Episode #2: Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Intro

As I was preparing for this podcast, I had this flood of memories.  Or, Acqua Alta of memories I guess you could say. I have never fallen in love with a city quite like I have with Venice.  It is one of those places that I never want to leave, and I have to believe I’ll come back. Perhaps it is the idea that it is sinking (whether by water or tourism), that makes it seem so precious.  We appreciate life because it has a deadline, maybe I feel the same way about Venice. I’m not the only one that has experienced that magic. If you look online for quotations about Venice you will find a plethora of people who were inspired by the city.  One of my favorites was said by poet Arthur Symons: “A realist, in Venice, would become a romantic by mere faithfulness to what he saw before him.” So, how can you make sure you experience this Venice?

Let’s start with some basics.  Venice suffers from hordes and hordes of tourists being dropped off each day.  ABout 55,000 a day to be more specific. I recommend you try to steer clear of them the best you can.  I try to achieve this by avoiding the most popular spots during peak hours. I also prefer going in the spring versus the summer.  You are probably thinking, Melissa, you are a tourist too. I don’t quite see it like that. These people that I’m referring to show no respect for the place or people around them.  They are the kind of people that are there to say they’ve been there. They bring a picnic to the city, and they don’t visit any museums. We want to try to experience the people of Venice, not so much of its visitors.

The last thing you probably need to know before we take off is how the city is set up.  Venice is made up of many islands. That means no cars. That means a lot of walking and steps to cross bridges.  The city is organized into six neighborhoods called sestieri. They are Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, San Marco, San Polo, and Santa Croce.  I’ve never really been successful following a map in Venice since the calle (streets) are very winding and not very north/south, east/west. I will give you some tips to help you get around in the list.

And, without further ado, I bring you the list.  The Venice list is comprised of 17 items to help you make the best of your time in the city shaped like a fish (that’s Venice).

List

  1. Ride the vaporetto.

    1. This is my favorite way to get acquainted with the city.  The vaporetto is basically the public transportation of Venice.  Once you get settled into the place you are staying, and you freshen up, visit the biglietteria by the Rialto bridge to take a boat trip down the Grand Canal.  Make sure you watch your step getting on, otherwise you may have an unexpected bath. Usually this is the first moment I realize I’m actually in Venice. I’m on the water, feeling the breeze, and seeing the unique architecture.  If you get a chance to ride at night, take a look into the lit up windows of the Palazzos and be amazed by the elegance. And don’t forget to look up at the moon if you can see it. Venice under moonlight surpasses all of the cliche expectations.  On a side note, I’d like to say your stay in Venice will be magical, but it probably won’t sink in right away. My first impression was actually kind of harsh because of the chaos and exhausting trek dragging my luggage on the cobblestone and climbing up the stairs for the dozen bridges to get to our apartment.  The less you carry, the happier you will be. I just wanted to warn you that you may have to give Venice a second chance once you are settled and are a little less jet lagged.
  2. Get lost winding through the canals.

    1. You will get lost.  I often find not having a destination provides great opportunities to stumble onto something unexpected. My first time I was in Venice was during the spring.  On Palm Sunday, I woke up early, grabbed my camera, and set off for a mini-adventure. I had no plans for where I was going, I just pointed in a direction I hadn’t gone yet.  I ended up by a church called Santa Maria Formosa where an acoustic guitar concert guided my ears. The people were walking out with their palms, gathering around to listen. I felt so fortunate to be given this peek into Venice life.  Essentially, I want you to know that getting lost in Venice is not a bad thing. Remember, you are on an island. How far off track can you get? If you are trying to reach an endpoint at a certain time, I would recommend leaving early.  This will help you enjoy that time getting lost rather than being frustrated about missing an important event.
  3. Figure out how to get around Venice.

