Yesterday my family and I arrived home from an eighteen-day trip in Europe. We spent four of those eighteen days in Venice, and I thought I'd share some of the things I learned about the unique city.
- It’s sinking. Go figure.
- Occasionally the scent of fresh pizza wafts through the street, but be careful about inhaling too deeply because you could just as easily get a noseful of low tide.
- After hours of wandering around you may be inclined to think that you are holding a particularly poorly designed map. While this may be the case, Venice is also a particularly poorly designed city. All roads do not lead to Rome. In Venice, all roads lead to other roads. None of them lead to your hotel.
- Although most people associate the phrase “leaning tower” with the one in Pisa, every tower in Venice is leaning one direction or another. Art is clearly the forte of the Italians. Civil engineering, not so much.
- Gondola, while romantic, is not an efficient way to travel around the city. Because it’s such an iconic thing to do, the gondoliers can basically charge you whatever they want. Ride one anyway.
- You can describe any location in the city with the directions “That way, over a bridge, in the square.” There are some 200 bridges in the city. After a day or two they all start to look the same, as do the squares.
- Only the elite can afford to really live there anymore, which means that just because someone has an Italian accent doesn’t mean they can give you reliable directions. A lot of the Italians in the city are tourists as well.
- You will walk past at least six gelaterias (ice cream shops) before you decide which one had the prettiest display and lowest price, then you will never be able to find it again.
- Finding a place that takes a credit card is a rarity, but it’s even harder to find an ATM. Especially since asking for directions to one is usually answered with “That way, over a bridge, in the square.”