Welcome to Venice! Yes, we (Kate, Joanna, Nicole, and myself) survived our first weekend trip in Italy!
So my friend Kate (the one who took the pictures before) has done it again! Despite the fact that there literally was not a single moment in Venice when it did not rain, she was able to take some breathtaking photos! Although I am not sure when she took this, I can tell you that this was the main street/canal we had to take to get to our hostel, not a bad walk, huh?
We landed in Venice around 11am on Friday morning, dropped our bags at our hostel, and proceeded to explore the intricate city!
I would have to say Venice was one of the hardest places yet to navigate. It is a lot harder to find distinctions between canals and tied up gondolas than it is with roads and parked cars. We were able to get ourselves to the Piazza San Marco, which is home to St. Mark’s Basilica.
With the Carnival of Venice only a few weeks away, walls of stores were already flooded with colorful (and expensive) masks. Anything you could imagine was on a mask… feathers, beads, lace, rhinestones… literally anything and everything.
As part of our weekend in Venice, we ventured out to Verona for a day trip as well. What was nice about the size of Verona is that you could see everything in one day, and it didn’t matter if you got lost because there was something new on every corner.
One of the first destinations we stumbled upon was Juliet’s Balcony. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s not “actually” her balcony, but for all my fellow Shakespeare nerds out there, IT WAS AWESOME! While you are not allowed to stick your letters to Juliet on the wall with bubble gum anymore, people have resorted to something much cooler.
Just like the Lovelock Bridge in Paris, lovers flock from all over the world to add a lock to one of the gaits in the courtyard of Juliet’s balcony.
Kate was smart enough to actually take a picture of the balcony. (Thanks Kate!) Me? I spent €4.50 to go run around inside the house and was so caught up I completely forgot to take my camera out.
Who knows if I will ever make it back to Verona, Italy, but if I ever do you can bet I will be searching high and low under that bridge to Juliet’s balcony for our names from February 1, 2014!
Before I finish this post I wanted to leave future travelers with some tips I learned from my first weekend trip:
- Give yourself enough time in each city to really experience it, do not rush. Cherish each moment… even those moments when you are stuck in the raining wondering if you will every dry out again.
- Get lost (with friends!) Seriously though, it’s the best way to find those hidden treasures and create such amazing memories that will stick with you forever.
- Keep all of your admission, train, and metro tickets. You will want them later, trust me! Especially for those small museums, shops, or towns that are visited. Without them you may forget the names, but never the experiences.