I’m sure everyone has heard, or seen at least, the pictures and stories about Ancient Venice. It thrived in the 19th Century, being a centre of trade, business and a flourishing government. But has anyone actually walked through these ancient walls and steps yet?? I’m here to take you on a journey around Venice, an ancient city in modern times. I visited it around 3-4 years back, and I am here to share the tale.
Of course, the ancient Venice we know, is only a small part of Venice now… The mainland is a highly developed metropolis with transport cars and hotels. Yes, but the Venice we are looking for is indeed situated offshore. We took a bus from the Mainland to Ancient Venice. It excited me greatly, since I for one had studied Ancient Venice over some textbooks in school that very year.
It is not very big, to my surprise. It is a small little place, with the quaint boats and ancient buildings that are partially submerged with water. The pictures of the past came to life, with the imagery of the boats docking and rocking gently by the waves. The houses that were in various colours, and the wobbly pathways.
The place was full of tourists, and the local population are few.. Many of them have moved out due to the fact that the whole thing is sinking. Water levels are rising every year, and soon the ancient Venice we know would be gone. There are some hotels situated in this area, to have a real authentic stay, so feel free to take a boat over and stay for the night . At night, the whole city seems to come to life, with the beautiful lights decorating the harbour.
Feel free to walk around the narrow alleys and see the sights and sounds. The stores here mostly have pasta, gelato and the amazing sea food. Here, the most delicious thing we tried was called SCAMPI. They are similar to deep fried prawns. It was juicy and sweet, with a crunchy outside. The seafood here is one of the best we had throughout the Italy trip. The seafood can be ordered separately, or cooked with pasta (like Squid Ink pasta) and pizza. One thing to know if you are choosing a restaurant, if there is English words and translations, it may not be good. It is a TOURISTY spot, not the ones you are looking for. Backpack around, and find one that has less English, and more classy Italian words. usually they are patronised by locals. Try guessing what the words mean in a while hahaha. Even gelato is readily available. Every 2/3 shops there would be one. Another word, everything is in italian, so have fun guessing. XD
For the boat ride, it is really expensive. However, it is worth it if around 4-5 people go. We went in a crowd of 7, which was too heavy for the man rowing the gondola. As such, unlike the usual stereotypical boat rower, this man did not sing at all. Not a word of Italian songs… A disappointment, but at least we had a ride around the narrow corners of the place.
We went under a few bridges and walkways, and in the meantime it is perfect to snap photos. Perhaps if a couple comes to sit in the gondola, the rower would sing. Look out for boats like these situated near the dock. They offer some rides, but please ask for the price before boarding. There are larger boats as well, that charge greater prices.
Along the way, we saw stores selling various items. We saw the Masquerade masks being displayed on the counter. They are really pretty, and usually worn to formal dances and events. It is so cool, since you wouldn’t know you you are dancing with. Masked strangers. 😉
We also saw interesting food items, and the thing about Venice is the sweet shops. They have so many different kinds of pastry, it is quite tempting to walk in and buy a whole lot. I saw Nougat, the biscotti (these famous Italian biscuits that are small, hard and thin) and even Pistachio foods. I tried a Pistachio donut, and it was heavenly. Don’t be deceived by the green tinge, it tasted good. Feel free to pop by one of these and try it with a oozing thick fudge of dark Chocolate. If only Singaporean bakeries were like this too.
We also saw pasta shops. One thing Italy cannot do without are their pastas. These are no ordinary pastas. They are pastas with the strangest names and colours. They look interesting to eat, but hard to cook. Anyone fancies trying?? If you’re fortunate, you’d order one of these kind of pastas in the local cafes there.
We walked up the bridges and the trick is to follow the crowd for the main road… The whole of this ancient Venice can be completed within half a day. It’s not too long. Haha. The central point would be the City Square, with a huge central space there. The sunsets here are beautiful, so it is also good for an evening stroll. But of course, at night please avoid the small dark alleyways. This place is nothing like a shopping area or places like Milan. it is unique and beautiful in its vintage ways.
Come to Venice and slot it into your trip. One day or even half a day would do to visit this amazing landscape. it is worth it!!! (Moreover, it’s sinking, so all the more a must to see this wonder haha). Thanks for taking this visual trip with me to Venice! A good throwback down memory lane.