Venice, Italy: A Few First Impressions
This post is part of a continuing series about a Mediterranean Cruise I took with my thirteen year old daughter in the fall of 2012. Today I am talking about Venice!
You’ve seen Venice in movies, pictures and books all of your life, but still, there is nothing quite like stepping onto a boat in the Grand Canal and taking in the magical beauty of this place.
It is no wonder that Venice is such a well-loved destination. The floating city lives up to all its hype. You cannot help but take one million pictures, but you can also just sit and take it all in for hours without getting tired of watching the windows, arches and boats pass by.
The Carnival Breeze ports overnight in Venice, so we got to spend two days wandering the streets and canals. I think Venice is about the best place on earth to let yourself get completely lost for a day.
I’m just sharing a few photos today, because I have about a thousand. These are some of our first impressions of Venice. I loved watching Mary Polly see the city for herself. I told her to wander on and I would follow her wherever. It seems that all roads eventually lead you to San Marco (St. Marks Square), so we just moved slowly here and there for our first few hours in the city.
We stopped to take pictures of gondolas, windows, bridges and loads of cute little corners in the alleys. Venice is busting with color and life and we were taking it all in.
We looked into shop windows at Murano glass and elaborate Carnival masks. We sat on bridges when we got tired and watched people.
We were completely enchanted.
Next up: When we finally wandered into San Marco, we took a spin around the square and then decided to visit The Doge’s Palace.
The Details, If You Go
The Carnival Cruise Port is near the bus and train stations at the edge of Venice. There are several ways to get to the main sights of Venice from the cruise port. There are water taxis and cruise excursions leaving directly from the port, which are the more expensive options.
We opted instead (on both days) to get on the People Mover that is just outside the cruise port. It is 1 euro to ride it, and from there we walked easily into the city. Walking quickly, it took us about 20 minutes to reach San Marco, but we were wandering through lovely streets the whole way there. On our second day we caught the Vapretto #1 (like a bus on the water) at the station just after taking the People Mover. Both ways were fun and we saw completely different sights each way, so we were glad we did both.
I think I would only take a cruise excursion if I were trying to see some of the other other islands near Venice. Since Mary Polly had never been to Venice, we wanted to spend our two days there. (More info about Carnival excursions on and about excursions in general can be found at the end of this Tuscany post and this post on Rome.)