I took an early morning ferry out to Venice from Pula. It was fine all the way there and I got to sleep most of the way too. It was already fairly warm when I left Pula, but when I got to Venice I felt like I was walking into a sauna. I wasn’t sure how long I could handle the heat. I then had to go through immigration and find the water bus. Instead of buses or a subway, they have boats in Venice that are jam packed with people at all times. I had to go to the other side of Venice to get to where my hostel was. I finally got there in the middle of the afternoon and was very ready for some gelato and lunch.
I really should have called this my trip through every flavor of gelato. It was too hot to eat anything else! Venice is a city that I’ve always wanted to go to. I heard a few years ago it was sinking and the realization that it wouldn’t be there forever made me immediately need to go there. It was hot and the canals smell a little odd, but it is beautiful. There is so much to see in Venice and it’s also really easy to walk around. I was looking for a free tour but I made a decision to just wander by myself. That way I could get up early and take the water bus to the touristy area of Venice. It got hot pretty early, but it was at least bearable and not up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit yet.
I walked around and saw some of the picture perfect areas. I wound up walking through some of the nicest shopping streets as well, finding my way to Ponte Rialto, then all the way back to the hostel. It probably took less time to walk there than it did to take the water bus.
Something really interesting was that I never saw a car until I was leaving. Everyone uses boats. Even ambulances are speed boats. It was a weird concept to get used to but it makes sense. Everywhere is within a few feet of a canal. I really liked Venice, but when 2pm hit, it was too hot to be outside anymore. I got a gelato (again) and went back to the hostel and took a nap. The only problem was that there wasn’t air conditioning there. It was still really hot in the room so napping wasn’t going to happen. I decided to sit in the air conditioned bar with a glass of Prosecco and read.
I wandered out to get dinner eventually and decided I needed to try a real Italian pizza. I wasn’t a huge fan. BUT I found out later that each area of Italy is known for a type of Italian food and Naples is actually known for pizza. Lucky for me that was where I would eventually end up!!
The next day I had a fairly early start trying to beat the heat and make it to the bus station. I was revisiting the stories of Shakespeare as I prepared to head to Verona. It wasn’t very far from Venice, actually. It was going to be even hotter in Verona, but it was going to be really cool to go to a place where one of the greatest writers places his plays. It was also pretty nice to be in the air conditioning in the bus before walking through the heat.
It was actually more like Arizona heat. It was warm, but the heat didn’t completely overpower you. It wasn’t too bad to walk over to the hostel. Unfortunately, this one didn’t have air conditioning either. It must not be very common in Italy yet. But I did have a roommate from Canada who was nice enough to show me around Verona a little bit. We didn’t do the touristy stuff as I was going to get up early and do that the next day when there were fewer tourists and it wasn’t as hot. Of course, we got gelato and wandered around before we found the next gelato shop.
The next morning I woke up and immediately went to the main square. It was early enough for some of the street vendors to be out selling some things, but most were just opening their shops. Verona is a relatively quiet place. It wasn’t riddled with tourists like Rome, but it was refreshingly quiet. It was nice to wake up early and go walk around a new place without having to fight through tour groups.
One of the most popular places was Juliet’s house. You really can write Juliet a letter like in the movie and there are people who write back! It is a fun little touristy thing to do so when in Rome, right?
All in all, I loved Verona. It was much calmer than Venice and had just as much history and beautiful places. Most importantly, they have gelato shops on every corner! Next up…FIRENZE!!