On Wednesday we had a full free day in Venice.
To get a ride into the city (where all the water is) we had to be on the bus by 9am.
We got dropped off by a different driver than our usual Top Deck one and took the train into Venice where our tour manager took us on a walking tour.
It’s crazy to see such a big place with lots of alleyways and bridges just surrounded by water. Our tour manager told us that by the time our great grand children are around, Venice probably won’t even be there anymore because it’s sinking more and more each year.
Residents now have to, about four or five times each year, walk on wooden planks to stay above the floodwaters in large parts of the city as it floods all the time.
They even have holes in the cement in the ground for the water to come up through otherwise it’ll just smash through the cement and cause cause damage.
One of our stops was to see the Gallerie dell’Accademi which is a Museum of 13th to 18th-century Venetian artwork, with paintings by Titian, Canaletto and Tiepolo.
We also saw the Rialto Bridge before we did our Gondala Cruise. It’s one of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice and the oldest bridge across the canal. When we saw it though, it was getting some renovations done so it had a big plastic sheet across the left hand side of it.
When it was time for our Gondola ride, we got into groups of 6 and lined up for our Gondola boat.
For centuries the gondola was the main form of transportation and most common watercraft within Venice.
We had the ride as an optional on our Top Deck tour for €20, but if you were to go there on your own or for a holiday – the city of Venice sets official rates for gondola rides starting at €80 from what I’ve read online with additional 20-minute increments at €40.
After 7 p.m. however I’ve seen deals for it for around €30 online.
Gondola fares are standard and set officially. These are the minimum fares for a standard gondola ride but rates can go higher.A standard gondola ride is 40 minutes so if you negotiate for a lower fare, you’ll end up with a shorter ride.
After our ride, we all went to a lace demonstration. Which to be honest is as exciting as it sounds…
I’m writing this blog about 5 days after I’ve been in Venice so I can’t actually remember too much about it. Basically one of the ladies at the store explained how all the lace is made by hand and it takes about 8 months just to make a tablecloth piece between 7 woman. Making things out of lace would make me crazy as I get very impatient with things like that.
We had some free time after the demonstration, so a few of us girls found a restaurant and sat down for some classic Italian Pizza and Pasta. The pizza is really good here, it’s much thinner and basic than what you’d get back home. The Italians don’t complicate their pizzas with hundreds of toppings.
It’s funny because Italians never even used to eat tomatoes. When they reached Italy by the 1530’s it was thought that they were poisonous and were grown only for decoration. However the peasants of Naples were probably starving so started using tomatoes in lots of their foods, including their early pizzas. Since then, its one of their most used ingredients in Italian food as everyone ended up loving it!
One thing to remember if you ever order a pizza in an Italian Pizzeria is that the product is personal sized. Each person should get their own pizza as they are quite thin and you can most likely eat the whole thing yourself. Kind of what I did…
After we’d eaten our Italian feast, we all headed off to look around the shops and get souvenirs. I also came across this make up store called Kiko Milan and they do really good make up!! I bought a lipstick, primer, concealor and make up brush. Apparantly they have one in London so I’ll have to check it out when I’m back.
That pretty much took up the entire day so we didn’t leave till about 3.30pm to catch the ferry back to the bus.
By this stage I’d bought a 3 flavoured gelato and a selfie stick so took heaps of photos.
I bought a selfie stick at the beginning of my trip but it was one of those ones that needed to be charged and stopped working so I left it in New Orleans.
My new one is great though!! I’m gutted I went so long without one.
When we got back to the bus, we waited 20 minutes for other people who were late then headed back to our camping ground.
We had another Top deck dinner under the tents that night too.
I didn’t take any photos of it but we had pasta and gnocchi which was pretty yum.
I had eaten waaaay too many carbs in my time in Venice. (which is obvious judging by my previous photos) But you can’t be on a diet in Italy!!
That night we all had a pretty early night because we had to be at the bus by 5am to leave!
We all wanted to go to Oktoberfest so in order to get there at a good time we had to leave at the crack of dawn.