08.09.2008 - 11.09.2008 27 °C
Despite the occassional funky smells, man-eating mosquitos and the most ridiculous prices ive ever seen...Venice is still amazing!!! It was just so strange the first time we all went into the centre of Venice, jumping on an old waterbus and just watching the front of houses, shops and restaurants float by with their steps descending straight into water.
I was surprised though at how fast i got used to the city with roads of water and seeing absolutely no cars or motorbikes. Of course there were the massive hoards of tourists to make up for it and in Italy with the drivers being as crazy as they are I would happily take stampedes of tourists over the roads!!
As much as I wanted to go on a gondola ride of the grand canal they were about 100 euro which when u convert into Australian dollars makes it an even more ridiculous amount of money....and with the budget only getting smaller and smaller by the day I made the hard decision to pass on the gondola. Instead a lot of the time in Venice was spent wandering around the streets and canals, getting lost and drawn to every second shop that had windows filled with shiny and sparkling Venetian masks - I was in love!! I could definately had done some damage to the budget and to the Credit card if I had the room to get all of it home again.
But I resisted the temptation to buy absolutely everything my eyes landed on and found a tiny little shop just off the main San Marco square that was owned by 2 elderly Italian sisters. Jo and I got talking to them and they were telling us that all the art and the venetian masks in the shop were both designed by them personally and also handmade by them. They had the most beautiful drawings and masks I had seen since I had started exploring Venice and the shop owner gave me a beautiful mask she had made herself for really cheap, signed it for me, and guaranteed that I wouldnt see that design anywhere else in Venice because she had designed it all herself...and in the rest of my time in Venice looking at every shop I found I didnt find another one like it - so I was one happy little camper
AND THE FOOD...oh my goodness dont get me started on the food!! I had the most delicious Spniach & Ricotta Canneloni that ive ever had in my life at a little alfresco restaurant in a side street near the Rialto bridge...this was after about 2 hours of searching for food that wasnt going to require us to give up our first born child just to afford it! Ok, slight exaggeration but the prices of some of the restaurants were so disgusting and we simply refused to pay it...so 9pm and we were finally full, happy & satisfied!
All in all, for my first stop in italy it certainly did its job and made me fall instantly in love!! I suppose ill just HAVE to go back someday and have that gondola ride that I missed out on...