ITALY – Venice
Venice was voted worst pizza in Italy. It’s constantly berated for being smelly, dirty, and overly touristy. But I think they should stop giving Venice a bad wrap! Maybe growing up in a desert, a water city seems particularly refreshing to me. With more water than pavement, their metro system’s ferries and their taxis are speedboats.
It’s easy to get lost in Venice. The streets are narrow and winding and sometimes it’s difficult discerning what streets are streets and what streets are actually waterways on a map. But it’s fun getting lost, especially during the day when you want to get away from the congested spots like the Rialto Bridge. The maze of streets is less fun at night, though, after you’ve had a few Bellinis and are trying to find the way back to your hotel.
I think there are as many pigeons in St. Mark’s Square as people. The piazza’s beautifully old and bustling with activity. It’s a great spot to catch a water bus to one of the islands. I take one to Lido, which is much quieter than Venice proper. Lido’s like a little beach town, and the beach is where I end up.
Back on the main island, I try some cuttlefish for dinner at a restaurant near the fish market called Al Pesador. The dish isn’t outstanding, but it’s cool sitting outside on the wedge-shaped piazza watching the gondolas row by on the Grand Canal. Classic Venice.