So this concludes my series of posts on Venice! Come explore more of this beautiful little city with me:
Our guide showed us a “hidden” gem in the city, Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo – a small palace that was one of the homes of the Contarini family. Well, wouldn’t I like a “small palace” some day…
Just came out of a Murano Glass Blowing Demonstration…
And ready to go on a Gondola Ride, woohoo!
On the way to finding lunch:
But I wasn’t used to Venetian pizza being so thin. Sorry, Chicago deep-dish beats this!
Oh, and of course I had to follow up with gelato.
Signs of glass handiwork were everywhere! And they should be shown off, as the craftsmen are very talented. If you’re curious, read more about this process in Murano Glass Blowing Demonstration in Venice.
After lunch, I stopped by Rialto Market, but most of the stalls were closed in the afternoon. Eh, I bought some remaining cherries anyway and ate them sitting by the Grand Canal. Only to see this excited dog jump to the front of the boat:
Everywhere I went, there was a bridge. I really underestimated the number of them in this city!
I wandered into a very cool bookstore, Libreria Acqua Alta di Frizzo Luigi, next.
Could you tell that these books were all piled inside an old gondola?
And the coolest part was the staircase made of books behind the shop where visitors could catch a “wonderful view:”
A bit more of a walk and I stood in front of Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, one of the largest churches in the city.
Now, I actually don’t remember much of what it looked like inside, but I do remember wandering (accidentally) into a hospital! That’s right, the basilica is adjacent to Ospedale SS. Giovanni e Paolo. So, the signs displaying vaguely-looking medical words made sense after all this dawned on me.
Soon, it was time for me to head back. But along the way, I stopped and took a few more photos…
And one more fun fact worth mentioning: Venice is home to one of the biggest Carnival celebrations in the world! Only second to Rio (I think)! I had no idea!
I think Venice has been so over-romanticized that I had unreal expectations going into city. No one tells you how many tourists crowd the streets, about the dirty canal water, and how small the city actually is. The population has dwindled down to some 56,000 locals, and I can’t blame them. Venice is a tourist’s paradise but actually felt like a small midwest town to me, where everyone knows everyone’s secrets and only a handful of job opportunities are left. Our guide told us that many of the friends she grew up with moved out to seek more opportunities because tourism is the main industry in the city. I truly appreciated my time in Venice, but I felt that it was so overrun by tourists that I missed out on a chance to truly experience its local culture.
What do you think about Venice? Are you gonna visit it before it sinks?! I say go – before it turns into a museum city.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. Read some more: A City on Water: the Canals of Venice