After spending two full days in Naples, a Saturday the 3rd of September came which meant it’s time for me to change places. I packed my stuff in the evening before and then early in the morning, when the city was only waking up from its sleep I left my AirBnB and caught a bus to the airport.
Happily lost in Venice
I was happy for the morning flight and after a short journey the plane landed in Venice shortly before 10 AM. In order to save money I decided to book a room in the mainland part of Venice, called Venice Mestre. It’s a part of the city where many locals live and from where they commute to work at the islands. Thanks to precise clues from my next host I had no problem finding my way to his place. After checking in and after a short rest I was ready to go and explore Venice.
I have to admit I had a great connection with the historical centre. All I had to do is to jump on a tram and get to its final station – Piazzale Roma, which was an ideal starting point for walking around the Venetian islands. Due to the fact that I only had a part of the afternoon reserved for sightseeing I decided to walk around the central part of the city. After crossing a bridge or two I found myself next to Chiesa di San Nicola da Tolentino. The columns at its front reminded me of Pantheon. Slowly making my way up North, zigzagging through various streets, canals and bridges I reached San Simeone Piccolo, another church that was similar to the one before.
Only a little bit further was Palazzo Foscari Contarini and Ponte degli Scalzi. On the other side of a wide canal stood Chiesa degli Scalzi also known as church of Santa Maria di Nazareth. Unfortunately for me the facade of the church is currently being renovated and its all covered by scaffolding and huge ads. I enjoyed strolling around Venice by walking into random streets and crossing random bridges. I concluded that there is no better place to get lost than Venice, as wherever you go you’ll always find something beautiful, even if it’s just a simple alley.
Feeling happily lost in Venice I kept turning left and right in the meantime seeing a bunch of picturesque places I found a church of San Giacomo dall’Orio. Looking at the photos on my phone I can tell that after seeing it I rapidly transported myself to Campo San Polo with Chiesa Rettoriale di San Polo in the middle of the square. Another quarter or so minutes allowed me to find another beautiful church, a Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. It was one of the more impressive churches in terms of size with a beautiful location right by Rio del Frari canal. My next stop was at Campo San Stae by Chiesa San Stae. It felt really nice when I could sit at the stairs by the water.
Later in the afternoon I also found the facilities of Fondazione Prada with their building being one of those that face the water directly. As the time was flying I wandered into the area of Mercato di Rialto. Campo della Pescaria welcomed me with a strong odour of fish. No surprise – it’s a fish & seafood market. Campo Erberia was filled with the aroma of dried herbs and spices sold by local sellers at their small stands. Following the road I reached Campo San Giacomo di Rialto with another famous church of the same name. From there a straight way was leading directly to Ponte di Rialto the most famous bridge in Venice. As expected it was full of people but I got my fair share of views from it too! The hour was getting more advanced and I was getting hungry too.
I started heading to the West, finding even more churches on my way, like Parrocchia di San Silvestro I Papa and Chiesa di Sant’Aponal. I made my way back to get close to Piazzale Roma. After I found a nice restaurant that was offering decent prices (Venice is such money rip-off for tourists!) I decided to have a dinner there. I ordered delicious lasagna and a glass of prosecco. After filling up my stomach I got on a tram again and headed back to Mestre. The day passed so fast.
The next morning I came back to historical Venice hungry for more visual attractions. I passed next to Venezia Santa Lucia train station I went inside of Chiesa degli Scalzi (exterior is being renovated as I mentioned earlier). I followed the mirror of the water along Fondamenta San Giobbe until I reached to an open area from which I could see all the trains leaving from Venice. After passing another bridge I continued to walk next to the canal. On my way I kept finding many lovely buildings and a lot of churches, for many I don’t remember names. I’ve definitely seen Chiesa di Sant’Alvise and Madonna dell’Orto church. On the next island I’ve seen Chiesa dei Gesuiti.
I continued to walk for a long time along Fondamente Nove, a coast line from where you can take a water taxi to Murano Island for example. At some point I turned right to get deeper into the land & to see Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo. Making a turn around and heading a bit backwards there was Parrocchia Santa Maria Formosa and then South I visited Chiesa di San Zaccaria. Then through Ponte dei Sospiri I passed next to Palazzo Ducale. I was in the most popular and most crowded place in Venice – Basilica di San Marco with just as popular and impressive Piazza San Marco. It was a monumental place full of splendour. From there I walked straight ahead to Santa Maria del Giglio and then to Santo Stefano.
Everywhere I went there were churches – smaller, bigger, more or less beautiful. Still it was pleasant to look at them. One that impressed me the most was Santa Maria della Salute. A huge church with towers and domes. This church was like a white pearl among building of different colors. I think I’ve been very lucky to be in Venice that day and that I was nearby that church at that specific time. Thanks to that I was able to witness Regata Storica a yearly event held in Venice. I could see the opening ceremony, with lots of boats and gondolas styled with colorful paintings, drapes and sculptures. Crew of each boat was wearing matching outfits of various historical styles. It was so much fun to see it all. Making my way more to the starting point from the morning I saw more… yes – churches! Once again the day has passed super fast. After 9 hours of walking around I rewarded myself with delicious ravioli in tomato sauce. The portion was really big but I left nothing on my plate!
Venice has stolen my heart. Its numerous churches and square provide breathtaking architectural encounters but I dare to say that it’s all of those narrow streets, little bridges and hidden passages that create the real magical and romantic climate of this city. Best plan of seeing Venice is no plan – let yourself get a little lost & you might just find a view that will stay in your mind forever.