    1. Although getting lost can lead to unforgettable memories, learning how to get around is also very rewarding.  Take the vaporetto to get to different areas in Venice, but then walk to find your destination. The streets are very curvy and lead to piazzas with other streets branching off.  I recommend using the signs on the buildings to help you get around. Two common signs are “Per Rialto” and “Per S Marco.” Before you go, study your map and determine what your sight is near.  For example, if I want to go to the Bridge of Sighs, I see that it is near San Marco Square. So, when I leave my apartment I will look for signs that say Per S Marco, then look at my map one more time to see which Calle I should take from there.  I find that using this method takes away the frustration and stress of getting to the next place. You can also ask for directions. Mi scuzi is a phrase you should know to say excuse me, and then dove means where is it.
  4. See acqua alta.

    1. Sometimes when we travel, we need to experience the struggles a place is going through.  This can help bring awareness and it allows us to gain a better understanding for others’ lives.  Venice suffers from flooding called acqua alta. The rising water levels are caused by a combination of elements such as high tides, low pressure, and a type of wind called scirocco.  People often attribute this flooding to the city sinking, but this is not the case. The city typically sinks less than a millimeter a year. Acqua alta is a growing problem, and it will continue to plague the city as our climate changes.  So, how will you know that acqua alta is happening? Other than the obvious visible signs, you will also hear a siren to warn you. Have a listen. PLAY AUDIO. It can be a bit alarming, but it is just a warning. Certain places in the city suffer greater than others.  San Marco Square is one of those places. I have visited Venice twice, and each time we experienced acqua alta. My first introduction to it reminded me of a scene from Titanic. We were walking under the arcades to escape the rain, and as the water rose below our feet, the winds howled, and the torrential downpour washed the city.  Besides the sound of the makeshift waterfall, we heard classical music playing in the background. As we followed the sound, we saw a string quartet playing as it appeared the city was sinking. Life goes on during acqua alta, and the Venetians have learned to adapt. If you hear the sirens, go out and see what this phenomenon does, and reflect on changes we need to make on our planet to protect the places we love.  
  5. Go for a gondola ride.

    1. It seems very cliche to go on gondola in the canals of Venice, but you should.  Gondolas originated in Venice, Italy hundreds of years ago as a way to navigate the narrow canals with just one oarsmen.  They are expensive, but well worth the cost. To make the most of your ride, talk to the gondoliers and find one you like.  If you want to hear singing or narration, ask about it. I recommend trying to escape the grand canal and take the opportunity to visit the quieter canals.  I have gone during the day and at night. Although I enjoyed both rides, I did find the evening experience to be more romantic. When I returned to Venice a second time, I was planning on skipping the gondola ride because it was expensive and I had already done it.  My friends talked me into joining, and I am so thankful they did because it was a different kind of experience. That was definitely a time I learned to go with the flow and be open to doing something more than once. I almost missed out on a liberated travel moment because I thought, “I’ve done this already.”  If you have an opportunity to go to Venice, go on the gondola.
  6. Meet the people of Venice.

    1. Unfortunately, there are not many native Venetians left.  Tourists and the rising cost of living in Venice are the major causes of this.  If you can, try to talk with the locals. If you like to go on walking tours, do some research and try to find a guide.  Elizabetta was my guide and it was a great opportunity to have a conversation with a local and ask questions about the history and culture of Venice.  I also got a sneak peek into current life in Venice. If this is not for you, then make sure you put yourself out there in other ways to meet the Venetians.
  7. Wake up and smell the roses, or fish, at the markets.

    1. I always try to seek out markets when traveling.  I enjoy visiting the Rialto market to take a gander at the seafood.  Markets can be kind of intimidating if you want to buy something, but give it a try.  We just mentioned meeting the locals, and this is another way to talk to them. If you are looking for an al fresco dining option, visit the market to pick up some lunch essentials and then find a spot along the canals to enjoy your fresh bites.
  8. Admire the architecture.

