Welcome back to part two of the 12-day backpacking trip. Discover Venice with us. Our experience was, at times, wonderful and awful. Altogether, I loved the city, but left with mixed feelings about the experience. Find out why.
We arrived in Venice at about 4 and promptly got lost. I didn’t mind. I loved the narrow, winding paths of stone and the little bridges over the channels that served as roads.
We finally found our way to the hostel and checked in. We got a recommendation for a little restaurant around the corner and I had my first taste of Italian pasta. I got some kind of hand made tagliatelle and cream sauce. Delicious.
It was dark by the time dinner ended, but there was light on every street. So we got gelato and wandered toward the Rialto Bridge. Every pretty bridge we crossed, I asked Alan, “Is this the Rialto?” Alan would chuckle and shake his head, to which I would respond, “I have no idea what I’m looking for. You could tell me any of these bridges was the Rialto and I would believe you.” More laughing from my husband. When we finally got there, I found he was right. It was unlike any other bridge we’d crossed. The architecture was incredible. Like everything else in Venice, it was majestic with a quiet beauty.
As we sat on steps looking out at the Rialto, we heard a huge splash. Alan thought it sounded like a person. It wasn’t. It was someone’s luggage.
On our way back, we came across dozens of dancing couples in an open square. Though we had no idea what we were doing, we danced to the tango in the Italian moonlight.
I woke at 4 a.m. to Alan pulling a bed bug off of me. It began the next four hours of us freaking out in the “lobby,” pulling bugs off our luggage, and waiting for a worker to return. Not happy times. We were exhausted and disgusted and no one showed up until 8 a.m. We booked a hotel and got the heck out of there. We still haven’t gotten our money back.
We took some deep breathes and were able to put our troubles behind us to tour the city that day.
After checking out a nearby church, we went to Libraria Acquilla Atta. It is, quite possibly, the world’s oddest bookstore. Every year, it gets flooded. So they get… creative as to how to protect the books.
It was really cool, but I also found it fairly stressful. I am pretty OCD about my books. I keep them in pristine condition, organize first by audience then in alphabetically in order of author’s last name. You’d never be able to find anything in that store!
And they do this to the poor books:
And then we got distracted by the shops for a while. I found an incredible red leather jacket and matching gloves.
Then we made our way to San Marcos. Wow. It was a huge, gorgeous square with the Basilica de San Marcos and the Palazzo Due…?
Beauty and bedbugs. Those two words easily sum up our time in Venice. I’ve decided to focus on the beauty, because every little side street was calm and stunning. Come back next week to discover Sienna!
Have you had to battle bedbugs before? What worked for you? Have you been to Venice, what was your experience like? If you could pick one European town to live in, what would you choose?
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