiful. We went to a few of the most famous ones, and they really are something you should go and see. The Basilica San Marco in particular, is a must-see. For an extra 5 euros you can also go onto the roof and look over the square and the grand canal, which is a fabulous view.
If churches aren’t really your thing, there is also the Campanile di San Marco, which translates to the Saint Mark’s Bell Tower. The views you get from up here really are amazing. Unfortunately for us, we went up in the middle of a heavy downpour and it was freezing. But despite this, the views were still something to rave about.
There are so many more things to do in Venice, and just walking along the Grand Canal, the views are breathtaking. Particularly looking out over Venice from some of the larger bridges (Rialto Bridge, Scalzi Bridge) is something you have to do to appreciate it’s beauty.
And you cannot miss the food. The pasta, pizza, gelato, all were amazing. And dare I say it, possibly better than some of the food I had in Rome.
We actually didn’t stay in the centre of Venice, but about half an hours train journey out, in Padua. This itself had places to visit, and its atmosphere was a lot more chilled out… plus they didn’t really seem to have many tourists. This was actually ideal, as Venice was a lot more expensive and busy, and from Padua, it was only a 50 minute train ride to Verona.
Verona is definitely somewhere I would revisit. It was beautiful absolutely everywhere. Also, if you’re a Shakespeare fan, Juliet’s balcony is in Verona, and you can go and visit it. In some ways I’d actually say I preferred Verona to Venice, there was just something about it. Plus, you could go in a Roman Amphitheatre (Arena di Veroni), which is still used for concerts, and the views from that too, are unbelievable.
I would 100% recommend Venice and Verona to anybody, but I’d definitely advise to pre-book things, as they helped us to avoid the queues, which was a massive plus.
If you’re going to Venice, you should be sooo excited, but make sure you plan what you want to do to make sure you can fit it all in! (And if you want any ideas feel free to comment below!). If you aren’t going… make sure you add it to your bucket list.