Day 8: Venice / Gondola / San Marco

One of the places I absolutely needed to visit on this trip was Venice; any time I’m close to a destination where I can cross something off my bucket list, it becomes necessary to do so (or at least try).

So we spent one day in Venice, and I’m not sure if I was just rushing or if there really wasn’t much to do there. We got there and walked around for a little while, shopping and looking around. And then we took a boat ride to Piazza San Marco. The boat ride was a nice way to relax, take some photos, and see Venice from its canals.

St. Mark’s Square was such a big plaza, the church was beautiful, and the architecture was pretty unique. Overall, I thought the entire city was colorful and flower-ful!

In the Piazza itself, we had lunch in the shade while listening to the live bands, fed the pigeons (great, fun photo-opp), and walked around to see the shops and stores.

After exploring the Piazza, we took a walk around the area back toward the train station where we arrived. On the way, we saw a lot of small canals where gondola rides were offered, and our logic was this: The further away from the main tourist parts of the city, the cheaper the gondola rides would be. Turns out we were definitely wrong. This is the real logic: The further away from the main tourist parts of the city, the meaner the gondoliers (gondola drivers).

Many of the gondoliers we spoke to (deeper in the canals) charged above the average rate (an angry gondolier charged us €120), which is €80 for a 40-minute ride. We decided to go to the main canal for a ride because we knew we could bargain a cheaper price. Luckily, as we were waiting on line for the ride, a man approached us and asked us if we wanted to share a 20-minute ride with him and his girlfriend so that our per-person rate would be cheaper. After we said yes, another couple joined our group and we had the maximum number of persons allowed: 6.

The ride was very rocky which made it kind of fun! I enjoyed getting to see the architecture, buildings and bridges up close from the water. It was a great experience, and I really felt like I got my money’s worth. We each paid about €14–I think they charge more than €80 for a 40-minute ride if the gondola is full. Tip: I definitely recommend going with a group, or at least for a shorter amount of time if you’re looking for a bargain.

If you or someone you know has also visited Venice, ask them what other activities they did or spots they visited–I’m super curious. When we did everything we wanted to, we even had time to kill before our train left.

Maybe it was because we were time-pressured but I really felt like there wasn’t much to that city. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful (my favorite spot for architecture and color), but it was a little quiet in some areas and it didn’t seem like there was much to do.

Definitely want your feedback/thoughts on this post!

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