An UNESCO hertage listed old European city turned into a fancy outdoor shopping centre.
This morning was spent sliding through the Italian countryside at 240km/h, passing crops, vineyards with their straight rows of grapes, and hay bales standing in the open paddocks.
It was nice to just sit, listen to an audio book, and gaze out the window (albeit dirty) for awhile, not fighting the crowds or racing to be somewhere.
Navigating through a new city on a deadline can be a bit frazzling but we booked accommodation close (300 meters) to the train station and within 25 minutes of the train pulling into Venice station we were checked into our room at Locanda Ca’ Lucrezia. Our room is nice, within our budget, and close to the Grand Canal (ie the main drag).
I mentioned deadline – Deb had booked a walking and gondala tour at 3pm … but given we were checked in at 12:45 we had heaps of time! Get the water bus the guy at the front desk said, they come every 10 minutes he said. Heaps of time so we had a cuppa in our room then set off. What he didn’t say was everyone who is currently on Venice was also wanting to catch the bus … Yes they come every 10 mins, but it took at least 5 before we could get on one. In the end we made it with 5 minutes to spare.
This walking tour like most, give you a bit of an over view and history of the place which is always interesting. It was different not having to contend with traffic after the constant din of traffic and sirens of Rome. Walking around Venice is to the soundtrack of pedestrian traffic and the occasional motorboat burbling passed.
A couple of photos from our tour –
It’s interesting to note that the newest building in Venice is a bank built in the 1970s – after this the whole city was heritage listed and no new building can be built and there are strict guidelines of what you can and can’t do with existing buildings.
And what trip to Venice is complete without a gondola ride.
So to my initial impressions – there are shops everywhere, from places selling traditional Venetian wares and trinkets to high-end clothing and accessory shops. It is very apparent that the main industry of Venice is tourism.
I’m hoping that tomorrow as we venture further afield will temper my initial impression.