Destinations, Europe, Italy

OMG, Venice Looks Exactly Like Las Vegas

Said the sleep deprived Americans

We were crossing the Grand Canal at twilight, we had just split a bottle of wine on a gondola dock surrounded by a dozen tipsy locals when the exhaustion hit, “OMG, Michael, Venice looks exactly like Las Vegas.”

We laughed and pulled over to the side to let other tourists pass by. This wasn’t regular exhaustion, this was tourist exhaustion, a level that I’m sure my fellow travelers are all too familiar with. At this point, I will either cry or laugh hysterically until I get into bed. It’s a toss up, really.

The foot traffic was insurmountable and our coordination was lacking. “What I mean to say is,” I backtracked, “The Venetian in Las Vegas is very accurate, but obviously this is way cooler than Las Vegas…because it’s real…like, it’s the real Venice, ya know?”

We laughed the whole way home, pinching ourselves as a reminder that this wasn’t a dream. There were a couple of times in Europe when it was hard to believe we were actually seeing what we were seeing. This wasn’t a postcard, Pinterest, or Las Vegas; this was real.

grand canal in venice

Venice highlights

Now, I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on Venice. After all, we were there all of two days. Instead, this post will just cover a few of my favorite things. Venice is bookmarked in my travel journal as a place I must revisit — I have a feeling I only just barely scratched the surface of all this place has to offer.

The canals

It’s easy to get lost in Venice. In fact, some travel guides encourage it. Embrace it, they say, it’ll happen whether you mean for it to or not. The streets wind over the canals without rhyme or reason and it’s best to let the city take you where it wants you to go. Very seldom did we take the path we intended to take, but this is how we got some of our best photos.

canals in venice

The bookstore with bathtubs

Liberia Acqua Alta is a Venice bookstore owned by realists. It’s inevitable, one day Venice will flood. They’ve prepared for the worst and have their books displayed in boats and bathtubs. Stray cats frequent the bookstore and can be found atop the books in the boats — it’s all very Noah’s Arc.

bathtub bookstore in venice

Black squid ink

Bon app├ętit! We ordered cuttlefish ravioli at a rather unremarkable restaurant along a canal and were pleasantly surprised by the taste. The black ink under our ravioli comes from the cuttlefish and is released when the cuttlefish feels threatened as a defense mechanism. Cuttlefish and black ink are considered a delicacy, hence the plate of 3. Our bellies were rumbling before we even paid the check.

cuttlefish ravioli with black ink

Where we stayed

I have nothing but good things to say about We_Crociferi Hostel in Venice. In our trip recap, my husband even said it was his favorite place we stayed during our entire 35 day trip.

For starters, the location is incredible. The hostel is just a few minute walk to F.te Nove “A”, a ferry terminal that’ll bring you to Ferrovia, the main train station, as well as the islands of Murano and Burano. The proximity to the ferry saved us time — a travelers dream come true.

I’m not sure if this was standard, but my husband and I were put in a private room with two twin beds. This was such a pleasant surprise, we were expecting a large mixed dorm!

The courtyard was the biggest treat. It’s apparent that We_Crociferi used to be a monastery by the grand staircase and old brick design.

we crociferi hostel venice

A worthwhile day trip

We dedicated one of our two days to Burano, an island that can be reached in 45 minutes by ferry. I just couldn’t get over how beautiful the building colors were in this quaint town! Truthfully, we could explore all of Burano in a couple of hours and we should have split the day between Burano and Murano. We will be sure to visit Murano next time!

colorful houses burano italy

Venice was high on our list as one of the most romantic cities in Europe. The city stays up late, drinks a lot of wine and laughs out loud. I didn’t see one unhappy person during our time here. Then again, how could you be unhappy in a place that looks exactly like Las Vegas? OMG…impossible.

Thanks for reading,

Emma

what to do in venice italy

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