Saturday, August 10, 2013

Venice: Venice in 24

24hrs left
As the train stops at the Santa Lucia station, you will be greeted with utter chaos.Commuters going down the train with their heavy luggages, people rushing in the platform clutching their train tickets , groups huddled in the corner trying to figure out where to head to, disoriented tourists trying to figure out what water boat to take. This particular scene in Venice's train station just shows how popular is the city.
Most probably you have booked a hotel that is within a walking distance from the station or else you need to brave the crowds over at the vaporetto (waterboat) docks. Even if your hotel is a mere stone throw away it is still not an easy task to drag your luggage over crowded cobblestone streets and hoisting it over the bridges that connects the streets of Venice. To your greatest horror there is a non-existent elevator for the price you paid is which means you now need to carry that hulking 15kg of clothes and whatnots over 2 (if your lucky) or even 3 flights of stairs to check-in to your room. Venice is such popular tourists attractions that most accommodations come with a hefty price tag. A very basic room with threadbare bedsheet and thin mattress can still make a dent in your wallet

23 hrs left
With a short time to spare in the Venetian city, there is not much time to just sit back and relax. Spare a few minutes to wash up and settle down and it's time to head into the streets again. 
Enjoy your views of the city divided by water and joined by bridges as the sun sets over the horizon. If you are a photography buff this will be a good time to take dramatic pictures over at the famous Rialto bridge  while the golden rays of the sun are reflected by the water. 
Take your dinner near the Rialto bridge or try to look for some hole in the wall trattoria if your up for the challenge. 
After a hearty Italian dinner, walk off the carbs in the cobblestone maze of the streets. Interestingly, Venice is where you can score some affordable souvenirs like 1 Euro magnets which usually retails at 2 Euros or more.For the ladies, you can check out the very pretty murano glass accessories (earrings, bracelets, necklaces) which are value for money considering the uniqueness of the murano glass. Some distinctly Venetian souvenirs you can get would probably be the ubiquitous Venetian masks that comes in all shapes and size and the gondolier figurines.

20 hrs left
All those walking and shopping would probably have taken it's toll so it's time to hit the sheets because you have to be up early tomorrow.

12 hrs left
Don't hit the snooze button because it is worth it to see Venice as morning dawns upon the city. Go out of your hotel and observe how the city comes alive. View the canals as the soft light of the morning shines over at the water and notice how busy it gets along the canals. Different barges are coming and going delivering their goods to the different establishments. A makeshift fish market is setup in a small corner of the street with chunks of salmon and different seafoods on display. Try to join the long line in one of the bakeries to grab a flaky croissant and hot cappuccino to fuel you for a day of touring.

10 hrs left
Ride a vaporetto going to Rialto bridge and look for a gondolier for your gondola ride. A gondola ride can be expensive at 80 Euros for a 40 mins ride over the canals. You are already in Venice and there is no other place that you can get an authentic gondola ride as this. So if the price seems a bit steep look for others you can share the ride with since  a gondola can carry up to 6 passengers so that can bring down the price at 13+ Euros per person if you split it among 6 people.

Hop on board the shiny black gondola and cruise along the narrow canals and realize that it's a different world when you explore the narrow canals.
If you are lucky you might get even get a free song from your gondolier.

8 hrs left
Walk to the famed Piazza San Marco just follow the directions from the Rialto bridge. If you're still not done with shopping for souvenirs you might want to check out the shops you will pass by as you walk.
Piazza San Marco is the famous public plaza in Venice, at the end of the square is St.Marks church with its intricate and ornate facade that conveys grandeur.Take your time in exploring the piazza  perhaps get a cone of gelato to cool off.

5 hrs left
Stroll back to your hotel, if you have any place you want to go for lunch you can plan your route or if your up for an adventure why not try to look for a place where you can go for lunch as you walk back to your hotel.Being a veritable tourist trap, food in Venice is quite expensive as compared to other Italian city but they usually have this Lunch specials that can turn out to be a good deal.

2hrs left
Check out early so that you won't miss out your flight or train because it will be another ordeal of lugging your baggage down from the hotel to the cobblestone streets and over the bridges.

0hrs left
Look past the crowds, the expensive hotel rooms with a barely basic amenities and lumpy mattres and luggages noisily wheeled in the cobblestone streets and simply be amazed by the thought that the city is built on water. Instead of roads you have canals and instead of flyovers you have bridges. 24 hours is a short but sweet time to experience Venice.


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