Depsoc travels: Venice

Recently, my friend Midge and I decided to go on holiday to Venice. It was beautiful, and we had a really great time! We chose Venice because as history students we wanted to visit somewhere with a rich culture, rather than a typical girl's holiday of drinking and beaches (though there's nothing wrong with that either). It was really good fun and not too expensive as we could just walk around admiring it's beauty without feeling the need to go into museums or attractions, and the shops and restaurants were all very reasonably priced too. This was very good for our small budgets!

My favourite part of Venice was the little bridges over tiny canals like this one. I have 100,000 photos like this but I picked my favourite for this post so it wouldn't just be millions of identical photos. The houses were so colourful and contrasted beautifully against the dark water. The tourist attraction areas like St. Mark's Square were pretty busy but most of the side streets like this one were empty which was lovely. Occasionally a gondola would go by but other than that it was completely quiet and peaceful! We would stop as we walked across to admire the view or sometimes just sit there for a while (often with a gelato in hand). I think it's the only city I have ever been to that hasn't got a single ugly area in it. The tiny streets and millions of steps make it impossible for traffic to get through too, so there's no vehicles other than boats to get in the way or be noisy or smelly either which was very unusual but so nice to experience.

Obviously, we had to go to St. Mark's Square while we were in Venice. The queues for the Basilica and Doge's Palace were horrifically long so we chose to admire from the outside rather than going in but they were still works of art. The paintings on the outside of the Basilica in particular were truly stunning, I honestly don't know how anyone could produce such works of beauty. My grandad said he once attended a concert here and it was just as beautiful inside as it is out, so perhaps if I go again I will brave the huge queues!

This tower was part of the Doge's Palace, and this also had hour long queues. As I am not a fan of heights, I feel this would probably not have been for me anyway but I still admired it from the bottom. Although, I did enjoy the TV Tower in Berlin so maybe I should have given this a chance to hahaha. We didn't realise what this was at first, and Midge spent all day frantically searching for the Doge Palace until she realised we'd already been there, which just about sums us up to be honest. I have no idea how much these attractions cost, so if you're planning a visit I'm afraid I am a bit useless. My grandad tells me that when he visited 40 odd years ago it was free but I highly doubt that's still the case. Upkeep on beautiful old buildings like these, staff to look after the place and control visitor numbers etc. don't come cheap so I am sure there must be an entrance fee these days.

On our final day, we went to Ca' d'Oro which was just fantastic. It's this beautiful old Venetian house with elaborately tiled floors, gorgeous stone pillars, and a gorgeous art gallery housed inside. There were statues and paintings and a couple of drawings too. Entrance was very reasonably priced (€7.50 if I remember correctly, plus a student discount was offered). To top that all off, there were balconies with these beautiful stone arches as you can see in this picture, and the view from the third floor especially was breath taking!

Overall, if you are planning a trip to Venice, my advice would be to just wander in random directions. Ninety percent of the time, Midge and I had no idea where we were or what we were doing and we loved it. Every single corner of Venice is so beautiful that wherever you end up, you can't go wrong. Visit the Ca' d'Oro if you have time, as it was one of my favourite places I've ever been. Take your time, admire the views, and go at Easter as it is the best weather for it! Don't forget your suncream. Elastic waistbands are best, as the pizza, pasta and gelato options are delicious and many. If you come across white chocolate and passionfruit gelato, try it! It was my absolute favourite. And most of all, take plenty of photos! Although I'm sure you won't be able to resist.