Below is an account written by Adaptable Travel Education Travel Consultant Summor Asantewa-Ampaduh about her recent trip to Venice in Italy.
On the 26th June, me and my friend left our hometown of Birmingham to begin our backpacking trip around the wondrous country of Italy. Our trip would involve so many amazing experiences, we could not have prepared ourselves enough for the once in a life-time trip we were about to endeavour on.
Arriving into Venice early morning, we jumped off the plane and took a short and scenic bus ride into the centre of Venice. The sun was beaming and beautiful, I soon realised why this is one of the most popular places to visit in the world. Instantly we were hit with its amazing architecture, sparkly lagoon waters and bustling crowds, me and my friend were both very excited to explore this maze-like city!
As we took a short walk to our hotel, we soon found ourselves hypnotized by the canals which snake through the city. The buildings seemingly grow out of the water and stand tall and the numerous amounts of bridges are outstretched like arms connecting the streets together. We find ourselves coming to a stand still at every moment taking endless amounts of photos-our short walk soon turns into a much needed leisurely stroll.
On our first day in Venice we took full advantage of the day we had ahead of us and set off exploring the city. With no map in hand, we allow ourselves to get lost in the backstreets of Venice and we absolutely love it. By delving deeper into the maze, we find ourselves leaving the tourist areas of Venice and enter the more rural parts of the city. We find the backstreets mesmerizing, so silent and still, these hidden parts of Venice soon become our favourite. As we wander around, we can hear slight whispers of the liveliness which live inside the colourful brick walls we brush shoulders with. We spend almost a whole day becoming intertwined in the alleyways, not to forget the small squares which we often stumble upon. It is only when we spot two other tourists venturing around, with a map, that we finally find our way out of the backstreets.
On the second day, we are ready to explore more of the ‘Floating City’ and, now with a map in hand, we head off to the famous Piazza San Marco. We stroll along the Grand Canal and reach the famous St Marks Square, it is very busy and packed with large numbers of tourists yet its beauty still shines through. There was a live jazz performance, pigeons were dancing around and people were laughing and chatting. The atmosphere was simply, lovely.
As we walked through the square we found ourselves getting closer to the monumental Saint Mark’s Basilica. The design of this church is incredibly impressive, and it’s soon very clear just how famous it really is as it attracts many people to its beauty. The queue stretches along the square, it seems never-ending and people are endlessly adding onto the line. We decided not to add to this queue, however, we sat right outside and spent a few moments watching the world go by (a must do when in St Marks Square).
As we ventured back towards our hotel, we stopped off for our very first Gelato (the first of many I should add). I’m not a huge fan of ‘ice-cream’ and I never crave these types of things either, that was until I tasted Gelato. I opted for the super creamy Amarena topped with Gianduja (milk choc and hazelnut), it was absolute heaven…. This was most certainly the start of a new love for me!
With our tummies completely full with Gelato, we continued our journey back. We can’t help but notice all of the Gondolas lined up along the canals, the gondoliers, patiently waiting in the hot sun. Dressed in the traditional stripy tops and straw hats, the Gondola would certainly offer a truly Venetian experience. Many people take advantage of this mode of transport, with a few people having the gondoliers sing to them with their angelic voices. As we are on a tight budget, and Gondolas are notoriously expensive, we chose to take the water bus instead.
The water bus offers a comfortable experience. As we take our seat right at the front of the bus we are met with a gentle breeze. It is amazing how different Venice appears when you are gently riding through the water, rather than roaming around the sidewalks. The city seems to stand still, it is surprisingly peaceful. As I look out, I see the numerous amounts of people however there seems to be little sound with just the wind singing through my ears. The bus stops, and reluctantly we make our way off. We both very much enjoyed our water bus journey!
As the sun starts to set, the city becomes even more alive. We sat along the Grand Canal and took in all of the beautiful things about Venice; the buildings, the canals, the art and the people. We really enjoyed our adventure here, we walked around almost all of Venice and we can truly say it has been one of the best experiences of our lives. Something about exploring a city which lies upon water is so peaceful. There are no roads, cars or traffic… just the pure blissfulness of the Adriatic Sea. I can’t wait to return very soon.
If you are interested in organising a school trip to Venice please contact Adaptable Travel for further information.