As I have shared before, Venice was never high on my list of Italian cities (I even called it overrated here). That was because, like many, most of my experiences in Venice were subpar at best -- it was crowded, ridiculously hot in the summer, expensive, and I never seemed to eat as well as I did in other Italian cities. Sure, I recognized Venice as an unique and beautiful place, but I saw visiting Venice as obligatory rather than enjoyable.
My negative view of Venice began to change when I met Sophia. Sophia and I met in the archive in Florence. In addition to sharing a love of Italian history and art history, Sophia also worked in study abroad. But while I worked with students in Florence, Sophia worked in Venice. As our friendship grew, she invited me to visit her in Venice (where she lived/lives the majority of the time). Staying with someone who is basically a local changed everything. I saw Venice in a completely new light -- we ate well, strolled almost deserted squares and streets, sip prosecco at sunset, and interacted with actual Venetians! Sophia and I were reminiscing the other day and we joked about just how many miles we covered on the first day I visited. I am pretty sure it remains a one-day walking record for both of us. Although, we came close to this record this past May in Paris.
PS - Sophia just started a blog about her experiences in Venice here!
Thanks to Sophia's Venetian insights, I have grown to enjoy Venice a bit more with each passing visit. And my change of heart was cemented this summer when a friend and fellow study abroad colleague, Annmarie, decided to stay in Venice for the summer. Having two friends living in Venice plus this year's unseasonably cooler temps made Venice one of my favorite destinations this summer. In fact, I visited three times! Basically, Annmarie, Sophia, and I spent our time in Venice together exploring, taking photos, "spritzing," eating, and laughing.
To celebrate and share my new found love of Venice, I have created a map guide for the city, highlighting the best of Venice in the hopes that you might appreciate Venice from the start (or see her in a new light after a bad experience).
Click here for a link to the map! Or zoom in and out and click on each point below.
Want more Venice? Read how you can conquer Venice in just one or two days here.
What are your thoughts on Venice?
Labels: Europe, featured, Italy, my travels, stripes, travel, Travel Tips, Venice