With the recent outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, I’ve been seeing a lot of pictures and videos of Italy circulating all over social media. As we all know, the whole country is in lockdown, same as here in France, and most other countries with cases of Covid-19.
I see a lot of inspiring videos on how the Italians are dealing with its current state of isolation. And today, I found myself waxing nostalgic, remembering my trips to Italy, and the most recent one just last year, my birthday trip to Venice.
And just when you think this gruesome week of government-imposed house arrest couldn’t get any worse, I have just found out that for the first time in my life, I have unwittingly deleted a lot of images from my trip in Venice without backing them up first. I cannot believe I have deleted a lot of the good ones, and mostly left with useless selfies. So, forgive me if the pictures in this post do not give justice to how beautiful Venice is.
We were there for the occasion of my 4xth birthday, second week of October last year. I’ve always wanted to see Venice, and luckily, we have a direct flight from Toulouse. October is not really the peak season, and so it was perfect for people like me who are allergic to huge crowds, especially the tourist kind.
We managed to get ourselves a lovely hotel called Palazzo Veneziano, close to the center but still quiet enough. Plus, we booked a nice room with a rooftop jacuzzi, with the view of the quieter canals.
Just before taking the above picture, there was a gondola pilot who was singing Volare. It was so beautiful. Although, we did not really take the gondola because we feel like it is overpriced and overrated. But that guy’s singing was not. Plus, we were lucky enough to hear it without having to pay anything. Most of the good things in life are free after all, you just have to keep your eyes wide open not to miss them. I took a video of it, but of course, it was one of the files that I have deleted.
Even though it was October, and not really the peak season for Venice, we still made it a point to avoid the very crowded areas. You do have to walk a bit to find the quiet nooks and corners, but it’s all worth it.
We were blessed with the sunnier days of pre-autumn. I think it was a bit rainy a few days before we arrived, and it started to be drizzly on the day we left. We were thankful for this, and enjoyed so much having lunch and dinner Al fresco, which I think is what European food tripping is all about.
We also went to Burano, a small island close to Venice. We took a couple of water buses to get there. If I remember correctly, it took about an hour. We decided to avoid Murano, the more touristy island just beside, which is famous, as we all know, for its special glass. We did visit the Murano glass shops in Venice and bought a few small items and blings for souvenir.
What’s very special about this place are the colorful houses. Side tip: if you walk close to the shores, you’ll avoid the crowds, and do try to get lost in the maze-like, teeny tiny streets. There are so many interesting and quiet corners for good photo-ops, or just to just have a quiet moment in.
I will never forget how magical Venice was. There was always this soft fog hovering over the river in the morning, as we walk outside of our hotel. The entrance is just right outside the pier. But it was never too noisy, or crowded. Every few meters, there would be a small baroque church, very charming and quiet. Also, those people who sing or play music in the streets, it’s just so enchanting. The people were quite nice, especially the shopkeepers who were all especially nice with my makulit daughter. And of course, the food is always good anywhere in Italy.
To end this blog, I thought it would be nice to be serenaded by the original singer of Volare himself, Domenico Modugno. Side note, the original title in Italian is Nel blu dipinto di blu, which literally translates to In the blue painted blue, referring to the sky… which is what we could all hope for in these very, very odd and difficult times.
Keep safe, everyone. 💞