Since I flew to Marco Polo airport, I had to ride a bus going into the island. It took me around 15 minutes to get my thoughts in order. I’ve landed in Italy. I was traveling alone again. I was actually excited and scared to go sol again.
Ciao! Buon Giorno! Italia!
|Arrival at the airport|
My passport was not stamped when I departed from Cologne. It wasn’t stamped either when I arrived in Venice. I guess Schengen really “borderless” when you travel between Schengen countries whether you travel via train or plane. Too bad, I was expecting to collect some stamps.
Venice Marco Polo airport was pretty small so I eventually found my way out. I didn't bother getting a map or asking the tourist center because I was still bummed out with losing my Ipod.
Initally, I planned an overnight stay in this city in exchange for another night longer in Cologne. However, their day flights are limited, and I didn’t want to be a solo female traveller arriving at night.Venice is an island. If you will be arriving at night, better check your transportation options how to get to Venice.
My mourning for my lost Ipod lasted less than an hour – the time I traveled from the airport to Venice.
|Going to the island|
Venice is an island (or a group of islands) nestled in the northern Italy region. You can reach Venice via train or plane. The city’s train station is Venezia-Santa Lucia. This is different from Venezia-Mestre which is the train stop in the mainland. Had to know the difference when I booked my ticket from Venice to Florence.
I took the airport bus which cost me €5. The bus was quite spacious. I occupied two seats but nobody scolded me. The bus stops at Piazalle Roma.
|Crossing that bridge with a heavy wheeled luggage?|
Lugging your baggage around Venice. Venice is made up of islets and canals connected by concrete and non-concrete bridges. For this city, a backpack is highly recommended and a wheeled luggage is a headache. I saw some (funny) videos in YouTube how people lug around their luggage here. An alternative is to leave your luggage in a baggage deposit center (forgot the full Italian name) before entering the island.
BUT. BUT. If you will be staying near a vaporetto stop, then you do not need to leave your luggage behind. There is a vaporetto stop just below the bridge – and you do not need to cross that bridge.
There are “vultures” waiting at this bridge. I actually saw a guy being a victim. He was dressed for a business meeting under the scorching sun and lugging his small wheeled luggage in this steps. A guy approached him and offered to carry his bag. For a fee of course. There is no standard rate – my roommate said the guys asked her is she could pay for his coffee or something. She gave the guy a euro. A euro is not bad. But this is just one bridge for that one euro.
I left my luggage in a baggage facility in Piazalle Roma. I didn’t really get the layout of the vaporetto stops so I opted to leave my luggage for two nights. I eventually realized I didn’t need to – that cost me about €10 for the 48 hours.
But the transportation pass. As I mentioned here, I am a fan of these. You can just ride. Get lost. Then ride again. I got the 24-hour pass which costs € 18. A one-way vaporetto ticket costs €6.50. That is one expensive ticket if you get off at the wrong stop.The main mode of transportation is WALKING. Still, Venice won't show its charm if you don't ride a vaporetto. Vaporettos are boats that have defined routes and stops.
Know HOW to go to the address. The first thing is to find your hostel/hotel. Street names will get you almost nowhere. Know HOW to get to your hostel/hostel. Turn right at the first street, turn left at the next bridge, etc. That will make your life easier.
|Took this picture while trying to find my hostel.|
Drop the map. There is no need to buy those 1:2000000 scaled maps. They are pretty useless. Some streets are not reflected in the map. Even if they are, you’ll have to muster all your strength to locate it. Differentiating the Italian street names can be confusing. Venice is walkable you'll eventually find your way to one landmark.
Eventually. I found my temporary home in Venice. After an hour. Well, I’m quite used getting lost at this point.
I rested my oh so tired feet and lay down for an hour. I was exhausted. But Venice was waiting to be explored...