Visiting Italy was a dream come true!
After visiting Spain, I'd already started thinking of which country I'd like to go to next, and for some reason, Italy came to mind. I made plans to visit the country twice, and both times my plans didn't work out. But as they say "The third time's a charm!" 😉 Everything eventually fell into place, and soon I was packing my bags and getting ready to travel to another new country with my mum...
Just like with anything else, it's easy to get bored of the whole travelling experience and to start taking it for granted. The people I meet in airports all seem to wear the same look on their faces - one that says "I've done this way too many times already - all I want to do now is to get to where I'm going."
It reminded me of a conversation I once had with my sister who has a bit of a shoe addiction. Despite her love for shoes, she insists that she wouldn't want to own so many pairs at a time that she loses the excitement that comes from buying a new pair. That's exactly how I feel about travelling. Although it's my dream to see as much of the world as I can, I'd like to still experience that childlike sense of wonder regardless of how many places I visit.
I felt it strongly as we were landing in Marco Polo airport in Italy, and it stayed with me throughout my stay in the country...
We toured Venice extensively. It is one of the most popular car-free cities in the world. We had to make our way around either by foot or by boat while we were exploring the city. We also spent a day in Lido, an island in the Venetian lagoon. After an afternoon eating ice cream and sunbathing on the beach, we decided to spend the evening getting to know the rest of the island a bit better. We also got to visit Florence and later, Treviso. Unfortunately, our trips to the two latter cities were quite short, but we saw enough to give us an idea of what life there is like.
Aside from the friendly atmosphere and the brightly-coloured houses, buildings, and bus stops, we also fell in love with the Italian accent and how much more interesting it makes normal, everyday conversations. All four cities are characterized by old bridges of different shapes and sizes, and almost every window-sill we saw was decorated with either potted plants or flowers.
I could go on and on about this colourful country, but I'll let it speak for itself through the pictures and video below. 😉
Before that, here are my *5 Tips For Planning A Visit to Venice in the summer:
1. Carry comfortable shoes, as you'll be doing A LOT of walking. It's the easiest way to get around. And even when you're using boats to get around, you'll find it easier to board and alight them in simple flat shoes or trainers/sneakers.
2. Bring along your summer hats and sunglasses to protect you from the scorching heat. They especially come in handy when you're sightseeing on foot.
3. Make sure you buy some bottled water and drinks at the supermarket whenever you get the chance to - especially if you're staying at a hotel. You'll need to stay hydrated throughout the day (and night), and the hotels will overcharge you for bottled water every chance they get.
4. While touring the city, look out for cafés that sell quick bites like a large slice of pizza instead of always dining at restaurants. Not only will these keep you going for long periods of time, but they'll also save you money.
5. Lastly, don't be afraid to ask for help and/or directions while you're in the city. On our last day in Italy, we ended up getting lost and spent several hours trying to get back to our hotel. In hindsight, it was an experience that could've easily been avoided had we asked for directions along the way.