All roads may lead to Rome, but take a shortcut through Venice!

If you happen to be in Italy like I was last week, do visit Venice!

I was once “warned” by an Italian that:

They love tourists. They love female tourists. They really love foreign female blond blue-eyed tourists…

I avoided Venice for a long time thinking that it is a real tourist trap, thus, it has never been on my travel list on purpose. But you know the saying “people make plans and the God laughs”?

Venice

Air France was persistent in sending various promotional deals on a regular basis, and finally, one cold January, I was on a plane to spend no more and no less, but 23 hours in Venice.

My neighbour happened to be a proud (and talkative) New Yorker, crazy about Venice, its medieval history, and opera, followed by a genuine interest in Italian food and culture in general. We started talking and this guy was telling me how he discovered Venice while living in the middle of Manhattan, how he found out that New York and Venice had exactly the same number of islands (that is, 118), and how he decided to study opera in Venice.

I do admire people, who know what they want and do something for it, so I was getting really interested in the story. By the time the plane was about to hit the ground, I was in love with Venice (yes, without even seeing it!). Equipped with a list of places I must see and food I must try (you have to trust the expert, no?), I was more than ready to give it a try.

Piazza San Marco

Maybe his enthusiasm was contagious, but contrary to anything I have imagined before, I did love every single minute in Venice, returned several times afterwards and would do that anytime again.

View from Ponte dell’Accademia

There are many things to see, though make sure you are outside for the blue hour. Blue hour is a term more often used by photographers and artists and refers to a period of twilight after the sun goes below the horizon, and the residual indirect light takes on a blue hue. The best place to be is Riva degli Schiavoni, a waterfront promenade near Piazza San Marco and Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace).

Blue hour in Venice

Afterwards you may pop into Caffè Florian, the oldest working cafe in Italy and in the world, open since 1720.

Caffè Florian

While Venice is not a place I would want to live in, I am glad to leave only so that I could come back at some later point and be in love with it again 🙂

Riva degli Schiavoni (waterfront promenade) and Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace)

Give it a try!

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