Italy was the first foreign country I visited. I remember how I was so busy getting some illustrations done that I did not have the time to search the Internet for places of interest, let alone to go out and buy a map or book about Italy.
One of the places that I blissfully got lost in, was Venice. The only way to see Venice is by walking. Of course there are gondolas and boats to view Venice from the canals but walking is the best way to explore Venice, even that means it bundles with a guarantee that you will get lost.
The walk from Venice Santa Lucia Train Station, Ferrovia to Piazza San Marco took me more than two hours. Along the way, I took many wrong turns and being alone in a superficial place, I almost cried. Many times I found myself caught in the maze-like lanes and sometimes it seemed like there was no way out. Some of the lanes ended up on someone’s door.
To handle this situation, I tried to find the crowd and follow them. Eventually, they indirectly helped me arrived at some well-known attractions in Venice.
First well-known place I met was Campo San Polo. Campo San Polo is the largest Campo in Venice, Italy, the second largest Venetian public square. This square was then used as the scene of bullfights, mass sermons and masked balls. It remains to this day as one of the most popular Carnival venues and is also used for open air concerts and screenings during the Venice Film Festival.
Campo San Polo
From Campo San Polo, I followed a sign that says Per Rialto and Per Piazza San Marco.
Along the way, I came across a Gothic façade. I looked closely and found out that it’s called Chiesa De San Polo, a nineteenth century church that also has a museum of Venetian works.
Chiesa De San Polo
After Chiesa De San Polo, I passed another building called Chiesa Di S. Giacomo Apostolo. The Venetians call it the Church of S. Giacometto and is the oldest church in Venice. It was built in 1071 and the 24-hour clock was put up in 1410 and restored in 1749.
Chiesa Di S. Giacomo Apostolo
I finally reached Rialto, thanks to the signs.
Rialto was the first harbour of Venice and today it is the financial and commercial centre of Venice and is situated in the district of San Polo Sestiere. Rialto is known for its markets and bridge that connects the districts of San Polo and San Marco across the Grand Canal in the heart of the city is the Rialto Bridge. This bridge has always been a busy crossing in Venice. But instead of being crowded with merchants like during Venice’s heyday, the bridge is now swamped by tourists. Well, I added to the statistic last year. Who wouldn’t want to snap a photo by this bridge? I was doing a favour for another tourist and later she offered to take my photo with my camera. How could I resist such temptation as all my photos were missing ME. Haha.
After buying some gifts from Rialto Market, I walked on with the crowd and finally reached Piazza San Marco, the principal public square in Venice. The Piazza is dominated at its eastern end by the great St Mark’s Basilica. The west façade of the basilica is decorated with great arches and marble decorations, Romanesque carvings round the central doorway and, above all, the four horses which preside over the piazza and are such potent symbols of the pride and power of Venice.
St’ Mark’s basilica west façade.
After that, I was just wandering aimlessly along the piazetta and took a picture of me using remote control and tripod, near the jetty. There are many attractions along the piazetta which includes Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Campanile, Hard Rock Cafe and many more.
Me smiling to my camera.
The Doge’s Palace is a gothic palace in Venice, Italy. The palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the Republic of Venice. The Doge’s Palace, Venice, has façade which dated from 1309-1424, designed by Giovanni and Bartolomeo Buon.
Anyway, after taking many photos, I realised that it was already 4pm. I quickly walked to find the way I came only to be lost again in the mazes-like lanes, which seemed to become more narrower.
I managed to find my way back to the jetty after making few rounds at the same area. I took a ride on the ferry to save time as I had to catch the train back to Bologna which would take me 2 hours to reach. By 6pm, Bologna would already be dark.
The ferry ride from St. Mark’s Basin to Santa Lucia Station was great as I get to experience the ride through Grand Canal. The banks of the Grand Canal are lined with more than 170 buildings, most of which dated back to 13th to the 18th century and demonstrate the welfare and art created by the Republic of Venice.
Although I got lost, I cherished every moment of my walking experience in Venice and would always look at my photo albums just to feel the feeling I had back there.
If you are up to it, do not bring any map or GPS. Just go with the flow and enjoy Venice! Don’t forget to take a lot of pictures and take note the name of buildings or vias.