Italy – Part Two – Venice

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”I’m in Venice right now, sitting by the water in the sun, And oh Lord, could there be a more magical sight? This is absolutely one of the best places I’ve been to in my life.” , Reads my journal, dated 3rd March 2015.

Our train journey from Rome to Venice was quite an adventure in itself. Apparently, the train fares for Rome to Venice are quite expensive, given that Rome is in the South and Venice in the North. But to save as much as we could, we decided to take the early morning train which had a change in between, and hence costed us less. But not knowing Italian and hence not being able to read the ticket properly, we ended up boarding the wrong train , which was to Venice, but apparently  was a costlier one. So we had to pay a fine which costed us more than what we were trying to save. So with sad and irritated faces, we reached Venice that noon. But as we started walking into the city, the unfortunate event was forgotten and Venice got to us!

We started by figuring out the way to the hostel. I’d always prefer walking to the place so we could make the most of the city on foot and also try to memorize the way on foot, which isn’t such a bad thing to do!

The hostel was pretty cool. Its called the Venice Fish. When I had booked it, I kept wondering why it was called that. But it was only when I checked in and saw the map of Venice on the wall there, I figured out that Venice was infact in the shape of a fish!
This hostel was an abandoned palace turned into a living space. The guy who worked there was an Italian-American and quite a great person to talk to. He showed us around and then we went on our way around Venice, just walking into random streets and admiring the beauty of it

The entrance to the hostel.

The entrance to the hostel.

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There are so many narrow streets with a very different kind of aura to it. Venice was love at first sight for me. It was nothing like any other city I had been to in Europe. But I was having a hard time figuring out what that difference was. And to figure out how, I had to explore it. Every street, every corner. We walked and walked. Sometimes ending up in a church, sometimes in a small garden, sometimes by a lonely corner on one of the million streets, sometimes in a bakery, sometimes on a bridge and more often than not in shops that sold masquerades. Yes, Venice is filled with shops like these. From masks that cost 500 euros to the cheapest ones that cost two euros. And ball gowns and handmade dolls which are again dressed up for masquerade balls.

A Masquerade store.

A Masquerade store.

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A Gondola. Photograph by Melissa.

A Gondola.
Photograph by Melissa.

Every street seems like it’ll lead you to something you’d have never seen before. As if you’ll just turn around and you’ll end up in a different century. You sit by the corner of a street, and you’ll see a boat coming around. A man steps out of it, parks the boat and unlocks the door to his house. A building with a parking lot for boats next to it. Every ten steps you take, and voila, there’s a pretty little bridge.

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Me and Priyanka on a random little bridge.

Me and Priyanka on a random little bridge.

As you keep walking around Venice, you’ll wonder if you’ve seen this part of the city before. Its all kind of similar, and yet so distinct. Every bridge, every street. I couldn’t seem to get enough of it, and we were losing track of time. But soon the sun was about to set, and we had to rush back to the hostel for dinner. These guys there, they arrange for a meal for everyone at a very affordable price. Lots of pasta, lasagna, and Italian wine fresh from the vineyard. As much as you’d want! Ofcourse, I wouldn’t miss that for anything!
After a lovely dinner, the guy at the hostel invited all of us to a pub , and that was one of the craziest pubs ever! There was a live band performing and the place was so full . It seemed like all of Venice had come to that pub that night! It was absolutely out of this world. The feel of the place, the energy, and how it was packed like crazy! And everyone dancing like no tomorrow! You absolutely couldn’t help but dance. The music was that incredible! Even Melissa, my housemate, who doesn’t like dancing at all, was dancing to it! And I, ofcourse, who loves dancing, couldn’t help but reach the heights of madness 😀

After we were tired enough, we headed to another bar, this one exactly the opposite. Less crowded and peaceful. Right by the river, next to a bridge, the night getting colder, and a group of strangers with drinks in their hands, chose to stand outside under the pretty clouded sky, and talk about their countries and lives. Random introductions were made, email ids shared, and cheers! I couldn’t believe I was in Venice, living that moment. It had always been hyped as a ‘honeymoon’ destination back home. But I felt like this was the way to live it. With a group of strangers. Young, wild and free. People who were meant to cross paths in life, in this magical city, on a cold night. Life was definitely at its best then, on that particular night.

The next day we started early, even though we had a late night. We had to make the most of the time we had, now that we were spending approximately not more than two days in each city, unlike Rome. So we started off by visiting Place Saint Marco, which is one of the most beautiful squares in the world. And luckily, it was a very sunny day , unlike the previous one. So we could make the most of it .
I chose to skip away again and spend alone time by the river, writing as usual.

Quoting from my journal :

Venice, 3rd March 2015

”I’m in Venice right now, sitting by the water in the sun, And oh Lord, could there be a more magical sight? This is absolutely one of the best places I’ve been to in my life.
The water looks beautiful. The colour is a mix of green and blue, and the sun is sparkling in it. Its as if the stars have down in the day time. And there are so many birds here, and funnily enough, they are not scared at all! They come flying right in your face. Haha!
Well, its just so beautiful out here by the river!”

By the coast , when I was writing.

By the coast , when I was writing.

Me and a girl I met at the Hostel.

Me and a girl I met at the Hostel.

A cafe in Venice.

A cafe in Venice.

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And again, we walked by the sunny coast, into the pretty streets and shopped for souvenirs. Lost on the way sometimes, but reached back the hostel well in time for dinner.
There were less people in the hostel that night, but it was still memorable. Some of the guys were playing the guitar in the tiny balcony, and we joined in to sing. Did I mention – The hostel balcony looked up a tiny stream and the bridge to the hostel was so pretty that it was kind of tourist attraction in itself. and to top it all, a bunch of crazy young people singing out there, we did become a tourist attraction too, for people stood down there listening to us and clicking photos! And in that moment, as I realized I’d be leaving for Verona tomorrow, it struck me why I was so in love with Venice.

Photograph by Melissa.

Photograph by Melissa.

I had fallen in love with Venice because it seemed so untouched by the 21st century. In every other city, you’d find cars and trucks and bikes blocking your way wherever you’d go. But here, there’s a minimum amount of technology on the streets. You’ll find boats for travelling. You walk in the streets, and you ‘d only come across birds and people. You enter a masquerade store, and you’d feel like you’ve come shopping in a Shakespeare’s play. You sit by the streams, and poetry would come to you, for your mind would be at peace.
When the sun sets, the streets are quiet , and yet the people are making merry in their own little corners. As if in another century, untouched by the hustle bustle of the new age life, making music in a balcony, and singing Riptide.

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PS. All photos taken by me, unless stated otherwise.

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