A continuation of… Part 1:Milan!
It may have just been the sleep deprivation, but Venice seemed magical and ethereal from the start. The lack of cars and bikes, paired with hundreds of bridges, alleyways, and canals had a breathtaking effect. We bought water bus passes and hopped on to one of the slow-moving, floating transports, hostel-bound. The hostel owner was incredibly friendly and helpful and he kept insisting that Venice was “very safety!” Michael and I set out to explore the city. We were rather amused to see a guy subtly taking a picture à la Peter – teehee – then boarded a water bus to the island of Murano. As the island is famous for its glass-blowing, we got to see a giraffe artfully crafted out of a hot blob of glass. The sheer variety of colors and objects in the stores was mesmerizing. Michael and I boarded yet another water bus, this time to the island of Burano, whose legendary lace stood in crisp contrast to the myriad of bright houses that lined the streets. No two neighboring houses were the same color and their reflected counterparts in the water danced lazily in the sun. Though it was slightly chilly, we sat outside at a small restaurant called Bar Sport. I had some spaghetti alle seppie nero – black cuttlefish spaghetti – served tastefully on a black plate. I bought a somewhat pricy lace scarf and we headed back to Murano for some gelato. Venice as a whole is pricier than other cities I’ve been, probably because of their reliance on importation from the mainland. Heading back to the main islands, we stopped at a “supermarket” and went back to the hostel for a bit. The internet was slow, but Michael and I managed to register for classes (oh yeah, school…). Upon the hostel owner’s suggestion, we went to the nearby Rosso Pomodoro Pizzeria. Hot damn. Dinner was expensive, but incredibly delicious. I had an Amalfi lemonade, pizza with ricotta, sausage, & basil, and Nutella tiramisu for dessert. Fat and happy, we walked to the Rialto bridge for some night photography before returning to the hostel.
The next morning, we headed to Rialto bridge and the surrounding produce markets, which had a variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, and fish. We wandered for a bit and got some hazelnut and chocolate gelato for breakfast, like the classy broads we are. Upon more wandering, we chanced upon a shop that was all Beatles-themed; Maddie would have been so happy. I bought some creepy doll postcards. Naturally. Following a path suggested by our hostel owner, we walked around the main islands, seeing things like the Academy, the oldest wooden bridge in the city. We traversed the Grand Canal in a traghetto – a cheaper version of a gondola – suitable for us poor college students. After wolfing down some pizza, “American style” (with our hands instead of a fork and knife) at a random restaurant, we made our way to San Marco Square. Both the Basilica and Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) were massive and beautifully ornate. The Palace had a variety of Tintoretto paintings in larger-than-life scales. The visit was rife with information about Venetian history and took us past the Ponte die Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs), armory, and prisons. Fueling our addiction, we grabbed limone gelato and then some pasta sauce for dinner later. We were exhausted and felt like old people, so just made some Lion of Saint Mark (winged lion)-shaped pasta for dinner and went to bed. #generalife
Being the badasses (and broke college students) we are, Michael and I illegally took a water bus to the train station. We tried to collect our tickets for the Trieste-Vienna leg of our journey, but the machine froze and spat out some sort of an error. (This is relevant information. Remember it.) Low on time, we ran to the train and headed to Trieste, where we were to meet our third compadre.