So far, my new friend, the FitBit ChargeHR, has tracked 104 flights of stairs, 23.6 miles, and 52,699 steps. For roughly 48 hours, I’d say we have made a dent in the calles of Venice. It’s hard to describe the feeling I’ve gotten from walking around Venice.
Animated. Dreamy. Imaginary.
I feel as though the only way to describe the area is like a Disney feature; like everything was made to look authentic. There is no way that the buildings look like this naturally, right? But they do. They haven’t been rebuilt, or repainted. They don’t tear down out-dated buildings and put in new ones. The grime that collects beneath the windows reveals the character and the age of the buildings so it is left as is. Each square has a church that the square is then named after and they are in no way similar to the churches from home. Each one is breathtaking in its own way and overpowering by its height and detail. Trying to imagine the mind behind designing these building inside and out is overwhelming.
There is a sense of trust that comes with the city. The calles can be small and not suggested for claustrophobics, but you trust that you’re safe in the 3′-wide walk way. On my first day I found that — unlike in the US — dead-end streets are not marked. So locals would watch as I turned down a street and would then wait expectantly as I return from the calle reaching for my map. You learn quickly to follow people because they most often know where they’re going. An unspoken navigation is found in the footsteps of others.
The food, my God, the food. Croissants, lasagna, olive oil, wine, cheese, pizza. Everything. All made within the morning you buy it. The first thing I bought was a chocolate croissant which I was pleasantly surprised when it was filled with Nutella. Then Lasagna. Taylor (my new roommate and adventure buddy) both ordered a 5″x5″ serving and a liter of wine to share. The small restaurant was very pleased when we accidentally tipped WAY too much and then later realized that they include the tip in Venice. Our waiter kissed our cheeks and shook our hands as he walked us out of the restaurant. Oops.
Slowly learning how this place works.
Sadly, the gondolas are a rip off. They put the most handsome men on the shiniest, smallest, slowest boats and row people around the city. Of course I want to sit on your upholstered sofa boat while you wear that tight striped shirt and sun hat but, Sir, I am not giving you €100 to do so. But a girl can dream.
So today we woke up around 8:30 and walked to what I thought was a cathedral but it is simply a Baroque landmark that was built in thanks for the lifting of the plague in 1630. It was right on the tip of one of the venetian neighborhoods and looked out over the main canal. Then we walked to a grocery store led by Ed, our tour guide, professor, and source of comedy for the trip. He showed us some of his favorite stops in the area and then abandoned us to find our way home.
(Don’t be scared mom, walking in Venice at 11am isn’t a dangerous thing.) It is probably safer than the later hours due to the lack of pestering Bangladeshis selling selfie sticks and silly LED toys, and the flood of tourists wandering around with said selfie sticks not watching their surroundings. Good times.
PLEASE! Feel free to posts any questions or certain things you would like to know about below! I’ll get to them when I can! Caio!