Port Call – Exploring Venice, Italy

Venice - Rialto Bridge

Today is the last day on the 29 Day Transatlantic and Mediterranean cruise, I have been on. So for the time being this will be the last “Port Call” post until my next cruise adventure. Today we are in port in Venice, Italy, where the ship arrived around midday local time.

Holland America Line - Nieuw Amsterdam

Even though this is the last port for the cruise, the ship is docked overnight. As such, I do not have to disembark until tomorrow. It makes it much easier to get out and see a little of the city, without the need to rush off and find a hotel.

Venice, Italy

Much of what is said about Venice, does appear to be true. Some areas are dirty and most crowded. It is also a city very much of canals, boats, bridges and twisting lanes. But in reality, it is all of these things that comes together to make Venice the city it is.

Much of the character of the city is highlighted through the amazing architecture; that is colourful and unique. The laneways might be small and twisting, but they are also waiting with another surprise around the corner.

Venice - City of Canals

Venice Walking Tour

Today was also my last tour as part of the cruise. I had opted for a walking tour of Venice to help ensure that I got to see the main highlights. I think the tour itself helped to make the city a little less overbearing.

The tour took a fairly slow pace, but also targetted all of the must see spots. It also helped avoid the potential of getting lost in the crowds of tourists everywhere. While it might have been slower to what I am used to, it allows you to see a whole lot more.

Even though there are crowds of tourists everywhere, you can still find a corner without the crowds.

Venice - No Tourists

Venice Canals

The water in and around Venice is something that is difficult to ignore. Being that Venice is a city that resides within a Lagoon, and the fashion in which it developed. Water and transport via water is an important part of life here.

You will find on the canals of Venice each variation of transport, in a water based form. There are boats which act as mass transport like buses. Small boats which act more as private transport like cars and taxis. Of course, who can forget the gondola, for which Venice is famous.

Venice - Grand Canal

With a lot of water, also comes a need to be able to cross the water. Venice as such has no shortage of bridges, to allow the foot traffic to cross between different sections of the city. One of the more famous and popular bridges is the Rialto Bridge, which crosses the Grand Canal. It is one of just four bridges which cross the Grand Canal. However, throughout the city there are hundreds of small bridges in many different shapes and sizes.

Venice - Rialto Bridge

Of course, bridges are not the only way to cross a canal. If you are looking for a gondola ride without a high price tag you can find gondolas in places to ferry you across the canal. There were a number of spots along the Grand Canal where this is possible and it was quite cheap. Of course, the gondola’s are nothing special but it was easier than finding the next bridge.

Venice - Gondola canal crossing

Just when you think that Venice is just another city it does start to draw you in a little. It has a certain attraction that just gives you a feeling you want to go back and explore more. Unfortunately with just one more day there is only so much that I can fit in. But I think Venice will be a destionation that I will look to revisit again in the future.

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