After a delicious breakfast at our hotel in Verona, we traveled to Venice via the high-speed train. When we arrived in Venice, I tried to take in the picturesque city atop a series of canals before we boarded water taxis to transport us to the land. The water taxis were definitely my favorite mode of transportation to date as it allowed us incredible views of intricate architectural marvels throughout Venice.
When we arrived on land, we got to experience our Gondola ride. Words cannot even describe how perfect his ride was. It was so much fun to see amazing buildings while enjoying a relaxing boat ride. Even watching our Gondoliers interact with each other — as they appear to be close friends — was entertainment in itself.
Afterwards, a bunch of us went to lunch a few blocks outside the central plaza. Then, we had an opportunity to explore the shops. Venice is famous for its glassware so it was fun to buy a few trinkets.
Next, we met up with the rest of our group for a walking tour of Venice. Our tour guide took us through many sights, town squares, and landmarks within Venice. She emphasized the connection between San Marco and the lion. I found especially interesting that we saw the Jewish ghetto. Venice never persecuted the Jews so this location was a safe haven for Jewish immigrants and includes three synagogues to this day. Also, our guide focused on how the shops and restaurants encompassed the first floor of buildings while the upper floors house the citizens of Venice. Without elevators and cars, the people experience challenges throughout daily life that we may take for granted such as grocery shopping and moving.
Finally, we had free time where I ate gelato and browsed through more shops. I enjoyed this city so much because it is something so different from anything I have ever experience — a picturesque city without cars filled with shops and restaurants. I definitely felt like Venice was a whole new world: a paradise oasis.