Venice is of course one of those cities notorious for being picturesque from any angle, but the one unique angle it has from most others is from the water. There are of course the gondolas, but in the couple of times I’ve been to Venice I never took one, finding them both way too cliche and too overpriced. In my opinion the better ways to get around are by water taxi, or the ferries that go around the Grand Canal and the other large waterways.
The first time that I arrived in Venice, it was at the airport, where it was quite easy to arrange a water taxi — one of these chic little cigarette boats to get us quickly to our hotel out in Il Lido. So this was my first real glimpse of the city: the murky green water rushing past, the barbershop-striped poles and sinking palazzi, seeing one after another of the Venice’s biggest monuments like a living slideshow.
The next time I was back in Venice solo, and I stayed in a hotel on the main island so most of my wandering was easy enough on my own two feet, except for those funny moments when you think you’ve arrived where you’re going only to realize you’re on the wrong side of the canal and have to go all the way around. Some navigation takes a little bit of strategy.
However when I wanted to go back out to Il Lido for a day at the beach, I bought a new bikini, hopped down to Piazza San Marco to the ferry station, and took an inexpensive boat, Venice’s version of a bus, out to the island. And as soon as we were out into the lagoon, I was rewarded by these amazing views of Venice from sea level, the sun sparkling on the water and the tops of the buildings, flecks of gold and metal everywhere.
And as evening fell, and I waited at the other end for my ferry back to Venice to take off, the view was even more beautiful, the sky and water melted into the same shade of blue, with just a little skyline of shadows and lights separating them.
Now, these memories in the dead of winter have me wishing for warmer times… and maybe daydreaming about the next trips for this spring and summer!