    1. The architectural style is unique to Venice, and it looks quite different than other major Italian cities.  It is known as Venetian Gothic. This style has a Byzantine and Moorish influence. One of the beauties of this architecture is the way it is able to bridge the styles of the east with the west.  Everywhere you look you will be impressed. If you are looking to learn more about the architecture and history, I recommend taking a guided walk. Besides the architecture, Venice also has some interesting engineering feats.  It all started with wood pylons being driven into the ground. Since then, they have also worked on other projects to protect the city such as MOSE which is essentially flood gates. Does that name sound familiar to you? It isn’t a coincidence.  There is a lot that can be learned by studying the structures of this city.
  9. Take a class.

    1. I love to learn, and sometimes it is nice to learn something from another person in a natural setting.  If you look online, you will find an abundance of options. During my first visit to Venice, I took a photography class.  I’ve taken other photography classes, but taking one in the field taught me so much more than any classroom. I’ve also participated in a mask making demonstration.  When trying to select a class, pick something that is interesting to you, but also consider what the place is known for.
  10. Explore the Venetian Lagoon.

    1. There is plenty to see in Venice, but the surrounding islands are also worth a visit.  There is Giudecca, Lido, Murano, Burano, Torcello, and San Michele. With a simple vaporetto ticket, you can hop islands and see the unique character of each.  My favorite island is Burano. The buildings are very colorful so the fishermen would be able to see land if it was foggy. It is a photographer’s dream, and a great place to escape the craziness of Venice.  Murano is also well known for its glass. The Lido is where you’ll find the beach scene and a place to lay out. Giudecca is more of the working man’s Venice. Torcello is a quiet island that is a pleasure to stroll.  San Michele is the quietest island of them all because it houses a cemetary. If you have enough time, consider venturing to the Venetian lagoon.
  11. Wander around San Marco Piazza in the late evening.

    1. San Marco Square is mad during the day.  You can’t skip it, but you can try to visit when it is a little less hectic.  My favorite time is the late evening. Visit the basilica, strain your neck to look up at the Campanile, check out the gondola parking lot, and admire the architecture of the Doge’s palace.  As darkness starts to blanket the city, the lights come on and the music begins to play. Find a bar and treat yourself to a bellini which was one of Hemingway’s favorite drinks. I think if you visit during this time, you will see the true ambiance of the big piazza.
  12. Step up to a cichetti bar.

    1. Food is good.  Food in Italy is divine.  This seems to be as true as the sun setting and rising.  Cicchetti is the tapas of the Italian world. Savor samples of the freshest dishes by hand selecting your personal desires.  Suppress your hunger or make it a meal; cicchetti is an affordable way to sample several local dishes in one place. Since returning home from Venice I have experienced symptoms of withdrawal.  I cannot find seafood so fresh where I live, and the produce has limited taste. I know where I will be eating the next time I visit Venice. Perhaps I’ll go on a cicchetti crawl.
  13. Visit the churches.

    1. There are numerous churches I would recommend visiting while in Venice.  Some of the most popular churches are the San Marco Basilica, Frari, Salute, and Miracoli.  One of my favorite memories happened at San Giorgio Maggiore. We had read that at certain times, we could hear Gregorian chants, so we went to check it out. Compared to the grandness of the church, the door we were supposed to visit felt a little less sufficient.  Maybe this was the door Alice went through after chasing the rabbit. We rang the doorbell as if we were ready to be welcomed into someone’s house. I guess it is someone’s house after all, the house of God. A kind monk appeared, and quietly guided us to the room where the mass was being held.  We didn’t end up hearing Gregorian chants, but we did meet a monk named Dona Andrew. He asked us to join him for coffee and a lemon pastry. He shared with us that he was from Scotland. When he turned 30, he found himself becoming very selfish. He looked at his possessions and the life he was living, and he knew that he could not stay on this path.  That was how he became a monk. There are so many times during travel that the unplanned moments end up becoming your favorite. There are numerous times that these have happened at a church for me, so I recommend finding at least one you’d like to see and take some time to get to know it.
  14. Go shopping.

