How I Spent My 24 Hours in Venice

Venice was my very first stop in Italy. I thought Italy would welcome me in its finest weather but I was wrong. I was expecting clear blue sky and festive markets going on the streets (since it was around Christmas), but to my disappointment, Venice was covered with thick dense fog, and no festive market, nada. I remember telling YW "You know what, this fog is going to be gone by 10am". But I was wrong -- again! The fog stayed for one whole day!

Nevertheless, that did not hold me back form enjoying Venice. I tried my best to walk in the cold (around 3°C) although my breath vapour was trying to cover my vision most of the time. #truestory

This is how Venice looks like in the midst of winter. 

The moment I stepped out of St Lucia train station

Mysterious look of Venice


I read a few articles on Venice stating how exquisite this city will look in winter, but I totally disagree with that! All my photo looks blurry and sad in this weather. Not to mentioned that it was freezing cold af.   

We spent the first few hours strolling around the place trying to figure out the floating city. While we were sight-seeing, questions start to filled up my mind. How deep is this city covered with water? How deep exactly is the base of the building? How did they built all these on water? Or how the city is separated by interconnected canals but at the same time, floated and connected firmly by bridges? Is it possible that Venice was once on land but flooded in the middle of the century? And by the way, do you know that Venice is a car-free city? People rely on vaporetto (public water bus), gondola, motor boat or their legs to move around - everything form post to food moves by water!

"Venice is planted in the middle of a lagoon. The two odd interlocking jigsaw pieces that make up the centre are separated by the Grand Canal. Each piece in turn is diced by dozens of smaller canals to make a total of more than 100 islands, which slot together to form a mosaic of canals and cobbled streets."

Streets of Venice


Alley of Venice - just enough for 2 person to walk side by side

Santa sitting by the window


It feels so good to see people riding the gondola. Although I would like to ride it myself, I was too afraid that I would freeze to death. haha! But of course, the main reason was because of the price per ride. We didn't really asked the gondolier the exact price for the ride but having this kind of weather, I'll just pass and leave the chance for future.  


The visibility was around 200m and anything beyond that can hardly be seen! 
Notice the background of picture #9? Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore can supposedly be seen at the background but everything was white out!

I spy with my little eyes...

Despite having the disappointing weather, we made it to 6 of the most popular attractions in Venice. 

1. St Mark's Basilica
This is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice. We did entered the church (it's free) and had a glimpse inside but unfortunately we were not allowed to take photo. Also, backpacks or luggages were also not allowed inside. This is by far the strictest church I've came across in Italy. The interior was as beautiful as the outside, with a lot of gold mosaics. 


Tons of pillars

2. Piazza San Marco
Also known as St Mark's Square, this is the public square of Venice with a lot of shops and cafes occupying the building surrounding this space. Most of the time, this is where the pigeons gather around chasing, or being chased by tourists.   

Peace out

Lighted up piazza

3. Palazzo Ducale 
Known as the Doge's Palace, this building is built in Venetian Gothic style. This beautiful pink and white marble building was once a palace for the supreme authority of the former Republic of Venice, but is now open to public as a museum. The richly decorated chambers of the Palace provide perfect introduction to the great artists of Venice from the middle age.


4. St Mark's Campanile
Also known as the bell tower of St Mark's Basilica, is open to public to ascent at 8 Euro per person.
This bell tower is located less than 200 metres from our hotel and we got there pretty easily. 

Bad weather

5. Rialto Bridge
This place need no further introduction. But too bad it was under renovation when we were there!!! "These two models will be remembered forever to all the people who took this photo..", said YW. Which is quite true. 20 years later, when I look back at this photo, they will still be there holding each other. XD 
The worst part of this renovation is that it occurred at both sides of the bridge at the same time.  



6. Grand Canal
Grand Canal is the main waterway of Venice in reverse-S course that divides the city into tow parts. With construction going on at Rialto Bridge, it is not surprise to say that the Grand Canal will be affected too. So we can only see views like photos below at both sides of the bridge. 

From the bridge facing south

From the bridge facing north

All of the attractions above are close to each other except for Rialto Bridge, which is located at the center of Grand Canal. It is a possible walking distance if you do not have a one-day-pass for vaporetto. 

. . . . .

The 6 places above are the must-see in Venice but of course we also visited other places besides them. Such as Hotel Danieli , which appeared in the movie "The Tourist" that Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp starred in. We didn't actually went into the hotel, just a peek from outside and I remember the interior looks antique-ish, woody and classic, slightly different from how it looks from the outside.


The vaporetto/gondola entrance for Hotel Danieli. What caught my attention wasn't the entrance though. Instead, it was this scene where 5 gondoliers were trying to figure out a way to clear this "traffic". Each of them were meaning to go to the opposite direction of each other, but the water-road was just too narrow for them to do so. Maybe they should suggest a new law such as "keep to the left except when passing". haha.  

Traffic jam is too mainstream

The city still looks pretty with clothes hanging out in this way, as long as the underwear are kept unseen! 



I have not actually thought of this until a speedboat with siren pass-by the city and it was non other than their water-ambulance. It makes sense right? City of water with water ambulance. How cool is that?

Their ambulance are cooler than yours! 

Painting made by locals

Selfie with a lion statue in front of a christmas tree

On the next day, we were so lucky that the weather was perfect!
Remember that I mentioned the missing building of Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore in picture #9?
Well, thanks to the fine day, we finally realised that it was behind us all the while!




Click on the photo for full view!

Remember this bell tower? Look how majestic it looked without the fog!


We even took a MV-liked photo in front of it. #shameless


Venice is no doubt an intriguing and mystifying city to visit. Its beauty speak for itself and its great history seems to resonant throughout the whole city! I had fun exploring this city, however it's sad to see it turning into a tourist spot all by itself. Rows and rows of souvenir shops, restaurants and hotels operating just to accommodate the visitors. Also, everything from mineral water to take-away food is expensive! Even the money-changer charges high fees to the extend where we can only get 50€ with 10000¥ whereas the market price shows that we can get at least 70€. Oh well, they do need to transport everything into the city by boats and hired someone to move everything by legs right?  

If you have a chance to visit Italy, do drop by Venice even though you only have 24 hours!
The view and vibe of the city will be one of your most unforgettable  ones throughout your lifetime.

My favourite pic in this post is #31. What about you? 
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  1. I don't usually see Venice in this perspective. Thank you for the nice photos :) Venice looks so pretty