During our five night stay in Italy, we decided to stay in Florence because we could easily get to Venice, Rome and Tuscany in two hours or less. It really is in prime location for the rest of the country!
Our second full day in Florence, we decided to head up to Venice.
Unfortunately we booked our fast train tickets up to Venice a little too late and the earliest we could get there was 12:20 p.m. There is a fast train and a slow train in Italy. The fast train took about two hours and was obviously a little more expensive. But much more convenient!
Random Chelsea story to share…on the train ride, the man across from her kept winking at her. At first she thought he was with his mother and sister but then “his sister” started sleeping on him and stroking his arm. She definitely was a girlfriend not a sister. When the girl fell asleep, the guy typed a message on his iPad asking Chelsea to add him on Facebook. She explained to him she couldn’t without cell phone service. Next thing you know, he’s slipping her a note that says she’s beautiful and he would like to get to know her. All of this while his girlfriend is sleeping on his shoulder! Chelsea kept the note and didn’t look up the rest of the train ride.
Back to Venice…we didn’t do much research into what we should do there so we spent most of the day just wandering the streets and canals. And eating a lot! I can’t get enough pizza and pasta it seems.
We also of course had to take a gondola ride! We couldn’t quite figure out how to get on one. I figured there would be guys walking around trying to sell us rides but it wasn’t that way at all. It was also pouring for most of the morning and the streets and canals were pretty empty so that could have been part of it too.
When the rain finally started to stop, we headed back toward the train station area that was a little more touristy. Venice seemed to have the biggest concentration of tourists compared to Florence and Rome. I’m not sure if this is because the city is smaller or because the streets are so narrow it seems more crowded.
Venice is also interesting because the canals are the roads! There are literally no cars. Taxis are boats and everyone seems to have a little motorboat outside their home for getting around.
Back near the train station we found a gondola stand. Not sure how we missed it the first time but we found it either way! We had a gondolier named Fabio who looked about our age but said he’s been doing this for 22 years. There’s no way he started when he was two. But we never found out his age.
He let me get up and help steer a little. Even though he was slightly creepy (he told us all we should kiss on the boat), he was an A in my book for letting me steer.
After the gondola ride we wandered the streets some more before heading back to Florence at 7:25 p.m. I don’t think we needed more than a day in Venice. It was beautiful and I loved exploring all the little alleys and canals but I’m not sure there’s too much to do or see there. Especially if you’re not a big museum person, which we are not. But I can check a gondola ride in Venice off my bucket list so I’m incredibly happy we made the trip!