First impressions of Venice

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Arrived at the Venezia Santa Lucia train station sometime after 6 a.m.—seemed like the city was asleep but the sun was awake and bright. No one bombarded me at the station with information, tours; no touts. Quiet. Simple to walk which was surprising. Originally I thought you could only take boats and gondolas but I was able to just walk a straight path to the hostel.

Sometimes I noticed I was on a bridge without every realizing I was over water. At half-7 the pigeons started to coo. A woman in a plaza opened her green shutters, still in her nightgown. A café set out coffee cups on their small sidewalk table. A young couple embrace on a bridge—oblivious (or maybe just ignoring) the passers-by. A tourist takes photos of me as I sit on a statue pedestal—Paolo Sarpi—writing this in my Moleskine.

At times, walking through the quiet streets this morning I noticed a strong smell. But mostly not. As I started to wander more, I looked down into the water and was immediately surprised to find the whole of Venice underwater. The still water perfectly reflects the city—broken only by the slash of an old man’s oar.

Blogs published by Adam Groffman • Please note some posts do make me some money, but I never sacrifice my integrity in exchange for a favorable review. Read the full disclosure policy.

15 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. I was fortunate to spend 5 days in Venice and loved every minute of time in this fascinating and enchanting city…a living museum which has preserved 500 years of time in its picturesque settings! Viva la Venezia!

    • So right, a living museum! It does have this feeling like no other too, which leaves people always dreaming of returning.

  2. You paint such a nice scene! When I visited Venice, I never woke up early enough for it to be that quiet.

    • I normally wouldn’t wake up very early either, but it helped that my train arrived just after dawn!

  3. Hi Adam, Mari is right just enjoy and have fun because every sides have a lot of fun. Venice is a quiet place right? Well, I never been in Italy but I think the place is nice.

  4. The first time I visited Italy I skipped Venice because I thought it would be just a tourist trap but then on Breakaway Backpacker’s insistence I went – and wow. It totally lives up to the hype.

    • He recommended visiting Burano, too, which was beautiful! Did you go there?

      I’m 2 days in now here in Venice and I still think it’s amazing and beautiful!

  5. I’ve heard conflicting reviews about this city. Some say it’s smelly and dirty, others say it’s beautiful. I can’t wait to read more about what you think of it!

    • still loving it so far! but not sure how i’d feel if i stayed long-term

  6. I remember it as an ugly smelly expensive city…..but your post has already made it 10% nicer

    • Just 10%?! I still like it here, but I imagine it’d get boring and tiresome after a long while…

  7. just enjoy it as much as you can. every corner has a surprise. don’t miss the Jewish ghetto and, well, I’m looking forward to read the next posts!

    • thanks for the tip, mari!

  8. Thanks for taking me there this morning. Enjoy the day.

  9. Just you wait, it gets a lot busier!

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