I fell somewhat in love with Italy this year. I spent a week here in May (Rome, Florence & Venice) and loved it so much that within a month of getting home, I had booked to come back in August. This time I am doing the opposite trip, flew into Venice and will visit a few places in the Veneto, then the Lakes, down to Bologna before finishing in Rome. Tbh I cannot afford this trip, I've had to live off an impossibly small budget at home in order to be here. But I can't really afford ANYTHING apart from to eat and pay rent, and I'd rather use my credit card / scrimp and save to have a nice trip a couple of times a year than just stick to what I can afford and spend my entire life working just to pay my rent because that's not much of an existence. Travelling is probably the most important thing to me, so it's what I will find the money for, whatever else has to be compromised!
I flew from Bristol into Venice. I would always normally go for an aisle seat as the window seats in economy are very claustrophobic (as if I have any idea what they are like in any other class LOL but I imagine they're not so bad!!) but obviously with EasyJet you don't get to choose. I was allocated a window and it felt quite trapped at first but I actually really enjoyed it. The view was incredible! It was crystal clear the entire way. We flew down over France past Stuttgart and over these amazing snow capped mountains that looked like Toblerone. Switzerland, maybe? Then across the swamps and marshes and down past Venice island to land at Marco Polo airport, from where you can actually see Venice and St Marks, its so close! I love flying so so much.
Thursday was my full day in Venice. I was determined to go into St Marks as I didn't manage that last time due to not being able to take my bag in and a scary arrangement involving having to leave backpacks at a luggage storage place around the corner. This time I came prepared with a bag inside a bag so I could take my valuables out and keep them on me, but it wasn't needed. I got there before the public opening time and casually strolled in a side entrance to a chapel open for worship and was able to experience the interior for 20mins in absolute silence & solitude (apart from a few old ladies praying) before it opened to the general public at 9:30am, at which point I left. This was absolutely the best way to do this! I've been before many years ago and thought I recognised some aspects. The entire ceiling is covered in gold mosaic, simply beautiful.
It's very hot here, 28C yesterday. I am a lover of heat, but it was a bit hot to me. I spent most of the day walking as I wanted to explore some areas of Venice I hadn't spent much time in last time I was here. Saw some lovely backstreets, bridges, canals. The thing I am taking from Venice from this trip is a love of the wide boulevards around the edges of the island. In 28C heat, the narrow cobbled streets of the centre are hot and busy and a bit stressful. The wider Fontamente Zatterre, Nove running along the north and south of the island, next to turquoise blue waters, are quite peaceful in the morning and evening, with a pleasant cooling offshore breeze. I found myself walking along the edges to get places, only diving inland at the last possible opportunity. My hostel was in Dosodoro, near the Galleria d'Accademmia and just a couple of hundred metres from the bottommost tip, a wide expanse of water and the island of Lido, to the south.
Finished the evening sat by the water on Punta della Dogana, looking out over the grand canal towards St Marks. Today I catch a train to Padua. I'm staying in a B&B there, which will be a new experience for me! I normally stay in hostels (I'm in a hostel in Venice, albeit in a private room with an ensuite) but when booking this trip, I found that to get a private room, B&Bs were actually cheaper. I like the anonymity of hostels, so I'm hoping I won't be expected to be sociable staying in a B&B.. I like to be left alone!