Friday Massimo and I drove 1.5 hours south from his village to Venice. 15 million people visit Venice each year and for good reason – it’s simply stunning. After a day wandering around my big take-away is that everybody should spend a day in Venice, but not a day longer.
We started at the Piaza San Marco, where we walked the street section of Venice, saw the Rialto bridge, and basked in the gorgeous architecture of the main square. Packed – packed! – with tourists from all over the world. I don’t think I saw a single Italian person who lived in Venice. We bumped into some Russian girls who “needed help with directions” (Massimo thought they wanted more) and they were awed by me being from America. “So far away!” they said. Hmm…
Instead of paying big bucks to go in a gondola, we simply watched others. It was fun. We did use public transit, a big boat, to go from Piazza San Marco to Plaso “Murano,” about a 20 minute boat ride away in Venice.
In Murano there’s the famous glass making factory. We caught the tail end of a demonstration. Wow! A guy used a 1000+ degree oven and put a huge ball of firey goo on the end of his stick and used another device to stretch it in different directions. In two minutes a fully recognizable glass horse was produced.
Food, hotels, water taxis, and just about everything else is super expensive. This and the crowds is why a day in Venice is about all a reasonably frugal and reasonably energized person can take. But it’s definitely worth a day-trip. Perhaps the most picturesque place I’ve been to.