Venice in 48 hours
One of the reasons we moved to London was that it enabled us to travel to nearby european cities on weekends instead of taking a massive european holiday. We have been truly inspired by the Travel Man, Richard Ayoade. Richard hosts a TV show that take him and a guest to a city travelable from London for 48 hours. He maximises some of the world’s most popular destinations in a bite size time frame by fitting as much of the city into 48 hours i.e. a weekend. We love his catch phrase – “We’re here but should we have come!” and have been pronouncing it everytime we land in a city just like he does in his show.
So this weekend, destination – Venice! This is the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region. Famous for the many canals and romantic way of getting around the city. Did you know that there are no roads in the island? We didn’t until we arrived! The bus shuttle dropped us off outside the island and we walked into the island. This also means that you will not see any cars in the city only gondolas, small motor boats and the big transport ships. Venice is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. Every canal seems to be lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces.
This city is usually filled with tourists in every nook and cranny of the little pathways, however, when we landed it was raining and very windy. I guess there’s a silver lining, definitely less crowded and the photo opportunities without a tourist was great!
Walking towards the Rialto Bridge, it was inevitable that a crowd was forming. There are small stores on the sides of the bridge selling souvenirs such as masks and costumes for the Carnivale.
These birds were just so chilled. We love that each bird are evenly spaced and very eye catching.
For dinner we decided to head to La Tecia Vegana. Make sure you arrive at least 30 minutes before closing or be ready to be turned away! They have really nice bread and the meals were very comforting in such cold weather.
Next day the sun was out! This brought on an unexpectedly large number of people. The day before, this area was almost deserted. Today we had to line up just to walk across the bridge. To our right is the Doge Palace.
Beautiful ornate gondolas carried people across the canals.
This restuarant is perched right next to the canal. I find this so fascinating because it means you are almost eye level to the water!
The Carnival of Venice 2018
The Carnival of Venice is an annual festival held in Venice, Italy. This year it was held 27th January – 13 February. We went to this website to plan our trip. The Carnival ends with the Christian celebration of Lent, forty days before Easter. So why do people dress up?
Apparently the Carnival of Venice started in the 11th century when Venice Republic defeated Patriarch of Aquileia. To honour this victory, people started to dance and gather in San Marco Square. Now, it is a way to boost tourism in Venice as the tourist board organises many events during this period ad there is an open-air display that plays loud music across the square. It’s a great excuse to dress up and parade the city. Some things we noticed:
- Children scatter paper confetti all over and it’s lovely to see them have fun
- There are serious photographers snapping pictures of the well dressed
- People young and old fully participate in the costume dressing and wear very ornate gowns
- There is no live music in the square. It is a large stereo pumping out random tunes.
- It becomes a little overwhelming after about 1 hour because of the sheer amount of people flocking to the same location and its very hard to walk around whilst you are in the thick of it.
Here are some photos for your enjoyment 🙂
Finally – “We are here but should we have come?”
Yes! I’m so glad we came. It was quite miserable the first day when it was raining and windy. We wondered why we were here! But as the weather improved the next day it was so nice to see the beautiful costumes, the alfreso dining and the warmth of the city.