    1. There are an abundance of shopping opportunities in Venice.  I avoid the luxury shops like Dior or Prada, but instead I seek out local artists and boutique style shops.  My favorite souvenirs to pick up are art prints and posters. They are usually not too pricey, and with a tube, they can be safely stored.  One of my favorite shops is Acqua Alta Library, It is a store with piles and piles of books. On the floor you will find footsteps that lead to Casanova according to the owner.  It actually leads to a canal. I guess Casanova got away. There are also some great true-to-Venice souvenirs you can pick up such as a mask or Murano glass. If you can get away from the streets where the tourists are dropped off, you will find yourself enjoying your retail therapy.
  15. Stay in an apartment.

    1. I’m actually struggling with this concept right now.  Staying in an apartment has provided me with so many fantastic opportunities to be part of the place I’m visiting.  During my first trip we stayed in a wonderful apartment in a neighborhood we wanted to be part of. We found a local bar downstairs that we visited each night.  It smelled of tulips, and that is a smell that still triggers those memories to this day. I even have a Da Vinici print hanging in my bedroom because there was one in the bedroom I stayed in and I just loved looking up at her.  But, here is where my struggle comes. I recently read that someone is putting up posters around Venice claiming that we are ruining Venice. Because of companies like Airbnb, people are buying up real estate causing the cost to rise and landlords to kick out their tenets.  People have been leaving Venice for many years now for numerous reasons, but this poster claims that Venice will become an “empty shell” because sites like this are pushing out its residents. I feel conflicted because this has been a core part of my travel, but of course I don’t want to contribute to the desertification of the city.  Japan’s government recently cancelled 80% of the Airbnb reservations for this same reason. The hosts will now have to be approved by the government and they can only let out their place for up to 180 days during the year. I wonder if this will be a trend we see. I suppose this provides an opportunity to be reflective and think about how our traveling impacts the places we visit.
  16. Watch a futbol game in the piazza.

    1. Soccer is much more popular in other countries compared to the United States.  If you are in Venice during the soccer season, find a bar showing a game. You may need to stock up on some gear such as a blue Italia shirt or some face paint because this is serious.  For one of the games that I saw, Italy was going up against Spain, so they placed some screens at the bar entrance, and people spilled out into the piazza. At one point I was standing up front and I turned around to find a sea of faces amongst the blue.  This is one of my favorite photos. If you are hoping to find more experiences with the locals, this is a great opportunity to step up next to a fan and cheer on their team.
  17. Try to use some Italian.

    1. Speaking a foreign language is both exciting and intimidating.  You will find that they typically speak at least some English, but it is not only polite to try in Italian first, but also part of the fun.  Before I leave, I usually pick up some CDs at the library and try to learn some basics. My go to phrases I try to learn are: hello, goodbye, excuse me, I’m sorry, I don’t speak Italian, where is, bathroom, and cheers.  I also like to be able to recognize items on a menu and on signs, so I study those terms as well.

Foods to Eat and Drinks to Sip On

  1. Risotto
  2. Baccala
  3. Sarde in Saor (Marinated Sardines)
  4. Polenta
  5. Bigoli
  6. Gnocchi
  7. Tiramisu
  8. Cuttlefish Ink
  9. Mussels
  10. Bellini
  11. Wine (Prosecco)
  12. Grappa
  13. Aperol Spritz

Sights to See

  1. San Marco Piazza and Basilica
  2. Doge’s Palace
  3. Rialto Bridge
  4. Burano
  5. San Giorgio Maggiore
  6. Peggy Guggenheim Collection
  7. Venetian Gothic Architecture
  8. As many canals as you can

Experiences to Have

  1. Ride a gondola.
  2. Go for an early morning walk.
  3. Ride the Vaporetto
  4. Take advantage of cicchetti
  5. Visit San Marco Piazza in the late evening.
  6. Take a class.

I’d love to hear about your experiences in Venice.  Please visit my website liberatedtraveler.com to leave a comment.  I hope you join me next week. Thank you for listening.

