Bolzano has been treating me well. A little bit of work here, a little bit of tasty food there, a little bit of outdoor swimming, a little bit of park reading, a little bit of running and walking, a little bit of pub quizzing, and a lot more of espresso. Oh, and also one day in Venice!
Yesterday the summerschool organised a day trip to Venice. Or more specifically: they organised the transport to Venice. That meant three and a half hours on the bus, and another half hour on the boat. For about six hours there. I was a bit annoyed at myself for booking the trip, as I figured it wouldn’t be worth the long travel time. But boy was I wrong.
See, this is what people told me about Venice this time of year:
Too hot. It was hot indeed, but who the hell cares when it’s that stunning!
The canals smell. I didn’t smell anything out of place. Liars.
Italians go on holiday in August so everything is closed. Really? We didn’t have any trouble finding fun places to have a bite to eat. Like seriously, there is one, no even five, on every corner!
Too expensive. We were advised not to grab food or drinks next to the main attractions. Which we didn’t. Breakfast for 5 euros: a delicious piece of foccaccia with mortadella and brie and an espresso. Lunch for 13 euros: carpaccio with salad, ice tea, and an espresso (and airconditioning!). Gelato for 2,5 euros: two scoops of the most delicious ice cream I have ever tasted! Seriously! You might not believe me, but holy cow that was good stuff! Expensive my ass.
Too many tourists. Fair enough, some places were super busy. I wouldn’t have wanted to queue up to go in the Palazzo Ducale on the San Marco square, and getting a photo spot on the Rialto bridge was a bit of a challenge, but Venice has so much more than the main tourist attractions! So many of the streets and squares we ended up on had no one there except for us, and at some points it even got scarily quiet.
So my conclusion: people are so wrong! Venice was absolutely A-MA-ZING! The architecture on the San Marco square was like nothing I had ever seen before, and it was big 😮 So very big! And who the hell cares about a mass of tourists when everyone is just there in collective amazement? Fair enough, there may be better seasons to go to Venice, but as day trips go, this was by far one of the best day trips I have ever done.
The water in the canals has this odd light greenish colour that kept surprising me. The view on every tiny little bridge was adorable. The houses are so colourful and the green shutters finish the picture perfectly. Venice has a-thousand-and-one sights to see, and we only checked maybe two off the list, but Venice is also a great city to get lost in. Left right left right left right… You can keep going and keep loving the sights. Alleys and little canals, wide shopping streets and the grand canal. A bustling city and quiet tucked away squares. Souvenirs and gelato. As diverse as the city might be, not a thing feels out of place.
For me, Venice has been added to the list of cities to go back to. I would absolutely love to learn about the history of the city, and just get lost day after day in this city like no others.