Today was the day I most looked forward to: Venice Day. It is the coolest city I have ever been too, for the obvious reason that it was built on a lagoon on stilts and spans across several different islands. I like it for more than the beauty, though. There are no cars in the city, so it is possible to walk in the middle of every street like you could 200 years ago. This makes for a really nice atmosphere and gives the whole city a touch of the surreal, because to be in a modern city with no cars usually requires a vivid imagination. It feels a little bit like an amusement park.
We took the train from Verona to Venice at ~10:00 and arrived in about fifty minutes. We got water taxis from the train station to San Marco and from there took a gondola ride. The taxi ride was really cool because I got to see what day-to-day life in the city is like and got to see the city from the Grand Canal. The gondola ride was really cool because it was slower and you can experience the closeness of the city from water level in a slow moving boat. The circuit the driver took us on just went through San Marco, and I ended up seeing a lot of the same places we went by later when I went for a walk.
After the gondola ride we had some free time to walk around and eat so a group of us went to lunch and then I went for a walk with Russell. We walked all across San Marco for about 90 minutes and then returned to the Piazza San Marco for our walking tour. The tour lasted about two hours and took us from San Marco along the eastern side of the Grand Canal all the way to the Cannaregio district in the north. Cannaregio is really quiet and i think I would like to live there one day. We got to see several distinct neighborhoods along the way, and ended in one of the ghettos in the northern part of the city. From there we had some free time to walk around so I bought some gifts for a friend and a decorative plague doctor mask for myself. We left on the train a little bit later after a very long day.
By the time we got back to Verona, it was quite late and I hadn’t eaten yet so we went to dinner and got some pizza then climbed a large hill across the Adige to a castle. The view was very nice at night. The lights of the city lit up the paths along the street so there were these lines through the buildings in the city. When I got back to the hotel I had over 30,000 steps on my step counter which was pretty cool.