Venice was something completely different for me. Never had I been in a city that uses the boat as their main source of transportation and where no cars exist. Roads were replaced with pretty blue canals and maps, both electronic and paper were completely useless. But that’s the charm, it’s quite fun getting lost in Venice.
I feel like we really got a feel for Venice, we were here long enough and got to explore every little nook and cranny. From the Grand Canal to small neighbourhoods tucked away.
Teatro La Fenice
One thing we were lucky enough to see was the Teatro La Fenice, the Opera House.
Teatro La Fenice: considered to be one of the most important Opera houses in Europe along with Vienna. While we visited the Opera House, we picked up an audio and away we went. It being off season however left a little treat for us. We were able to watch rehearsals. I have never been to the Opera before and i couldn’t believe the power of their voices and the acoustics of the theatre.
The lights were turned off the whole time, and no pictures were allowed. However when they were taking a break, for a brief moment they turned the lights on and you got to the majestic theatre and all the details.
Piazza San Marco
Another great area was Piazza San Marco with the beautiful St. Mark’s Basilica dominating the square. The area around it also offered great views since it was on the edge of Venice, Also around the corner, you can see the Bridge of Sighs.
When we were in Venice, we had crazy weather, one day Venice flooded. Not like the massive floods you’ll see in December and November, but enough that some of the streets were flooded an inch or two. In precaution of this, they had little “cat walks” to get people to where they needed to go. By the end of the day, the water was gone.
And on the very same day it flooded on us, it also snowed on us. Big massive snow flakes falling from the sky and actually sticking to the ground. I never imagined snow in Venice and here it was.
We were in Venice for quite a long time (4 nights / 5 days) compared to the usual time spent here (2 nights / 3 days). Before our trip, I was so fascinated with Venice, something totally unique, and walking around was just like a dream. Until your stomach started to rumble and you wanted to find a nice place to eat. This is where it all went downhill.
Venice is not a good mixture of tourism and everyday life. Everyone we saw was a tourist. Which in turn meant finding a nice, authentic place to eat without breaking the bank was impossible. not to mention, every time we thought we found a diamond in the rough (via TripAdvisor) the place would be closed. We found this to be true with everything, so many places closed down between NYE and the Venice carnival. But then there was something my boyfriend mentioned to me that brought the light to day, if these places were closed during off season, they were only meant for the tourists, and probably not some place you’d wanna go. So for me, Venice was like Disney World, because it was off season we were lucky with the small crowds but it was completely meant to be visited, just for tourists with a false sense of Italian cuisine.
On our last day however, we managed to get away from the main circuit and find some small wine bars.
The wine bars offered a great selection of wine however the food and space was limited. They had meat and cheese boards and thats about it, and only a table or two for sitting. However, the quality of food and wine provided was what we expected from Italian cuisine and we had a lovely day sipping wine and tasting cheese.