Check Me Out on Etsy

etsy-profile-picture-with-dark-continents-01
It is so exciting to see my business come together.  My business name is currently being published in the newspaper to become official.  My amazing fiancé made a logo for me that I feel truly captures who I am.  Next up, we have Etsy!  I’ve had a shop on Etsy for a while now that featured my graphic design work, but now I have a shop specifically for my travel photography business.  Take a moment to check it out and let me know if you’d be interested in me working with your photos.

Liberated Traveler Etsy Shop

M Light Design Etsy Shop

I recently made a Venice print for myself.  Below are the images I used and the final product.  I think this is a great way to capture the essence of a place and its memories in one image.  Perhaps you need one in your home!

Venice by Vaporetto: Rialto South

Bridge of SighsSouth

Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo-This is the most elegant spiral staircase I’ve seen.

Teatro la Fenice-The name Fenice (fe-NEE-chay) which means phoenix has more than one implication.  This theatre actually experienced a rebirth after a fire.  If you are interested in Venice or La Fenice, I highly recommend reading City of Falling Angels by John Berendt.

Gondola Parking Lot-So this may not be an actual sight, but if you like seeing something that is typical Venetian in an ordinary setting, a visit to the gondola parking lot may be a good stop for you.

Museo Correr-The Correr museum is filled with art and Venetian life.  This museum may not be for every person that visits Venice, but for the art enthusiasts, it is a good place to escape.  Some people buy tickets at this museum to avoid the long lines at the Doge’s Palace, but the ticket is good for both places.

Piazza San Marco-People are everywhere!  Try not to visit during the peak hours of the day or you may get burnt out pretty quickly.  My favorite time to visit the piazza is during acqua alta, the very early morning, or the late evening.  If acqua alta is rising above the banks of the canal, you will know it in the piazza because it is one of the lower places in the city.  If the water rises high enough, they put out planks to walk on.

Caffe Florian-Looking for an expensive drink with music?  This cafe is your place.  You can’t beat the view.

Campanile-This tower rising above the piazza is not the original.  The first tower came crashing down in 1902.  If you want to rise above the city you can hop in the elevator and look over the lagoon.  If you don’t want to hear bells ringing in your ears all day, you may want to avoid visiting  when the bells play.

Museo di Palazzo Ducole– The Doge’s Palace looks like an artistic cake with pink icing.  The palace has several sights worth visiting.  Even if Tintoretto’s Triumph of Venice doesn’t entice you, you might enjoy taking the sobering walk through the Bridge of Sighs to the jail cells.

Basilica San Marco-Under the onion-shaped domes is a gold masterpiece.  The mosaics are best seen when illuminated during special hours.  Beyond the basilica, make sure you also consider visiting the museum to see all the loot that has made this an eclectic masterpiece.

Bridge of Sighs-Sigh.  Imagine walking to your doom and only seeing glimpses of the majestic city.  What horrible torture.  Even if you don’t go into the Doge’s Palace, make sure you walk around the side to get a glimpse of the vintage-looking limestone.

 

Venice by Vaporetto: Rialto East

FormosaEast

Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli-Want to see what Venetian Renaissance looks like?  This marble church is considered a “jewel box.”  Pilgrims flocked to the church after the Virgin Mary performed several miracles.  Glide up the canal and hop off at this recently renovated church.

Santa Maria Formosa-One of my favorite Venice moments took place just outside this church.  It was Palm Sunday and a group of men were playing guitars in the campo.   Formosa means “shapely saint Mary.”  A vision appeared of a seductive Mary near this location.  Was it Mary, or a courtesan?  Nonetheless, a beautiful church stands in the spot of the original.

Ca’ del Sol Mask Shop-Hiding one’s identity is tempting while in Venice.  What happens in Venice stays in Venice?  Even if you aren’t visiting during Carnevale, you can get your fill of mysteriousness at this mask shop.  While I was visiting Venice, I was able to get a behind the scenes glance at how simple paper mache is turned into glamorous masks.  What style would you pick?

 

 

Venice by Vaporetto: Rialto

Rialto Bridge-045Exploring Venice by vaporetto allows you to take advantage of this easy form of public transportation while seeing the majestic city from the water.  Let’s explore the sights of Rialto.  All places mentioned in this series are within one kilometer of the water bus stop.  Venice is a very walkable city, so there are many sights within reach from each stop.

