Travel impressions through lovers’ eyes
Part 2: Venice (The city for Lovers)
by Danette Garcia-De Brael
Venice is undoubtedly a very romantic place filled with emotions and historical treasures. It’s like a dramatic play stage coming alive before your eyes. I just agree with what novel writer Marcel Proust once said : “When I went to Venice, I discovered that my dream had become-incredibly but quite simply- my address.”
7 Practical tips when in Venice:
Fresh from the trip, here are 7 things you can consider doing to make the most of your visit to Venice:
1.) Know a little history and fast facts about the city to better appreciate its ingenious design and unique landscape. For instance, did you know that the “refuge-like” structures of Venice (the capital of Veneto) were created out of necessity? It was actually meant as an escape from violent Barbarian invasion. It was from this escape that the history of Venice was born. Many of the people living the eastern coast of today’s Veneto were forced to flee and headed for an archipelago of flat islands in a lagoon. Venice sits in this archipelago, consisting of about 118 small islands. The strings of 177 canals and sands kept the invaders from venturing in. To this day, there are 400 bridges and 170 bell towers in Venice.
2) Pace yourself when walking around – As the ONLY pedestrian city in the world, it is surely a pleasant experience just walking around Venice. Many streets are small and narrow, and many structures are at least 100 years old— walking around is like walking through time!
The absence of cars makes the journey more exciting, but you have to pace off. The scenery is just great that you don’t even notice how exhausting the day has been after walking and standing for hours and hours. The Rialtine islands, the ‘main’ part of Venice, are small enough to walk from end to end.
When my husband and I went home, I did not realize how tired my feet was until the following morning when I felt some cramps in my feet and had difficulty walking. But the good thing is that I have some massage and pepermint oils, so I could be back to walking again for the next journey.
3) Wear something comfortable – since you will be walking all day long, a good pair of sports shoes or rubber shoes is truly a must. Sunscreen protection cream is also a must if you visit during summer in Venice. Needless to say, bring a bottle of water to quench your thirst, plus a healthy apple or a “frulala” (fresh fruits dipped in yoghurt) to munch. Oh yes, reward yourself with some more gelato ice cream to beat the heat of the sun. Share it with your loved one for double-fun!
4) Don’t forget your camera… and a portable charger back-up – I love taking pictures and videos whenever we travel so we can share them to loved ones after. Even if taking pictures derails our schedule by 1/3 or half, that is just fine with me (Thanks to my husband who is very patient to wait for me even if waiting is something he does not like to do like most men :-). I must have been taking pictures and videos “a lot”, that by the time we arrived at our desired destination (St. Mark’s Square), the battery of my camera went off. Good thing, the cellphones are now equipped with camera features so we had a back-up.
5) Resist the temptation of buying souvenir items without canvassing prices
As a top touristic city, there are plenty of commercial temptations around Venice , such as small shops, fashion boutiques and all kinds of small touristic items and souvenirs. Aside from the usual keychains, magnets, bags and glass items, two of the local favorites for shopping are: boats and peculiar carnival masks. They are so enticing so resist the temptation of buying at the first interesting store you find. Compare prices. For instance, for the same item, one store near the foot of the river may sell it for “2 pieces for EUR5”, while 20 steps further, another store will sell it for only EUR1.
6) Know how to get around cheaply… and where best to go to the most of your time.
Going to Venice by train is both convenient and cheap because the train station itself (called Venezia Sta. Lucia) is located in the city. When you go out of the station, it is easy to find the “vaporetto” or public waterbus transportation. Unless buget is a concern, do take a gondola for once-in-a-lifetime tour to breathtaking sceneries. It is expensive (can go as much as EUR80-EUR100), and can take as many as 6 passengers. So if you are visiting with friends and can share the cost, why not?
To make the most of your time, a little plannng is valuable so you’d know where to go first (“must-see”) and if you have extra time, where to go secondarily. It does not need to be expensive. There are lots of “free” places to check out when in Venice. These include: Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto); Piazza San Marco (where structures showcase Venice’s former glory with breathtaking intricate mosaics); Doge’s Palace, (former political and judicial hub of Venice); and Torre dell’Orologio, (a clock tower built between 1496 and 1506). For parents like us, there is also a nearby Disney store for the children at Campo San Bartolomeo in San Marco.
7) Celebrate, give thanks and savour the moment
Finally, let lose and take a break. Be truly “present” where you are Savour each moment of the “here and now”. Let your eyes behold the beauty that is right before your very eyes. Tenderly hold (or even “sway”) the hands of your loved one.Fall-in love all over again. .. Give thanks to our Creator — our Father YAHWEH and His Son YAHSHUA the Messiah — for their Wonderful and awesome creation! HalleuYAH indeed! “For since the creation of this world His invisibilities have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, both His everlasting power and mightiness…”- Romans 1:20″