A Travel Blog filled with travel stories & a huge collection of travel photos taken from around the world, TravelerFolio is an award winning travelblog made in Singapore on April '08
January 21, 2008

Magical Venice

Europe / Italy / Venice

We disembarked the night train at Venezia Mestre station at the Italian mainland and took another train to cross the Venetian Lagoon to central Venice.

The Grand Canal is the most important canal in Venice that forms a major water-traffic corridor to the city. A canoeing competition was going on, so it was not possible for us to take a boat ride to Piazza San Marco or St Mark’s Square in English. We had to walked through the mysterious alleyways to find our way there, giving us the opportunity to explore every nook and canny.

The alleys are brimming with small artisan shops for every visitor to shop for the exquisite souvenirs like the Venetian masks. We entered one such shop and had some fun trying out the Venetian masks.

Our friend bought a bad-guy big Venetian mask for €30.

Any photo angle is a postcard scene. The reflection of the water glistens on the sides of the buildings.

The name for the Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri) was inspired by the sighs of condemned prisoners as they were led through it to the executioner.

We didn’t take any gondola ride – too expensive for us – €60 per person or more?

St Mark’s Square – the highly photographed landmark of Venice and also extremely popular with pigeons!

The Venetian pigeons must be the luckiest pigeons in the world. They rule the sky of the lagoon city and with just a handful of corn, they swoop. Vendors sell corn to tourists so that the tourists can use the corn to attract the pigeons to perch on their hands, and quickly snap a marvelous photo of themselves with the pigeons.

One pigeon just swooped across my head like a paper plane. The Venetian pigeons didn’t like our bread and cakes anyway…zzz.

A vendor who lived off the corn sales said, “To see the piazza without pigeons is like seeing a tree without its leaves.”

St Mark’s Basilica is the most famous cathedral of Venice. Suddenly, we seemed to walk into the postcard of Venice.

We queued up in a very long line to go up to St Mark’s Basilica Museum. The golden interior of the Basilica is fascinating and we snapped a few photos with the Greek Horses. The cathedral is one of the best that we have seen so far.

Venice was so crowded with tourists. We had never been to such a touristy place before since we were in Europe. The weather was so much warmer and humid than the rest of Europe that we had visited before. It was as warm as Singapore. We bought two big scoops of Gelatos at only €1.50. Mine was a Tiramisu gelato with a slice of real Tiramisu cake in it. I have not tasted any better gelato in Singapore. We found a shady corner along the alleyway to rest and savour our gelato. We were simply exhausted after so much walking in Venice and were not so motivated to explore Venice anymore. We didn’t sleep well in the night train too.

We rested until it was time for us to board the water bus back to the train station. The water bus sailed along the Grand Canal and was packed with exciting tourists taking photos of the picturesque sceneries. Don’t ask me why, I fall asleep easily on cruises; I dozed off several times on the water bus despite that I was surrounded with the beautiful Venetian setting!

The water bus took us back to the train station where we took a train to Florence.

Since the train was rather empty at first, two of us occupied one cabin. Then, our friends’ cabin were occupied by two other passengers; our friends joined our cabin instead, as not comfortable to share a cabin with strangers and had to be extra mindful with own belongings. Four of us sitting in the cabin were not so comfortable to lie down anymore, but at least we had a better peace of mind. We were just being paranoid you could say.

Next: Camping in Florence!

7 Comments Leave your comment

  • bluie said on May 27, 2008 11:54 pm

    visited Venice last Sept, backpacking from Florence. First impression: beri romantic. Gondola is a muz try.. We paid Eur50-60 each. wonderful experience and was given a chance to try out :P . beri difficult to row. After the gondola ride, we went for yummy gelato. Hopefully can visit again in Feb for its carnvial, looking at beautiful costumes and mask. (got one there but sadly lying in my room)

  • eunice said on June 3, 2008 7:42 pm

    cool… but will it be cold during Feb? I always thought a night scene in Venice will be very romantic!

  • Chuck said on July 12, 2008 11:12 pm

    Wonderful pictures, Eunice. Venice with its canals is a beautiful city. One of your pictures shows a bridge overhead connecting two buildings. That has to be the famous “Bridge of Sighs.” Not a romantic kind of sigh, however. The bridge connected an interrogation room with a prison. It was given that name, according to Wikipedia, by Lord Byron.

  • Chuck said on July 13, 2008 1:31 am

    Also, if you happen to like rock music, there is a great old song by Robin Trower called Bridge of Sighs, which you can listen to on YouTube here:

    And here are the lyrics of the song:

    “The sun don’t shine,
    The moon don’t move the tides,
    To wash me clean.
    Sun don’t shine,
    The moon don’t move the tides,
    To wash me clean.
    Why so unforgiving and why so cold?
    Been a long time crossing Bridge of Sighs.
    Cold wind blows,
    The Gods look down in anger,
    On this poor child.
    Cold wind blows,
    And Gods look down in anger,
    On this poor child.
    Why so unforgiving and why so cold?
    Been a long time crossing Bridge of Sighs.”

  • eunice said on July 13, 2008 3:00 am

    @Chuck: Oh I didn’t know that Bridge of Sighs has such a sad history! And there is even such a sad song written for it! Thanks for sharing Chuck!

  • inguaribile said on September 19, 2008 10:15 pm

    I live in Venice

  • ariminum said on June 5, 2009 3:18 pm

    I was in Venice during the carnival period and I must say it’s one of the most beautiful cities i’ve seen.

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