Excursions, Italy

Venezia // Gondola, Burano, Murano, & Torcello


October 10, 2015

Buongiorno WordPress,

Cheap buses, trains, and airplanes always require us to get up before sunrise. Our trip to Venice started at 6am with a vending machine coffee cup in one hand and a banana in the other. (All four of us had bananas that morning)

Cameron, Amanda, Tim, and I caught the 7:05am train and met Abril and Anthony who caught the 6:25am train to Venice.

Venice is another completely touristic destination with a whopping 25 million visitors per year (Barcelona has 11 million). I don’t question why because there’s no other location similar to this island.

Cars and bicycles don’t exist on this island. All there is is your foot or your boat (more your foot if you’re a local).

We managed not to get too lost in the narrow streets all thanks to Tim’s nifty Google maps, but we did not manage to make it in time to our 11am tour. But no worries because we caught the 12:30pm boat and were able to eat beforehand so we wouldn’t be starving.

The 30 minute boat ride to Murano Island gave us vibrating butt massages. Each boat ride is 7.5 euros, but this tour took us to three islands for 20 euros so we deemed this was worth it.  This tour reminded me of the tour I went on with Amanda in Hong Kong.

   
 Bad Tours
A tour that shows a snippet of crafting then takes you to a showroom full of overpriced items to buy.
This was what I experienced in Hong Kong with Amanda (I went out of my way and found Amanda to tell her this, and she wanted to tell me the exact same thing lulz) It’s pretty funny because we can’t afford anything in there so it’s pretty pointless for us college students. We just watch the older people get sucked in.

Good Tours
A local tour / walking tour / interactive tour! (This made me realize how amazing the free walking tour in Barcelona was).

Regardless of the quality of the tour, the Murano glass was beautiful and the craftsman was definitely skilled. He made a glass horse in a matter of a minute by bending scorching hot glass. The price is probably well worth his skill.

   
   
We hopped around three islands and my FAVORITE  was Burano. It was the island full of vibrant colored houses painted by local fishermen. I got pictures in front of my favorite color, green! Photocreds to Tim! I wish the tour gave us more time because I felt like I could’ve wandered for about a half hour more.

   
   
   
 The perk to getting back early was catching a gondola ride before it rained. The cheapest gondola ride costs 80 euros per boat. Very pricey, but if you get the maximum number of riders (6), it’s very do-able. I was thinking of saving this experience for my boyfriend and I, but after hearing the price, I don’t want to force him to ride it + I think it’ll be too romantic for us anyways.

I’m so glad I didn’t save it for later because it was amazing! Floating through the canal and talking to the Gondolier was like a private tour. He answered every question we had and I think I learned a lot about Venice through this little boat ride.

DID YOU KNOW:
1. Venetians have their own dialect and sounds more similar to Spanish than Italian? (It’s probably like how I can’t understand the Okinawa dialect in Japanese sometimes)
2. Gondoliers HAVE to be Venetian / have their boat passed down from ancestors.
3. Each Gondola costs over 40,000 euros (So it’s an investment!)
4. Marco Polo’s house is here!
5. A part of Venice floods every time the tides get too high so it’s really really really really COOL! (lol)
6. If you ask a local, they are likely to have never ridden a gondola before. (Like how I’ve almost never ridden a cable car in SF until this year)

   
    
   
Sara, another friend from Hanawa, Fukushima Work Camp last year (Like Filippo) picked me up after eating a fancy Magnum bar in front of the train station. SARAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Oh how I’ve missed you! I miss all the Hanawa members and wish we’ll all come together again one day.

I went to a bar with her apartment-mates and they were all so welcoming. Since they’re better at Italian than English (but they could all speak English thank goodness), I listened to most of their conversations which was very new. Italian is a difficult language but I definitely noticed an improvement in my listening skills from when I first arrived in Rome.

YES ❀

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