50.000 people and not one car ..
05.11.2012 - 01.11.2012 15 °C
Venizia or Venice as we know it is a city in North East Italy that was built upon 118 islands separated by canals and linked with bridges. We arrived here after 16 hours on the train from Prague at about 8 in the morning. We were way to excited to see the city to take a break so we found a cafe with internet, got our bearings and headed out for a place to stay. We found that most of the hostels here were the same price as a cheaper hotel so we booked in at the Gerato Calderan Hotel, it was nice and close to the train station and to a ton of cafes, restaurants and a market.
The city doesn't necessarily have many tourist attractions, but more the city as a whole is the attaction itself. The entire city was named a Unesco World Heritage site in 1987 and it did not take long to see why. There are no cars on the entire island everything is transported by boat or handcarts. So no matter how packed the streets were there were no honking car horns, beeping scooters or dinging bells on bikes and it gave a very peaceful aura to this city, and we quickly fell in love with it. We spent the morning enjoying the warm weather and just walking around getting lost in all the side streets, alleyways along the hundreds of canals. It seemed everytime we crossed a little bridge (which was every couple hundred feet) the view was too good not to take a picture. So to choose the pictures that we would post on here was very difficult as I could have easily put up 100 just of the canals!
We walked to Piazza San Marco which has served as a social, religious and political centre for hundreds of years. We noticed quicky that it looked like it had rained recently even though it hadn't and there was raised sidewalks everywhere, we thought not too much of it and carried on.
We spent a few more hours wandering around before we were too tired from no sleep on the train that we retired to our room for a nap and some dinner.
We went back out that night and toured around a bit more and then crashed for the night excited for our next day. But as we've mentioned the bad weather seems to be following us, we woke up to a full blown rain storm! So we spent the day inside again, regretting napping the day before when the sun was out, and used the time to catch up on the blog and plan our next two weeks in Italy. That night and early the next morning there was an extremely loud annoying alarm that would ring for a few minutes at a time, so we headed down to the front desk to ask what it was. The receptionist explained it meant high waters and that was all. Well when we tried to walk out of our little square to get a coffee we realized just how bad it really was!
The whole city had flooded anywhere from a foot to three feet in places! So yet again we were trapped in our hotel room until the tide went down. it was quite entertaining to watch though, there were men carrying women across the deep waters in their arms or on carts, I even seen one lady wipe right out and go head under that fishy smelling water! Poor thing haha thats a day ruiner for sure!
Apparently this only happens to this extent about twice a year and it didn't happen at all last year so it was kind of neat to be there for it, its just too bad we only ha one nice day there to see the city! The tide comes in and out everyday and certain sidewalks will flood everymorning but not quite to that extent. But as quick as it comes in it goes away too these photos are of the same streets taken just 4 hours later and all the water is gone. We watched store owners squeegee and pump water out of their stores for the rest of the day. And it seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary for them!
It was a short and sweet visit, but we loved every minute of it rain or shine. When the tide went down and we were able to make it to the train station we headed out towards Florence - the birthplace of the Renaissance!