Venice

Welcome to part one of three of my spring break trip through Italy! First stop: Venice.

Venice, otherwise known as the floating city, managed to capture my heart right away with its endless canals filled with gondolas and the infinite twists and turns of alleyways.

Gondolas in the morning!
Gondolas at the pier

The combination of the smell of fresh seawater and beautiful spring weather made my time in Venice even more amazing as it reminded me of being back in Vancouver. Most of my time was spent getting lost (in a good way), enjoying the delicious food the city had to offer as well as a short trip to Murano and Burano-two islands just a moments boat ride from the main island.

A book staircase at Acqua Alta Library
A book staircase at Acqua Alta Library!

Murano and Burano

If you ever find yourself in Venice, I highly recommend getting an ACTV multi-day pass. (Tip: if you’re less than 29, you can get the Rolling Venice pass which gives you a cheaper ticket for a three-day pass plus discounts to museums and more!) With the multi-day pass, it becomes a lot easier (and cheaper) to travel to Murano and Burano by using the vaporetto (water buses). Burano is known for its extremely colorful houses as well as their lace work. Wanting to beat the crowds (as per usual), I headed out and got the 8 AM vaporetto to Burano arriving at 9 AM. The island was still slowly waking up when I got there but it gave me the chance to explore many spots for myself!

Just a few of the many colourful houses in Burano!
Only a few of the many colourful houses!

There, I also checked out the lace masters (I think that’s what you call them?) and learned it can often take years to become highly skilled and true lace takes weeks to make! Impressive!

A lace master at work!
A lace master at work!

After a few hours in Burano, I caught a vaporetto to Murano to check out the multitude of glass, which is what Murano is known for (well, more so also for the glass blowing). I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many stores selling glassware, glass sculptures, glass figurines… essentially glass everything.

A glass sculpture worth 2400€!
A Murano glass fish worth 2400€!

In Murano, I learnt that often, it is only the masters who make the large sculptures and apprentices are often the ones who make the smaller and more repetitive items! This is a bit of a sidetrack but along the lines of masters, when it comes to authentic Venetian masks, apparently it has to be made with papier mâché technique which unfortunately is fading away. Definitely fascinating to see how intricate the process is!

Violin Venetian masks!
So many violin Venetian masks!

After strolling around while popping in and out of shops, my hungry belly told me it was time to head back to the main island. Speaking of a hungry belly, shall we get on with the food?

Food

After having not the most fantastic pasta experience in Rome, I finally had my first bite of pretty great (and cheap pasta) in Venice! For inexpensive yet delicious pasta to go, check out Dal Moro’s! All the pasta is made in store and all the base sauce prices (so without add-ons) are less than 10€!

Fettuccine bolognese! Yum!
Fettucine bolognese!

When it comes to pizza, for those who prefer pizza with more of a chewy dough (for UBC students, think Mercante), check out Rossopomodoro.

Margherita pizza!
Margherita pizza

For gelato, the best one I’ve had as of yet thus far was at Suso. The gelato was smooth, creamy and rich in flavor. I got salted caramel with peanuts and another flavour called Manet (don’t remember the exact contents) and it was honestly one of the best gelato/ice cream I’ve ever had!

Salted caramel with peanuts and Manet gelato
Salted caramel and peanuts/Manet

That is all I have for Venice! Although I’m saying goodbye to the city of masks, the Italian adventure continues as I head to Florence! Stay tuned!

A final photo of a gondolier
Goodbye Mr Gondolier!
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