This time around, I will disperse information across six days:

Monday-Map of Sights

Tuesday-Sights North of Rialto with Explanations

Wednesday-Sights East of Rialto with Explanations

Thursday-Sights South of Rialto with Explanations

Friday-Sights West of Rialto with Explanations

Saturday-Suggested Walk from Rialto

Let’s get started!

North

Rialto Bridge

Rialto Markets

Venice Post Office/German Exchange

Strada Nuova

Ruga Vecchia San Giovanni

East

Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli

Santa Maria Formosa

Ca’ del Sol Mask Shop

South

Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo

Teatro la Fenice

Gondola Parking Lot

Museo Correr

Piazza San Marco

Caffe Florian

Campanile

Museo di Palazzo Ducole

Basilica San Marco

Bridge of Sighs

West

Museo Fortuny

Like the photos you see here?  Check out more in my portfolio.

Venice Vaporetto 101

VeniceThe Venice Vaporetto is by far my favorite public transportation.  The stop is a dock and the vehicle is a boat.  The breeze and spray make it a great way to cool off in the summer.  Some people may be intimidated by the system, but it really is efficient and much more affordable than a gondola or taxi.  I do have to warn you that it is not as handicap-friendly as public transportation we might see in the states.  Then again, Venice is not very handicap-friendly in general.  If you are looking for a how-to or some simple tips, read below for more information.

Getting Ready for the Vaporetto

Finding a vaporetto stop is typically easy unless you are nestled in the back canals.  It can be handy to pick up a map that contains the city layout along with the vaporetto routes.  Even if you aren’t staying in a hotel, you can probably sneak in to pick one up.  Their website also has a downloadable copy of the map.

You can purchase tickets at some vaporetto stops, the airport, or online.  If you are coming in from the airport, it might be easiest to just purchase it there since you will also probably have to purchase a bus ticket to get to Venice.  Actv (the vaporetto company) offers tourist cards that will most likely work best for your travels.  There are different options based on the length of your stay.  Once you purchase a card, you have unlimited use until the time expires.  Make sure you validate your card, or you might be paying for some bigger fines!

How the Vaporetto Works

You’ve got your ticket, now what?  This is where having a vaporetto map can be helpful in creating a plan ahead of time.  If you don’t have a map, there are maps posted at the vaporetto stops.  Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of the vaporetto map, but you can click the link so you can follow along.  Let’s do this step by step:

1. Find the vaporetto stop you are currently at.

2. Find the vaporetto stop you want to go to.

3. If it is on the same line (color/number), then this will be really easy.  Simply look in the direction you want to go until you find the last stop.  You will use the last stop to help you determine which direction you will go.  When you arrive at the vaporetto stop, you will want to find the sign that indicates that direction.  For example, if I was at San Marco-San Zaccaria and I wanted to go to San Giorgio, I would get on the line 2 boat in the direction of Tronchetto.  The vaporetto system is nice because most of the stops list all places the boat will visit.  This is a good way to double check that you are going the right direction.

4.  If you need to change lines, don’t fret.  Let’s say I’m at my home vaporetto stop of San-Marco-San Zaccaria and I want to go to Burano.  I look at the map to see how I can make the fewest connections possible.  I notice that I will take line 41/42 or 51/52 to Fondamente Nova to get on line 12 and exit at Burano.

Want some practice scenarios?  Check these out and look for the answers at the bottom of the post.  Remember, there is more than one way to get where you want to go, but typically we want the most straightforward approach.

1. Rialto to Salute

2. Ferrovia to San Toma

Rialto Bridge-045Important Reminders

After entering the boat, make sure you put your ticket in a safe place.  I have never been on a vaporetto where they check your tickets, but I’ve heard from others that they do check.  Hold onto it to verify you paid your way so you won’t be paying more later.

