Venice Photo Diary

While I lived in Italy, I hit up all the hotspots: Rome, Florence, Milan, Turin, the Cinque Terre. When friends asked about my Italian escapades, I spoke with confidence and knowledge of the country. Surely, I’d seen all Italy has to offer, right? However, panic hit when they asked about Venice.

“How have you been everywhere in Italy except Venice?!”

I asked myself the same thing. How on earth had I been to all these little towns such as Faenza, Brisighella, etc., but not Venice?

Cut to March 2017, and I’m going back to Italy! I visited Florence to visit some old friends and my host family. However, I booked an extra day, because I was finally going to Venice, through a day-trip. With no exaggeration (sarcasm), I simply couldn’t live with this…situation hanging over my head anymore. Turns out, this was just the length of time I needed. It’s too beautiful for me to articulate, so I want to show some good, classic, Venice photos.

The first view I got from the Rialto Bridge, straight from the train station. It felt absolutely unreal.

Reflections among a side canal. The side canals are the highlight of Venice: no tourists!

Something I didn’t know: Gondola rides are EXPENSIVE. I waltzed around Venice, ready to have a random man sing to my (single) soul on a gondola, but turns out they’re €80 for 40 minutes!

Slightly poor-quality still of a video of me taking a traghetto, a gondola-like boat takes you from one side of the Grand Canal to another. They’re 5 minutes, €2, and offer you amazing views. They’re a perfect alternative to a gondola, singing not included.

For less tourists and what’s left of “local Venice,” get out of Piazza San Marco and the surrounding area and head to Canareggio.

Stereotypical, definitely overpriced, but necessary.

Just so you know: Venice is sinking, and the overflowing influx of tourists raises local prices, driving out the few local Venetians left. If you only have the summer, try and go somewhere else, Venice will still be here…for a bit! A wonderful alternative is Amsterdam. Also, the swarm of tourists will just get in the way, it’s like swatting away flies. Just kidding, kind of. However, Venice is definitely a must-see in your lifetime, but please, try and go in March or September/October. Not only for the Venetians’ sake, but for your own sake.

After my day here, I was so glad (and relieved) to be able to say that I’ve finally been to Venice. It was absolutely magical, I felt like I walked into a vintage painting. I’m pretty sure my heart stopped several times at its beauty (and outrageous gondola fees). Despite this, I’m about to voice a Controversial Opinion: it got old quickly. By sundown, I was definitely ready to head back to Florence.

I went in March and while the side streets were delightfully empty, the main part of Venice was flooded with hordes of tourists; I can’t even imagine it in the summer! And the quietest canals are where the sweetest moments of absorbing the scenery, like above, happen. I can’t recommend a better time of the year.

I’d love to return to Venice as there’s still some I haven’t seen. I look to return soon, but not for more than 2 days. And maybe I’ll finally have enough money to do the dream gondola ride.



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Comments (25)

  • Cheryl Randel 3 years ago Reply

    Elijah, I wholeheartedly agree with you about avoiding the summer. We visited in July, as it was the only option for us. It was incredibly hot and humid, and very few businesses had sufficient air-conditioning. I’m still glad I went, even with heat and crowds, as it is a dreamy place unlike any other. I hope you can find a deal for the gondola on your future visit.

  • Gladys 😏 3 years ago Reply

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!😘

  • Delisa Zak 3 years ago Reply

    Beautiful photos! I have been almost “everywhere” in Italy (according to most people but not me!), but not Venice, and although it would be fun to see for a day, I have avoided it because I hate crowds and I hate what tourism is doing to the city.

  • Patricia Pagenel 3 years ago Reply

    Stunning photos! We visited Florence a few years ago and loved it, but we did not have time to travel to Venice. I would love to go during the Festival, even if that must be an insane time to do so. The costumes, the party…

  • Erica edwards 3 years ago Reply

    Great photos, love the colors! Though as a slow, take it all in traveler, I have to disagree about the time crunch! Sure, the center of Venice is jammed with tourists, but the more time you have, the more time it allows you wind along the quiet back streets and canals, and to see the lights and moon reflecting from the water. On our last day, we stumbled along a man blowing glass in his living room with the door open on one of these back alleys, and when he saw how excited we were, he invited us in to show us how it was done! We ended up being fed tea and cookies and watched him create a tiny masterpiece! Hard to find that on a day trip! 😉☺️

    Elijah Rodriguez 3 years ago Reply

    That experience sounds amazing Erica! I know Venice has such a precious and unique culture, I just wish it wasn’t as elusive as it currently is. But you’re right that it’d be much harder to find it on a day-trip! I may just have to go back to find that exact guy 😉

  • Adulting on Coffee 3 years ago Reply

    I get what you mean about avoiding touristy places during peak season~ It’s such a bother trying to get anywhere. My own home town gets so crowded during summer months.
    The pictures so do make me wish I wasn’t sitting in the middle of a snow buried city right now.

