I have been in Italy for 3 weeks. I finally made it to Venice to visit a friend last weekend. Only took an hour bus ride and a 20ish minute boat ride to get there along with 40 euros for transportation for 2 days. Before visiting I was told that Venice was stinky, no one speaks English, there are floods, earthquakes and…. volcanoes? Luckily my visit went well and there were no disasters and it wasn’t that stinky. I’ve been in smellier cities.
Venice is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been in. Because it is an island and no car could ever drive through it, it is incredibly quiet and clean. The funniest thing I do have to say is that although there are no cars, at night there are people on their boats that ride through the canals with music bumping. Kind of like something you would see in a city where people ride up and down on a long strip of road on a Saturday night, except less crowded.
Just before arriving to the city, I learned that Venice was built on wooden stakes that are driven through the ground. On top of the stakes, they built several platforms to hold up any kind of building they were to construct on top of them. Pretty amazing.
So I ended up staying at a friends place which used to be an old palace that is now divided into apartments and near an old convent. She and her roommates were convinced it was haunted, so we left out food offerings to these ghosts and went to bed. While I was NOT bothered in my “Harry Potter closet” by any spirits, the others were, as they decided to eat off the offering plate which then caused the doors and windows to open and close on their own.
Anywho, my stay in Venice was a success. We went and saw Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, had wine and sandwiches on the canal, shopped around, ate hand made pasta, had some delicious gelato, fed some birds, bathed in so much holy water in so many churches, saw a saints old foot, lit some candles and ended my last day going to the famous St Mark’s Basilica for a mass and a Eucharistic procession for Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Our Lord. I am not religious at all, but it is an interesting experience to sit through long ceremonies spoken only in Italian, with incense being thrown around and large books and golden scepters. I ate some Christ and marched around with the procession and some nuns.
Ending note: EVERYTHING IN EUROPE IS GOLD! Especially if it holds religious value.