One of the most important points to remember is to watch your valuable items.  The vaporetto is a common place for pickpockets because we are easily distracted and the boats can become quite packed.  Try to keep your hand over your purse or pocket with your wallet, or wear a moneybelt.  Zippers and buttons are no match for pickpockets.  To learn other tips, check out my blog post about the topic.

Using the Vaporetto

Now that we have a better idea of how to use the vaporetto, we will be ready for the first installment of Venice by Vaporetto tomorrow.  The first post will feature the Rialto stop and all of the wonderful sights within a kilometer.

Answer Key

1-Look for Line 1 in the direction of Lido.

2-Look for Lines 1 or 2.

Coming Soon: Venice by Vaporetto

Venice, Italy
Venice, Italy

Did you like the weekly series about sights to see organized by Paris Métros?  Now it is time to explore Venice by Vaporetto!  This is probably the coolest public transportation in the world located in a city with endless options to enjoy.  Here is the plan so far:

-San Giorgio

-Redentore

-Rialto

-San Marco-San Zaccaria

-Burano

-Faro

-Lido

-San Toma

-Accademia

I don’t have as many pictures of Venice as I do for Paris, but I’m hoping the research will help me prepare for my mini trip in the summer so I can capture all the images I need.

What is your favorite thing to do/see/eat in Venice?

Travel Journey of the Week: Venice

Venetian Parking LotI have a hard time deciding whether Paris or Venice is my favorite place in the world.  I think Venice is winning right now.  I’m hoping to tag on four days in Venice with my trip this summer so I can research for my book: Venice by Vaporetto.  I will be posting just as I did with Paris by Métro, but I will be focusing on the best sights and stops in Venice instead.  I can’t wait to start it!  I’d love to see your experiences with Venice.  Here is how you can contribute:

1. Each Sunday, a place will be set as the theme (it could be a city, landmark, national park, etc.)

2. If you are familiar with the place and would like to contribute, you will write a post and title it Travel Journey of the Week: Venice.

3. Your post can be any medium that works for you; videos, photos, descriptions, itineraries, personal memories, poems, ticket stubs, etc.

4. Finally, be sure to provide a link back here so everyone can connect and share their own take on the place: http://liberatedtraveler.com/2013/09/29/travel-journey-of-the-week-venice/

Travel Journey of the Week: Venice

This week I’ll share some of my artifacts from Venice trips since I’ve already shared my photos.  What do you do with your ticket stubs?

Here is a video for fun.  A free postcard will be sent to anyone who can tell me the name of the song playing in the background in the first scene.  I’ve always wanted to know what it is.

Dream Scenes in Photos

I'm tired.
I’m tired.

I had a dream last night that I was traveling around Venice.  Somehow, my students were there too, but let’s just focus on the Venice part for now.  I woke up this morning feeling rejuvenated.  It was almost like my slumber was spent enjoying a Bellini during the acqua alta.   Last night’s dream inspires today’s post.  I hope that these images will send you off to sleep thinking of wonderful places in your dreams.  I can’t wait to visit more.  It makes me sad to think I have nothing to offer about Asia, South America, Australia, Africa, or the Arctic.  That day will come.  Until then, sweet dreams :).

 

Burano, Italy

Colorful BuranoBurano is one of the islands in the Venetian Lagoon.  Enjoy the scenic, and often refreshing 45 minute boat ride to the color palette village.  In the crushing heat of the summer, I know nothing better (other than gelato) that cools like a vaparetto ride.

Burano is a fishing village with brightly colored buildings to help the fisherman see the island in the fog.  Besides the mosaic of color, you can also meet the lace makers.  There are the touristy shops, but mixed in you can find the families that have been making lace for generations.

If the crowds of Venice are bringing you down, a side trip to one of the islands might be a necessary escape.  These smaller islands still have tourists, but not gobs of them clogging every canal.  If you really want to see Burano at its best, I recommend the early evening.  As the light becomes less harsh, the colors come to life under the shadows.  You can also expect to see less people the later you stay.  Just make sure you don’t miss the last vapareto back!