Once upon a time I was in Venice… yes this is probably the most appropriate starting of this post. I was in Venice more than a month ago! This is quite a long gap between trip and post. But well, again better late than never.
I need to be honest with you that I rarely read any general travel blog post. There is a thing called Google and almost all the travel destinations, hotels, transportations have official websites nowadays and several booking websites out there to find you the most convenient way and suitable price. If you need more than that, there are also several travel forums to answer your customised questions. (Sorry travel bloggers!) I would only read if the post is about something very personal or it is about a specific hotel, event, foods and etc… basically something more in-depth.
So now you know you are not going to read any where to go, what to eat, what to do from this post. I am going to share with you something very personal I learnt from this trip. Some might be stupid but well… they are what I learnt from my first trip in Venice since my pervious Venice trip more than 10 yrs ago. I hope they can be useful as some you probably will never think of asking or googling if you have never been there.
Complicated Travel Route After making your hotel booking, be sure to check how to get there from airport or train station. Different from most of the places, Venice is one of those where you can’t just pay some cash and get to destination by taxi with an address if you ever need it. Some places you might need to go by boat, some by taxi, some by train, some required quite a bit of walk to reach. If you have absolutely no clue at all about the route, your first day might start with a disaster. And trust me, you don’t want to do this can be complicated ‘figuring out” process with all your luggages and expect helps from Italians who aren’t that perfectly fluent in English in general.
Streets Aren’t Made for Heels As I mentioned some places might need quite a bit of walk to reach, you probably don’t want to wear skinny high heels for the trip even though I know some of you are genius in walking in them. Venice is a very old city, the streets aren’t made for them. And it is not a city where you can go by taxi door to door even if you are all budget ready. No matter how good you are in walking in heels and your feet never ever get hurt by long walk in them either. You can’t avoid having them stuck in-between little gaps and holes in the old street.
Old Fashion Technology Again, it is a very old city, there are lots of things still functioning in a very old fashion way. You might need to pay hotel by cash, some might ask you to keep a photo ID in the reception for the whole trip as they haven’t got scanner or photocopier, and etc… just imagine hotel in 80’s maybe. From our trip this time, it was said non pre payment but credit card detail required for security. But my friend’s credit card was charged for a night and we still have to pay the whole thing again in cash when checking out. Sounds ridiculous right… But try to understand it through people who are not that familiar with modern technology but still need to work with the modern style’s point of view. Basically, they charge your credit card to check your card is real in case you run away the end of trip without paying. But some hotels don’t have credit card machine, they have to ask the other more modern hotels to do this checking for them and your pre payment will be returned one month after… gosh I feel like a crazy person even just trying to make sense of this process… and seriously it doesn’t make any sense at all!! I am from Taiwan originally, I was pretty much born with a computer. This whole old fashion way is just odd to me. But don’t freak out, you will get your money back at the end!
Fashionistas’ Heaven Look at the Boater’s hat in the photo above. Isn’t that exactly what you have been looking for? They are everywhere in the street for around 15 euro! And they are the authentic boater’s hats! Not just the hats, the straw bags people are crazy about this season can be easily found in Venice too. I so regret that I didn’t get them from there. But well, learn from me, don’t miss the opportunity. On top of that, this is a place wherever is photogenic and instagramable, take as many as you want but don’t go too crazy either. Otherwise you will be like me get too lazy to go through thousands photos and write a blog post about it more than a month after!
Powerful Mosquitos Stupid me that I didn’t think of this before the trip and came back with mosquitos bites everywhere. Trust me the mosquitos there are super powerful especially for people who are from colder countries and aren’t used of them. And there are many different types too! All my bites look different and I am not even sure whether they all are from mosquitos or not. I try not to think of what other things might bite me! But just to remind you to be prepared and get your cream or lotion or anything you need to prevent it if you don’t want to come home with them all over.
Dead End Street There are people everywhere along the river and all the tourist places. Be patient and walk with people. You will always reach wherever you need to go as a tourist. It can be annoying and slow to walk with so many people. But if you ever see a street with way less crowd, it is very likely a dead end street. There are lots of them in Venice. Don’t think you are smarter than the others! We tried a few times and all ended up coming back and join the crowd again.
Ice Cream Everywhere Don’t get too excited about ice cream in Venice. As a Londoner and a huge ice ream fan, I won’t miss the opportunities if I can have one in London. You don’t see them often. But in Venice, you really don’t have to grab it as soon as you see one unless you really want it at that time. Otherwise you will end up having several as I did the first day. They are everywhere and they all are very good. Some might be better but personally I don’t find one that much better than the others.
Below two are more for Italy in general but I do feel more in Venice.
Different Cultures Some of you might disagree but many people I know do think Italians are aggressive, rude and impolite. I understand both sides’ point of view even though I was more of the later. But this is very much depends on your culture and personality. I was born in Taiwan but have been living in London for 17 years. I can tell you how uncomfortable I was with this Italian way at first. But after living with a Italian friend for 2 years and have worked for an Italian company for 4 years with lots of Italian friends, I can tell you they aren’t rude. Ok, they can be nosy and direct from the way they act and appear to be aggressive and rude but they generally don’t mean the way. So if the sales shout at you or people are rude to you in the street, don’t take it too seriously. That is the way they are with different culture from yours and it is a holiday, be happy!
Eye Checking and Contact This is kind of similar as point above. It is about culture differences. Some of my girlfriends told me they hate that guys are checking at them up and down in a dirty way with eye contact. Again this is very much an Italian way but somehow I do find it more serious in Venice. I don’t like it myself but I don’t really care and never response to them. They will go away. But girlfriends, if you don’t like it, don’t response and complain after ok. But interesting enough, for the same behaviour, some girls actually love it. For those who love and feel so appreciated, I can tell you don’t take it too seriously either. They very likely will look at the girl whom you might consider very not attractive behind you the same way if you aren’t responding. You aren’t suddenly more attractive in Venice or Italy because you have more eyes on you.
Voila, that is all for now. Please add your personal Venice experience in the comments below if you have. And for my Italian fiends, “sorry guys, don’t break up with me after reading some negative opinions about Italians, I still love you!” 😛
Btw very recently, I had a 50 questions interview with Husskie Press. If you are interested, please check it out here. x