After a day in Milan where I kicked off my Italian week long trip, I’ve taken a train to Venice the symbolic city with its canals and gondolas! The journey lasts around 3 hours and the effects of Venice are just wonderful… It’s so magical especially at night.
By chance my stay there crosses over with Redentore celebrations. Redentore is a traditional event in Venice where fireworks play a major role in the celebrations on saturday evening, sunday is devoted to religious celebrations as Redentore is originally a religious festival. Keep reading for details…
During my train trip, my excitement of getting to this magical city was growing as we were getting closer… Verona, half way! Vicenza… almost there. Mestre… yes, I arrived to Venice mainland part and finally Santa Lucia, the train station on the lagoon! From this point, I had only 2 choices to get to my hostel… walk or take a boat, these are the only ways of getting around Venice as it’s central part is fully pedestrian. My hostel was in Saint Mark’s place which is on the opposite side of the train station… I had to walk with my backpack! I ask people on the way… and I try to find myself in this labyrinth… From a bridge to another, it really took me 1 hour to get to my hostel! It was a pai
n in the ass that led me to just rest for the whole afternoon.
Just before the start of the evening, I’ve been on a tour of the city but it was a disappointing mess again! Venice is so crowded… Moreover, I believe that temperature reached 35 degrees those days with a burning sun! Although, when sun starts to sets… Venice gets lighter as most of the tourists are coming for a day trip either passing by their cars or on their cruise boats. At night, I was able to see how beautiful this city is and the sensations that it gives to its visitors. I felt like being a star of a fantastic movie just by walking there!
The next day, I’ve done pretty much the same thing… getting lost in the city, trying to avoid the crowded streets. It actually did work to get lost on purpose. I’ve discovered some tourist-free spaces where I could see only Venetians especially some old women in every corners taking a cappuccino outside their houses. Venice also reminds me of Moroccan Old Town, people would compare it to Marrakech’s Medina without the lagoon… the streets, the colours and the heat look the same to me!
At night, I’ve joined a CouchSurfing party where I met some travellers and Italians coming to see Redentore festivities. We gathered from 6pm on a balcony with a very nice view over the neighbourhood rooftops and we left the place at 11pm to enjoy the fireworks from Giudecca. At 11.45pm, the fireworks started shining the sky with colours and fantasia. All the boats are grouped in the same area flashing some red and green lights, the party really started at that time. Music coming off the boats, people drinking and having fun in the streets. The fireworks duration is about 40 minutes, enough time to enjoy it but also to get your neck hurt! I left just after the fireworks because I had to catch a train at 6am to Rimini!
Overall, Venice was amazing. It is definitely my highlight of this trip… It’s so magical. It is a giant labyrinth where people from all over the world gather to share what the city has to offer. However, I wouldn’t dare to come in July another time… not at all a good time to visit but hopefully after leaving, I get some time for the beach in Rimini! 🙂