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Venice in 12 Hours

The day before flying to Copenhagen for a few days left me in a bit of a pickle as to how I was going to make my way back home to Klagenfurt. Me being me and leaving it last minute, caused a worrying soar in flight prices. With a very tight budget, I wasn’t going to give in.

That afternoon, I began looking into cheaper alternatives, starting with trusty Ryanair. I checked out current deals and managed to snatch a 12.99 flight from Berlin to Venice. Through tedious FlixBus searches, I eventually was able to book a bus from Copenhagen to Berlin and another one from Venice to Klagenfurt. Not only did my way home came in at a joyous 47 euro, I was also gifted 12 hours in Venice.

Landing into Treviso at 11 in the morning, the airport seemed a lot smaller than I imagined. Before I knew it, I was through passport check and was standing in the arrivals hall. With only a small backpack on me, I made my way to one of the bus ticket kiosks, which were surrounded by a small swarm of tourists looking to get to Venice city.

The bus ticket was 12 euro and brought me straight from Treviso Airport to Venice Santa Lucia, located on the island of Venice. The journey was about 1hr 10 but felt way less.

We hopped off the bus and were greeted by a warm blanket of air and the sun already high up in the sky (a big change from the Baltic conditions I experience in Copenhagen only 10 hours ago). The sound of suitcases hitting the ground and people chatting put me into summer holiday mode even though it was only mid-February. I was in Venice before when I was a child, but there’s an excitement about exploring a city by yourself with very little on you.

I had no pre-plan for my day in Venice so I started to follow the crowd across the bridge from the bus stop to the main entrance of Santa Lucia Station. As I made my way over the dome shaped bridge, I looked over across the edge and the view before me was something else, I had to stop watch.

The boats treading up and down the canal and the powdery orange buildings that lined it, Venice really was postcard pretty, more than what you could expect. Hearing the boat engines and people laughing and chatting, I itched my way down the bridge to the entrance of the station.

I watched the mass of people gather at the edge of the canal eager to buy their Vapperetto tickets from the ticket desks. I pulled out a small book on Venice from my backpack and checked a map of the city. I decided to ditch the long queues for the boat tickets and stroll through the city.

Venice in 12 Hours

Consisting of narrow streets and small cute bridges to cross over the canals that meandered their way through the city, Venice was incredibly manageable on foot and I found myself getting to the famous Rialto Bridge in no time.

Venice in 12 Hours

I was almost glad that I decided to walk through the city. I couldn’t help but stop and admire the tall buildings above me, each a difference shade of red or orange, windows lined with potted flowers and shutters. There was also a great buzz around the place.

I decided to head for the famous Rialto Bridge first but making sure I took my time to look in shop windows and read some restaurant menus along the way. People were sitting outside drinking their coffee and people chatting as I walked along. Little shops filled with Venetian glass and jewelry.

Venice in 12 Hours

I arrived at the Rialto Bridge which was hard to miss due to the volume of people. It really was spectacular and it gave you the most perfect view of the city. Overlooking the Grand Canal, you could see the city’s crookedly lined terracotta rooftops and the wooden poles jutting out tall out of the water, boats tied up to them. I decided that it would be the perfect spot to watch the sunset before catching my bus home.

At this stage, the smell of food whiffing through the air was really getting to me. I made it down off the bridge and walked along the edge of the canal which was lined with cafes and restaurants. Surprising, after reading a few menus, I was expecting a meal to cost a lot more.

I was in the mood for a pizza and found a pretty trattoria along the canal. I also managed to get a free table which was right on the water’s edge. I ordered a classic Napoli pizza and beer and the friendly Italian waiter served me some fresh feta cheese and olives to graze on until it was ready. They were to die for!

During lunch I had a quick flick through the travel book, looking up things to see on the map. I also watched the people walk past, eyeing up the trendy Italian outfits. I must say, I enjoyed my own company. I paid for the meal and decided to head off again making it down to Piazza San Marco.

The square was full of tourists and people taking photos as I strolled through. I looked up to see Basilica di San Marco, which was very impressive with its gold detailing and marble. The scale of it was far greater than what it seemed in pictures and was still as big as I had seen it when I was younger.

Venice in 12 Hours

I walked along and turned to face out into the Adriatic Sea, getting a glimpse of Chiese di San Giorgio Maggoire in the distance. The weather was perfect and I could feel a slight heat from the sun. Crowds of people everywhere. I walked along Riva degli Schiavoni and found a bench to sit on. The motion of the water was a little choppier but very relaxing to watch.

To my right I could see the renowned Basilica di Santa Maria across the water from where the Grand Canal flows joins the Adriatic. It was my next stop.

Venice in 12 Hours

I meandered my way through the narrow streets of people in the hopes of trying to the find the next bridge that crosses the Grand Canal over to the basilica. Finally I found it and took in the beautiful views of the canal. The basilica itself was beautiful and I also managed to briefly go inside to admire its artwork, making sure to be quiet to those praying. There was a chill inside due to its size but the dome was well worth the walk.

Venice in 12 Hours

Venice in 12 Hours

I stepped outside and watched the water, sitting on its steps. The basilica itself was in shade but I took some pictures of the beautifully sunlight buildings across the water from me. The same Venetian wooden poles stood tall out of the water with some Gondolas tied to them. Birds were sitting on top of the poles, probably enjoying the view too.

Venice in 12 Hours

Venice in 12 Hours

I could tell the sun was beginning to go down and my tummy was beginning to growl again. I walked back the way I came and headed for the Rialto Bridge again, stopping on the way to get some spaghetti carbonara ‘on the go’ at this fabulous little walk in Italian café.

I reached the bridge again and walked up the steps scrambling my way to the edge where I could watch the sunset – and boy, was everything worth it. The crowds spoke for themselves. The sun went down slowly, the sun light molding itself through the canal, slowly putting the buildings into gradual darkness. It was very magical to watch and somewhat romantic.

Venice in 12 Hours

Venice in 12 Hours

With only a little time left before catching my bus, I headed to a busy little café for a quick latte and to charge up my phone. I also picked up some water and snacks for the bus journey home. Although it was now dark, the city was still very much alive. Kids running around, couples out strolling and people out with the dogs. I headed back to Station Santa Lucia where I bought my train ticket back to Mestre on the main land, where my bus was leaving.

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