Even though we got stuck waiting for a new bus for over an hour, we had some quality time with our tour guide Fracesco, AKA Frank. He turned out to be a pretty cool guy with a great taste in music, bouncing back and forth between opera and ABBA. A perfect reason why it’s important to try and find the upside of every situation…
I hate writing about day trips because they are always such a blur. This trip to Venice is even worse than other occasions.
After looking up the price of train tickets, my roommates and I decided it would be cheaper to go to Venice with Florence for Fun rather than on our own. Having gone on so many trips with them this semester that have all been great, I’m really sad to say I’m a little disappointed with this trip.
There was a new tour leader for this trip; an older gentleman who it was obvious was a teacher. I love FFF trips because they give us a lot of freedom to do our own thing on trips, but this trip I felt like I was babysat, forced to be a part of one of those giant annoying walking tour groups that I despise. Even though the leader knew a lot about Venice and it’s history, I didn’t enjoy feeling like I was on a school field trip, with very little time to venture from the group at all.
On top of that, Venice is a lot like any other Italian city – it caters to tourists. It was completely congested with people in its narrow streets that were full of bad restaurants and cheap souvenirs. That aspect of this country is driving me crazy at this point, which is part of the reason I enjoyed cities like London and Barcelona so much.
I feel like this could turn into a rant, since I’m writing this from our broken-down bus right now. So I’ll just give you some tips:
- Venice is meant to be seen from the water, so definitely take a gondola ride. It’s expensive, but avoiding the Grand Canal will drop the price significantly. It ended up being 15€ each for us.
- Have some seafood and tiramisu, which was invented in Venice.
- Take some time to learn about the history of the island before you go. Venice is very different from the rest of Italy with its Eastern influences.
- Home of Moran glassware, pick up some earrings or rings as a souvenir. I saw some as cheap as 5€.
- Avoid eating near the Grand Canal or Piazza San Marco, because you will get scammed.
- Wear close-toed shoes incase it floods! Our tour guide said it floods almost every week between October and March.