Now, I know the question you’ve all been waiting for me to answer – Is Venice worth visiting?
We’d heard from other tourists and our Italian friend Damiano that Venice is expensive, crowded and even smelly in the summer. (Again, we were there during the winter off season.) Still, we went and I’m so glad we did.
Venice is a city that is completely different from anything you have ever seen. For me, that made it instantly worth visiting. So, without further ado, here’s what we found in Venice along with the things we did.
Upon arrival, we took a water taxi which was our first guilty pleasure. This was hands down the best way to be immersed in the atmosphere of the city. Talk about feeling swanky! After that, I never felt the need to ride a gondola.
Our hotel, Tre Archi, was my favorite of the three we’d stayed at in Italy. I was in love as soon as my eyes fell upon the gorgeous Murano chandelier in the lounge. I stared up at the glass taking in its clear, blue, pink and yellow decorations. Nicole and I called this “our granny chic hotel”, but its charm and 18th century style lifted my spirits.
In Venice, I really only wanted to do two things – wander around on foot and visit Liberia Acqua Alta. So, on the first day, we did both.
After we dropped off our luggage in the garden, Ross, Dwight and I took off in pursuit of the bookstore. It took us two hours to find it and two hours to get back and I enjoyed every minute of it! With confusing, winding, medieval streets and intertwining canals and bridges, it’s not a matter of if, but when you will get lost.
Eventually, we turned a corner and there it was – the Liberia Acqua Alta, the name means “Bookstore of High Water”. Due to Venice’s constant flooding, these books are piled inside bathtubs, waterproof bins, and in one room a full-size gondola.
I bought my niece a children’s book called “This Is Venice” and a postcard for my travel journal. Before departing, we went to the back of the shop to climb a staircase made out of old encyclopedias. We were rewarded with a beautiful view of the canal.
During our two days, we marveled in the rich history and beauty of this Italian city. Here’s a few of the landmarks we hit up:
• St. Mark’s Square
• St. Mark's Basilica
• Rialto Bridge
• Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
Although I enjoyed walking around and admiring the architecture, I also loved eating. It’s just nice to sit and slow down a bit. We found a lovely local spot – Ristorante Pizzeria Ai Tre Archi located in the Cannaregio district. With its warm environment, fair prices, and great food, we returned two more times for traditional pizza and lasagna.
Overall, I really enjoyed our trip to Italy and, as always, I’m grateful for the experience. Still, in the words of Wendy Wunder, “The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and it feels even better to come back.”
Standard reporterLacy Garrison can be reached at 473-2191.