Falling in Love with Venice

Venice is one of the most romantic cities in Europe. My initial plan was to skip this lovely city because I want to explore it with a lover. I decided to go anyway and opted to skip the gondola ride. I’d rather reserve it with the hopes that someday, I’ll be riding it together with the one I love.

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Gondola

In a city full of bridges and canals, there’s no doubt that travellers can get lost in this big, crazy maze. Luckily, I have my couchsurfing host who knows Venice by heart and showed me beautiful places. We walked bridge after bridge, passed by small streets and ended up in quiet locations – away from the crowd.

 

We went to San Marco Square, the famous landmark in Venice where people and pigeons dominate the place.

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St. Mark’s Basilica
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Venice, where lions fly and birds walk
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Doge Palace
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Torre dell’Orlogio
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Piazza San Marco

It’s a shame I wasn’t able to enter the Basilica and Doge Palace.  I traded the queue time there to see other places like unknown streets and giardini or gardens where I saw the sunset.

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sunset at Giardini

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After watching the beautiful sunset, we went back to San Marco and watched the orchestra play

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The next day, I accompanied my host to return some stuffs to his friend who lives near his place. We were introduced to each other and became instant buddies after we learned that we have the same sport which is dragonboat rowing. He mentioned that he will watch a regatta at the grand canal to cheer for his friends so I asked if I can join him and he agreed. Then we went to his school, Ca’ Foscari University, formerly a gothic palace; where we watched his teammates receive a silver trophy.

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Ca’ Foscari University

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After the awarding ceremony, there was free lunch and dessert at the university which my new friend and I gladly participated. Energized after the sumptuous feast, the school officials allowed some relatives and friends of the students to try dragonboat rowing. As a rower, I couldn’t let this opportunity pass so I signed up and gracefully rowed at the grand canal.

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I lost track of time and hurriedly went to Murano island to see how glasses are made. Murano is known for its famous glass blowers. Luckily, I was able to catch the last demo at 16:00 at Guarnieri Glass Factory. For €3, I was entertained by how a simple glass turn into a beautiful masterpiece.

When everyone left, I approached the glass blower and commended him for a nice job then we had a small talk about his life in Venice. Then he suggested some places to visit and informed me that I should go to Burano island tomorrow morning since most of the shops will be closed by 17:30. After our quick chat, I decided to walk around Murano and stumbled upon a blue comet.

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After a wonderful day, I went back to San Marco to meet my host. We went to the grocery and bought some stuffs to cook for dinner.

After eating the delicious pasta, we went to Chet bar to meet his friends. It was a fun night!

 

On my last day in Venice, my host took me to the Science Institute of Venice to see Joseph Klibansky’s “Beautiful Tomorrow” exhibit.

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Then we walked back to San Polo and saw this interesting street art.

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Venice is famous for their carnival, where people dress up and wear masks. We decided to explore and went to a shop to check out some masks.

Then we passed Scala del Bovolo also known as Snail’s Staircase

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We also went to the most beautiful bookshop in the world.

Venice is truly a gem. I am grateful to my host and new friends who showed me lovely places and made my trip fun and exciting.

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