Venice, the same legendary town with thousands of channels and small bridges crossing them, with romantic gondolas and comfortable water taxis. I visited it for the four times in my life: once in early spring, twice in summer and once in late fall. Only winter is missing. But here we have Venice Carnival now, starting in February, so maybe I will still have a possibility to fill in my seasonal gap. However, for now I have a voice to speak about three seasons in this Italian town. Or my three personal Venices.
Why not to begin with my relationship with this place? I’ve been there for a few times, but all the others after the first – were for my guests in Italy to show. Personally, I really do not know what I feel for this town. It is absolutely unique, there is nothing similar in the whole world, but at the same time – this is a place not for me and I could never stay longer than for a few days. Breathtaking facade, but something is missing inside… However, I do not deny that Venice made me an impression, there were things, which I really enjoyed, and only on these aspects I want to focus on now.
So, let’s start from the beginning and go back to one July three or four years ago. Ok, I absolutely fell in love with those tiny bridges, narrow channels and mystical masks. From my very first time there I remember the best our absolutely serious getting lost in Venice after the midnight and at the end realizing that we even do not have the name and the address of the hotel we booked. You know, in Venice every bridge is similar to the next one, so to find our home afterwards was really a big thing. As well, I cannot forget that exactly there for the very first time I’ve tried the Spritz cocktail, so popular here in Italy, and which soon became one of my favourites too. By the way, Spritz in Veneto region they like to prepare with olives, while everywhere else it is usually served with a slice of orange. Ok, and let’s not forget traditional triangular-shaped tramezzini sandwiches, so popular in Veneto too. All was so beautiful that time in Venice. But just for a day or two, because I really do not know what to do there for longer especially with those highly tourist prices and at the same time – tourist quality for masses. Or, in other words – lack of quality in most of the services… So, you really need some preparation before your trip if you want to get good food and good accommodation for good prices.
Here I will not speak about the crowds of people. Yes, in Piazza San Marco and around it on summertime sometimes it can become tough. But there is always a possibility to hide from this madness some streets away. And, even with a shadow over your head!
The next time I went out from the train in Venezia Santa Lucia station in an early spring a few years ago. Town was nearly empty and nearly fabulous. Just a great possibility to have a perfect time with your own thoughts in the empty Venetian streets. But don’t forget that rain can be very likely guest there during this season, so umbrella is a must-have-one. Probably one of the strongest memories what I do have until now from this spring trip is when we were drying out our soaked coats under the hot air dryer in a ladie’s room of one restaurant… But this Venice I liked. And, I think such rainy melancholy should be beloved by sensitive, nostalgic artists, looking for the inner depths too.
Then again I hit Venice in June 2013. And, only then I tried a water transportation for the first time there. If you prefer big channels instead of tiny ones – take a water bus from the train station towards Piazza San Marco. It not only brings you to your destination, but at the same time offers a nice boat tour too. My Venice in June was classical: with a heat and crowds of tourists. But when you would feel like losing your last powers in all that – grab gelato on your way or have a seat for refreshing Spritz cocktail. That always helps!
For the very last time by now in Venice I was a few months ago, just before the closing of Venice Biennale 2013. There were not so many pavilions still opened, but what we’ve seen was just amazing. I think that this event really gives the invaluable importance for Venice. Art really fits for this town.
By the way, during this last trip there we find out one tiny secret that if you want to try gondola it absolutely doesn’t mean that you need to take it from Piazza San Marco and pay the regular fixed price of 80 euros. It is possible to have a short ride with this legendary Venetian boat while using it as a lift from one side of the channel to another for less than a few euros. Just ask the locals for exact stops and they will definitely show you the right places.
So, there were my three personal Venices: spring one, summer one and fall one. And, which season for visiting this Italian town you prefer?