No need to beat around the bush. I’ll tell you up front. I have a love hate relationship with Venice.
I had VERY high expectations before travelling to this land of fairytales (or so I was told). Unfortunately, the city was a bit of let down. Despite my expectations, Venice is still an amazing place.
What I did love was how old the place felt. The fact that you could never line up a photo with anything as everything you looked at was crooked in some way. That every building was either bulging or crumbling. I loved that all the buildings were a different color. That on your first day you have no idea how you are supposed to navigate this city with endless twists and turns and feel as though you are going in circles, but by day three you could walk around sans map. I loved the bacari (bars) with their little cicchetti (kinda like tapas) – especially arancini (deep fried balls of rice).
However, all of my loves were a bit overshadowed by the throngs of tourists everywhere. Of course you expect tourists, how can I complain when I am one. Its more that it feels like Venice has sold out to the tourists. Its as though the real, unadulterated Venice is fading away. For hundreds of years, people have been visiting this city of canals, but somehow its seems now these people have completely pushed the venetians out. Its like a movie set that never changes. Its kinda there to preserve some distant memory of what venice was supposed to be. It feels weird when a city no longer grows, but rather all the locals and local businesses move out.
Anyways, enough idealism – Venice is an amazingly crazy place. Its somewhere that everyone should visit once. I’m really happy that I went, but I doubt I’ll be back in the near future.