I love Venice. I have visited it only twice and both times, I only stayed for a few hours, but I have extremely positive feelings about the place. Yet when I first think of Venice (like many famous Italian cities), I think of high prices, lack of natural beauty, lots of tourists, and numerous different tours. Yet I overcome all of this and think positively of this city, which for me, is quite unusual (coming from rural England, I don’t like cities in general).
A great thing, for many people, is that many holidays in Italy (notably Venice, Florence, Rome, and Milan) are available as package breaks through the likes of thomascook.com or as organised tours. These offer pleasurable experiences at good prices for many people. In this scenario, I am not many people.
Tours and package holidays are not the way I travel. I hitchhike, I cycle, I even travel by homemade raft when I get the chance and I spend tiny amounts of money compared to most people (less spending = more exploring). But Venice… I still like it. Why? Because..
I’ve Had Good Company
Each time I’ve been to Venice, I’ve been there with good people. We hitchhiked in and we hitchhiked out without problems under blue skies while the sun was in the sky.
It’s So Pretty
The architecture is quite wonderful. The town is everything I ever hoped for in terms of curios little streets, post boxes that look like faces, and nothing too shiny or modern.
Getting Lost is the Best Way
By walking away from the tourist streets, I found myself on residential streets and in quiet parts of Venice that most people never experience. This is the best way to see Venice and for me, the most famous areas (and most full of people), were the least enjoyable parts of the city.
Never in the world have I been in such a populated place without having to deal with the roar of cars and transport. Everything is pedestrianised and this makes for a wonderfully calming experience of a city that I haven’t really felt elsewhere.
It’s that simple. No more, no less. I like Venice and one day I will go back, walk the quiet streets, and be thankful that there are still cities in the world which I enjoy. For the meantime, I’ll do my best to keep to the forests and the beaches.