Last saturday, two of our friends visited us and we decided to organize a day trip to Venice. It was two years since we visited the most desired city by tourists from all around the world and to be honest our impressions of this experience get worse from time to time.
Certainly the immediate impact of those who go there for the first time is positive: it seems to get into an amusement park for the obsessive attention with which it was taken care of every single detail and from this point of view, perhaps Venice is unique in the world.
But the enthusiasm of the first impact vanishes almost immediately with all that mass of tourists who invade the town and we believe it was not an exception for that day, because Venice is always tremendously full of people and at any time of the year.
For anyone who loves peace and wants to relax or for those like us who want to take fabulous photos of the city, it is a place that should not be considered (except from 5 am to 7 am in the summer)
Another downside are the prices of just about anything: Venice is terribly overpriced. Everything costs a folly from sandwiches to hotels, from Coca Cola to a glass of wine, prices are three times higher than in Milan.
After being in Monaco, we had the impression to have been in the most expensive city in the world but we were wrong. In Piazza San Marco (the city center) you pay a coffee for an average of 10 Euro with an extra 6 Euro supplement for the orchestra playing, almost always present in all the bars with strictly classical music.
Despite all these negative reviews, however, Venice remains a Mecca for tourists: it should definitely be visited once in a lifetime but not for more than a day and carefully planning all the places to go to avoid spending all your budget encountering the numerous tourist traps.
From Milan, Venice is easily reached by train with a journey of 2 hours and 35 minutes: the cost of a full fare ticket is 75 Euros round trip per person. You can save money by checking the website of Trenitalia the availability of rates or other promotions : for example, we bought tickets with a promotion of 2x1, with a ticket we traveled both. The best option is to take the train departing at 8.15 and come back with the train of 19.40: allows you to have plenty of time to explore the city.
One of the first things to do when you arrive in the city is to visit one of the many mask shops. Admire the exuberant colors and strange shapes and extreme variety: buying one is almost a must. Prices vary from a few Euros for the simplest masks to over a thousand for those with the finest materials, but on average you can buy a nice mask, handmade, spending about 30 Euro.
Our advice is to eat at the restaurant chain Rossopomodoro, a few steps from Piazza San Marco. It’s the best compromise to be satisfied with eating in Venice: you spend relatively little (about 25 Euros per person for a full meal), eat fairly well and is in the center. Normally we tend to avoid the big chain restaurants because they tend not to have "personality" but in Venice it is an exception. If you want to eat even better and without paying a fast food restaurant with the prices of top-rated restaurants with Michelin stars must inevitably move away from the center: Algiubagio is a good alternative (about 50 euro per person).
An unforgettable experience in Venice is definitely the gondola ride. Honestly we did not think it was worth it but we were wrong: it is perhaps the best thing that you can do in Venice because it allows you to see the city from the best side. The standard tour costs 80 Euros and takes about 40 minutes and the most beautiful journey (through the most beautiful canals) costs 120 and has a duration of about 50 minutes.
Have an amazing week!
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Kisses & Hugs,
Jola & Dimitri