Sunday, December 18, 2022

A Weekend in Venice

During our trip to Austria we planned to visit Germany, along with taking a train to Venice for a couple of days. We booked our tickets and enjoyed the very scenic views from the six hour train ride from Salzburg to Venice.

We dropped our bags off at the dreamiest little bed and breakfast before heading out to explore the city. You can easily get lost even with a GPS as the reception isn't the best (not to mention all of the dead ends!) but we didn't mind too much. :)  

Josh and I were so in awe of the unique layout of the city with it's endless canals, hundreds of bridges, and ancient history. Venice has 433 bridges, a 30 mile canal, and 118 churches. There is just so much to take in! 

The famous Rialto Bridge. It was first constructed in 1588. 

The first evening we were there we enjoyed dinner at the cutest restaurant, Trattoria Dona Onesta, right on the canal. Our food was served to our table through the window as I felt we had stepped right into a movie set.

Josh and I had the best time just exploring the narrow streets and ended the evening with gelato on a park bench with a screening of a film featured for the Venice Film Festival. 

The next day we took a gondola ride and it was so much fun exploring the canals. Our gondolier, Mario, was super friendly and shared all kinds of interesting facts and history about Venice. 

Some fun facts we discovered were....

Only 3 or 4 new gondolier licenses are granted each year. The art of manning a gondola is a historic Venetian tradition, previously passed down from father to son, and now regulated by a strict training protocol. Applicants must have amassed over 400 hours of training, undertake an apprenticeship with a master gondolier, and pass an exam. There’s only ever been one woman gondolier. Historically, being a gondolier is a male profession. It’s a trade with closely guarded secrets, passed down the generations from fathers to their sons. However, in 2010 Giorgia Boscolo, herself the daughter of a gondolier, made history by becoming the first woman to pass the strict exam to become a gondolier. All gondolas are required by law to be painted black so as not to be too competitive with other gondoliers. They are all required to charge the same price as well so no customer is swindled. 

It really is an art and riding in one gave me a little glimpse of the delicate skill it takes to maneuver one. 

Besides exploring the city and eating way too much gelato, we visited the Librairie Acqua Alta, a cozy, offbeat bookstore featuring lots of vintage titles along with unique displays & resident cats. I picked up a few books for my personal library before we stuffed our faces with some delicious pizza. 

Venice is a very crowded and over-populated city with the floods of tourists it receives everyday, so that part we weren't very fond of but overall we had a great time. In our opinion, two days was plenty of time to explore and get a taste of the city before heading back to Salzburg.

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