A walk at Venice

A one day trip to Venice in Frecciarossa, the fast train in Italy that can travel on a maximum speed of 300 km/h. I planned to visit Venice for 2 days on 2nd week of November 2018. That’s when Venice was flooded heavily and the Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s square), the famous square of Venice had water levels enough to swim is what I read in the news. I cancelled my plan, but wished to visit Venice some other time in lifetime.  The following weekend Venice was ready for visiting, but I was running short of time.  I had only one day and not even 24 Hrs to visit Venice. Thanks to the superfast train service in Italy which took me to the dream destination covering 400 KMs in 3.5 hrs. Apart from my Journey time of 7 hours to and fro, I spent some 8 hours in Venice. The trip was so worthy that the picturesque views of Venice still lingers in my subconscious mind when I close my eyes.

The best time to Visit Venice I would say is November because the climate is good and tourists are less. The city is very clean and fresh as the lagoon is less salty. The city of Venice is built on the marshland of a salt water lagoon at the bay of Adriatic Sea. The base of the buildings are made of logs of wood that makes for the pillars and ground slates. Venice is a floating city.

As clothing winter clothes is a must. The Scarf is to be tied around neck to prevent from catching cold. Hand gloves is a must without wearing which my fingers lost sensation for few minutes. I just removed the woolen gloves to take photographs as I could not click otherwise. Realized my mistake very soon before it was too late, otherwise I would have got frostbite. The sea winds make the place very chill though the temperature was 12 degrees. The bright sunlight gives an illusion that the place is warm.  

The Frecciarossa dropped me at Santa Lucia, the railway station at Venice around 11.30 AM. The train travels in the lagoon for a distance which is very beautiful. After I got down from the train, I saw Scalzi Bridge which is very close to the station entrance. It is one of the major bridges to cross the Grand Canal. The Grand Canal view from Scalzi Bridge is very beautiful.  Like bus stations, Venice has the boat stations. I took a one way ticket to Piazza San Marco and climbed on a boat on a half an hour ride. There I am in Venice on my boat trip, wow the most romantic Venice indeed!

On the way the Rialto Bridge comes and there is claps and excitement. There are many boat stations between the Santa Lucia station and St. Mark’s square. The local residents of Venice get down at these stations. It’s beautiful to see flower shops and vegetable shops on the canal banks. The Venice residents come on their boats which is like their bike/car to buy essentials. There is also water taxi service running in Venice.  The gondolas were taking couples on romantic rides. 

The boat ride takes us to the Grand ending of the Grand Canal and the boat station at Piazza San Marco came. I walked through the St. Mark’s square admiring each corner of the Venetian architecture. The St. Mark’s campanile is the bell tower which gives full view of Venice from the top. I did not know about it though I saw some people standing in the queue, so joined them and enquired about the tickets and what’s inside. The view from the top was superb.

The tourists told me the church is very beautiful there. So I visited St. Mark’s basilica. The church was so divine, the inner walls coated with gold and nice painting on the walls. The place was calm and serene. Some precious articles of the church were on display. Photographs not allowed inside the church. I like the ambience. But my heart was racing for running short of time.

Soon as I came out of the church and rushed to the Doge’s palace and Bridge of Sighs. I did not go into the palace because I wanted to spend more time near the waters. The Bridge of sighs is where the prisoners walked before being imprisoned having a last glance of Venice and sighing away. The architecture is beautiful, especially when the gondolas pass under them.

 Now I finished seeing all places in my visiting list and was terribly hungry. As I walked along the coastal line I found a Pizza shop. I bought a vegetable Pizza with Aubergine for 8 Euros. The hot pizza really saved my life from numbness. The shop had open air seats facing the sunlight, I got sun bath too while eating. A dove ate along with me. After lunch I walked along the coast and found a fleet of gondolas stacked near beautiful steps with greens. The sunrays split spreading divinity. I went and sat on those steps. To the very corner of the steps near the waters I saw a very age old couple, very thin with wrinkled skin siting and enjoying the sea.

Now with full energy I walked along the coast for an hour by crossing many bridges and small canals. Venice is beautiful everywhere. We can keep on walking and looking around. Every step is interesting. I reached Giardini della Biennale, a garden at Venice. There were some unique statues. I walked into the streets of Venice from the garden. The streets were normal like in other cities. Only the canals running between the streets made Venice a beauty. So I walked back my way as the sun started setting already around 4.30 PM.

The sun set behind San Giorgio Maggiore, one of the islands of Venice opposite to St. Mark’s square is beautiful. It’s a photographer’s delight. That’s my profile pic too. The Doge’s palace glitters like gold in the evening sunlight.

I had plans of walking back from St. Mark’s square to Santa Lucia station. Venice is a maze. Walking back through the streets is really tough. The local residents help a lot but they don’t understand the phrase “railway station”, so every time I asked way to “Santa Lucia” they would show me directions with a smile. Never follow google maps in Venice, its sick. Venice does not have proper streets. The gap between two buildings form the street. So let’s see how I walked through.

My plan was to reach the Rialto Bridge through the streets. There are direction pointers showing way to Rialto Bridge. Now I reached the Rialto Bridge and stood on top of it. It was amazing in the evening. I crossed the Grand Canal through the Bridge. No I had to reach the Scalzi Bridge to get to the Santa Lucia station. This route did not have direction pointers. The sunlight was already gone. I was walking with just directions, but the maze like streets sometimes brought me back to the place where I started. Just my mobile GPS helped me see where I am standing in the Venice map. Many places I did not know whether to take the street at left or right. I would wait to see some tourist moving into the street or ask the local residents. There were streets which did not have any people. Finally when I saw the Santa Lucia station twinkling at night, I was sighing in relief.

Now cheerful and happy that I reached the train station one hour in advance of my train timing, I enjoyed my last hour at Venice. The night at Venice is most beautiful with all the lights twinkling in the waters. Till the last few minutes of leaving for the train I was standing in the Santa Lucia station Grand Canal bank starring at the glitters and capturing the scenery in my eyes. I would say seeing Venice in photo is nothing. Venice is an experience. It fills our heart and soul with nature overwhelmed.

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