    Elijah Rodriguez 3 years ago Reply

    Oh same, I lived in LA most of my life and in the summer it’d take at least 2 hours to drive to where it normally took 25 minutes. And I’m there with you, in cold, windy, wet Scotland!

  • Michaela 3 years ago Reply

    Beautiful photos! Venice is an amazing city, but like you say, a bit too touristy for my liking (yep, I’ve been there during summer…)

    Elijah Rodriguez 3 years ago Reply

    Thanks Michaela! Yeah even in March it was a little too touristy, I can’t even imagine in the summer.

  • Adventuregirleliana 3 years ago Reply

    Yes, Venice is gorgeous!! It’s my top place of all places I have visited. We went in November, and it was absolutely perfect! Weather very cool misty with very little tourist! Couldn’t have asked more.

    Elijah Rodriguez 3 years ago Reply

    November in Venice sounds like a dream, I feel like it’d be even prettier under some mist and fog. Glad you had a great time!

  • Danila Caputo 3 years ago Reply

    You mentioned a lot of spots in the the North and Center, but you’re still missing the Amalfi Coast and Naples, so not all Italy! 😀 I’m afraid you will have to make this sacrifice and plan yet another trip to visit us in the South! 😀

    Elijah Rodriguez 3 years ago Reply

    Hi Danila, I forgot to mention the Amalfi Coast! I’ve hit there but I haven’t been to Naples yet!I guess I’ll just have to make the trip to Italy, what a stressful thing to do 😉

  • Miranda Knudtson 3 years ago Reply

    Venice looks absolutely beautiful! I’m actually heading to Italy on Friday, but unfortunately not to Venice. (I hear Venice wouldn’t be quiiiiite as fun in February than during summer/fall) If I’m lucky enough to come back, Venice will be my first stop!

    Elijah Rodriguez 3 years ago Reply

    Oh that amazing! Where in Italy are you headed to? The good thing about Venice in February is that Carnival is actually happening until the 13th so even if the weather isn’t great, you’d be able to experience an amazing cultural phenomenon! But if anything this gives you another excuse to sacrifice your time and make the long, world-ending trek back to Italy! 😉

  • Samantha 3 years ago Reply

    OMG I need to get my butt to Italy – now! It’s on my list of places to go in the very near future….I just want to float along the river in Venice!

    Elijah Rodriguez 2 years ago Reply

    You gotta do it! Even for the 5 minutes I floated along on the traghetto was the most magical, Venice-y moment ever 🙂

  • Kayla Manoe 3 years ago Reply

    How amazing is Venice! Its like something out of a fairytale! I only went for a day trip as well but would love to stay longer next time and explore a little bit more! Your photos are beautiful x

    Elijah Rodriguez 2 years ago Reply

    Thank you Kayla! I definitely wanna go back for like 2 more days, still feel like there’s lots to see!

  • Leah 3 years ago Reply

    Venice really is beautiful! Great photos! Makes me want to go back

  • Rye Santiago 3 years ago Reply

    Your photos are spectacular! My brother and his wife went there last October, and they had a swell time together. The gondola ride’s price seems a bit too steep, but I guess it’s well worth it if you’re really keen on experiencing it.

    Elijah Rodriguez 2 years ago Reply

    I’d definitely wanna experience it if I was engaged or on my honeymoon or something, but for my single, 19 yr old self…I can wait!

  • Kevin del Prado 3 years ago Reply

    Venice is very popular to tourists that a lot of places is patterned to it like in Macau. We also have a small mall here in the Philippines that was inspired of Venice. But I guess nothing beats the original. I am really amazed with the pictures.

  • Wendy 2 years ago Reply

    Love how my picture on Instagram was about Venice, and then I came to check out your page and the latest blog post was about Venice. Made me laugh haha. I just want to give you major props on capturing some AMAZING pictures!! I was so in awe, and was taken back to the days I got to visit Venice. I loved your recommendations on when to visit Venice. I find that super important as well! I am above all, glad you finally made your way to Venice. (:

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