Gondola-ed So Hard

Gondola-ed So Hard

Oh, Venice…there’s almost too much to say about this incredible, unique city. The history you feel as you’re walking down the crowded, narrow streets is basically indescribable. Pictures could never do it justice. Still, I’m going to show ya’ll some pictures I snapped to try and relay the beauty of the city. While I’m at it, here’s 4 things you HAVE TO do while you’re there. I swear, you won’t regret it.

Doge’s Palace

There is so much history at Doge’s Palace in Venice. It’s tangible as you walk across the Bridge of Sighs and through the prison cells. You can feel it as you run your hands across the palace walls. Just thinking of all of the history that was made there gives me goosebumps, even now. In case you didn’t know, like I didn’t until I went there – Doge’s Palace is basically the place where the high and mighty political figures lived back in the Venetian heyday (aka when it was the Republic of Venice). The Doge was the head honcho back then. They held trials, had political meetings, and even housed the prisoners at the palace. I know, I don’t think that was a very wise move on their part either. It’s like they said, “Oh, I know! Let’s keep all of the criminals right next to our most important leader. Nothing could go wrong!” Now, I don’t know if that was the actual thought process or if there was even any scandal involving an escaped axe-murdering sword-wielding prisoner (because I don’t know if axe-murdering was a thing back then, but they definitely were all about the swords)…all I’m saying is, that maybe someone didn’t quite think that one through. But no one asked me, so moving on. Doge’s Palace is a definite must-see in Venice. You can wander around the whole palace and take in the history. There are original fresca paintings, humongous rooms to walk through, and prison chambers. I mean, what more could any explorer need?

Because some people are no fun, you can’t actually walk up these stairs. But they do give you a grand feeling, and if you go up the set of stairs inside, you can eventually make it to the top of this set here.

It’s the little details that truly make this Palace incredible.

Everything the Venitians created was so incredibly intricate. Even after physically touching this column, it’s hard to wrap my mind around how they could make something so beautiful out of a piece of stone.

I honestly don’t know what’s going on here….but I like it.

Original fresca paintings. They’re fading, but that just reminds you of how antique they are. These little paintings are fighters, hanging in there for us to see today.

View of the Grand Canal from Doge’s Palace

This is a picture from one of the upper levels of the Palace. This courtyard is the first thing you see when you walk into the Palace at the bottom. You walk in and it truly takes your breath away.

The “windows” located on The Bridge of Sighs. This is one of the last things the prisoners saw before they were taken to their cells, located in a dungeon.

A view out of the window of one of the canals. If you’re going to live in a room with no windows for the rest of your life, this wouldn’t be a bad last view.

Is window porn a thing? Because Italy has convinced me that it is.

Gondola Ride

In case anyone was curious – YES, you can make “gondola” into a verb. Now, spelling that word is somewhat difficult, but just say it out loud and it will make a lot more sense. If anyone is confused on the meaning of said word, it’s quite simple: to gondola like a pro. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a good gondolier that may even whistle a tune for you. Honestly, the feeling you get while riding through the canals of Venice is a once in a lifetime kind of feeling. You’re surrounding by incredible architecture, and everything is quiet except for the lap of the water around you and the occasional whistling or whisper from your gondoliering partners. Another plus is that it’s the perfect time to get some pictures of the buildings! There are no other annoying as heck tourists in your way. Plus, you can’t go to Venice without getting a selfie on a gondola, let’s get real.

My fav people from this trip and our amazing, (professionally) whistling gondolier.

In case you were wondering how the locals get around Venice…They drive banana boats.

The views of the buildings from the canal…breathtaking.

The balconies and windowsills of Venice are like none other.

Did I mention the doors of Italy? There should be a whole photography series on these things.

One of my favorite pictures from Venice! The canals truly are a little peaceful reprieve from the hoards of tourists everywhere else in Venice.

Did ya’ll know that gondolas are legitimately only for tourists now? It’s a h u g e part of the tourist industry now! Even though they used to be the actual means of transportation for Venetians.

I’m pretty sure that’s where Shakespeare lived. So, yeah, bucketlist? Check.

Did I mention the windowsills? I’m in love with all of them.

Gelato

Have you even been to Italy if you haven’t tried authentic gelato? Side note…we had an Italian yell at us because apparently us lame Americans pronounce ge-la-to wrong? Just ask an Italian, maybe they can tell you the correct pronunciation because I’m going to stick with my gringo ways. Now, this is going to be hard to describe and you guys are going to hate me because Venice is a legitimate maze and I can’t tell you how to get there. BUT. You have to walk around until you find the Oreo gelato. YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY. It was the best gelato I have had to date. I don’t believe that anything will every compare.

Normal, average joe gelato.

GELATO FROM HEAVEN.

GELATO FROM HEAVEN (in a cup).

Wander

The small, maze-like streets transport you into another world. Little alleyways randomly connect and will take you into a completely new part of the city. Once you feel like maybe you know where you’re at and which direction you’re going, there’s a new little street waiting for you to explore. The hardest part is letting yourself relax and wander without worrying about where you’ll end up or how you’ll get back. Sure, maybe some creep-o street vendor will try to get your attention, but the city is so busy that you’ll almost never be alone. So, embrace the freedom and the city, and let yourself wander!

My favorite thing about wandering around Venice? Seeing the little details that people way back when put into creating their city.

Doorways of Italy…I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: no other doors compare.

Wandering around led us to this incredibly Instagram-able brick wall!

St. Mark’s Square. The hubbub of the city. Transporting you back in time with the architecture; reminding you how terrible people in the 21st century are because of the 1 million tourists in one place. You can’t miss it while wandering around the city.

I think this picture perfectly sums up Venice. Canals, gondolas, unreal building, scenes straight out of your Italian romance dreams.

So, there ya have it, folks! It may not be a full itinerary, but these few things will get you off to a great start on your Venetian adventure. Comment below and let me know what your absolute fav thing to do in Venice is!

With Sass,

-A

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1 Comment

  1. Scott Moore
    August 4, 2017 / 8:05 am

    I really enjoy reading your posts. You are a great writer, kiddo. Proud of you!

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