One of my dream destinations was really bound to happen. I was totally mesmerized about Venice after watching The Italian Job and The Tourist. Who doesn’t want to see this place?! But before going to Venice I have read some blogs saying that you should lower your expectations. Yes, I’ve read it many times saying “I’ve been there but I didn’t like it!” They said it was a tourist trap with overbearing crowd and overpriced shops.
From the mainland, we took a water taxi going to the island. As we getting closer, I can’t hide my happiness despite the negative reviews. Perhaps if you’re dreaming to see a place for the first time, it does make you more enthusiastic.
Honestly, I wasn’t disappointed at all. When you travel, you should let go of your expectations and open up your mind.Venice is a photographer’s paradise. Every corner I turned there were something interesting going on. It was visually charming. Those canal, piazzas, gondolas and colorful painted walls were just waiting to be photographed. Of my entire trip to Europe, Venice was my favorite place for photography.
Do you know why it’s called the floating city? The foundations of the buildings are constructed on closely spaced wood piles, which have been there for ages then the building to be constructed should make up of either stones or bricks to sit on top of these footings. The wood piles penetrate the soft layer mud until they reach a harder layer of compressed clay. Sounds complicated right?!
Our first taste of Venice began with a gondola ride. Our gondolier (who was a grumpy old man) who hated me for being so hyperactive in taking photos gave us a short parade to the Grand Canal to the smaller canals. We heard few gondoliers serenaded their passengers, obviously ours did not (who was a grumpy old man) Hahaha! Good thing we had wine. Taking a gondola was definitely a tourist thing. But hey! We were first timers! And how would you respond to all your friends asking “Did you ride the gondola?” and you hadn’t . Just pony up some euros for experience!
After that interesting ride, we grabbed some gelato then we headed for a snack and that’s of course Hamburger! Just kidding! Italians will curse us if we don’t eat PIZAAAAAA!
There are three signs commonly seen in the walls: San Marco, Accademia and Rialto just follow the yellow arrow painted in the walls and you’ll not get lost told by our Tour Manager. Unfortunately, we still got lost! Hahaha! That’s maybe the magic of the city that in able to experience Venice you need to get lost. After a few minutes of meandering the maze of narrow alleys, we finally found the Rialto Bridge. The whole area was bustling with shops, gondola rentals, restaurants and of course lots of tourist. I told Roel to come back here if we have the time since I want to do some night photography. We just have to remember how to get back since it was really confusing.
We met the group for dinner. We dine in a local resto that served authentic risotto and pasta plus of course the overflowing wine. While eating we were serenaded with lively Italian music. It was the first time I saw someone playing accordion live. It was pretty cool. I remember one episode of Mad Men where Joan Harris seductively played this instrument.
We finished the dinner early, since we want to go back to the Rialto Bridge for some night photography. Luckily, we didn’t get lost this time. Shooting at night was a bit challenging especially we didn’t have a tripod. Both Roel and I have Nikon DSLR and we carried a wide angle lens. We found a stable spot at the top edge of the bridge and we just used the camera’s timer to minimize the shake. Tip: Use slow shutter speed to take a smooth night time shot.
We had too short time in Venice. It involved a lot of walking and general sightseeing but in summary, I am in love with her. She’s colorful and unique and I would be more than happy to see her again. I’m not sure what else to say about it.