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First impressions of Venice

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.

  1. Ian [EagerExistence] says:

    Just you wait, it gets a lot busier!

  2. Brad Ryden says:

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

  3. Mari says:

    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!

  4. Fede says:

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

    • Adam says:

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

  5. alexis says:

    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!

  6. Ayngelina says:

    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.

    • Adam says:

      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!

  7. Danyelle Franciosa says:

    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.

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

    • Adam says:

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

  9. Taking a Grand Tour to Italy: arriving by train | Travels of Adam - Hipster travel around the world says:

    […] Venice was absolutely beautiful. […]

  10. 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!

    • Tiana Kai says:

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

  11. The thing about Venice says:

    […] Not so for me, with Venice. This is a city very much still in my dreams. My first impressions (read them here) were ones of amazement, wonder and happiness. Looking back, it’s still a city very much on […]

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