Exploring Venice, Italy

Aloha everyone,

I am blogging out of order but I am just ending my weekend trip to Venice, Italy, and I wanted to write a bit about it while the memories are fresh. I had two days off work this week because of National Saudi Day, so I decided I might as well make the most out of life and book a trip. At first I was feeling very regretful because I have so much work to do but now after experiencing it I am so glad I did this trip. 3 days of traveling doesn’t sound like a lot at all, but I managed to fit in so much during this trip, and now I am feeling so happy. I was using Skyscanner.com to book my trip, and the two cheapest countries I had never been to were Kuwait, India, and Italy. I really want to go to India but would rather not do that as a solo trip, and Kuwait is very similar to Saudi, so I made the decision to book my flights to Venice. The only thing I arranged ahead of time was my hostel. This is because as I was searching on booking.com over 90 percent of the hotels were already sold out. Accommodation in Venice is super pricey, especially compared to my Asian travels. So I decided to book a hostel, besides, I never end up being in my accommodation for long because I’m busy exploring. I did a lot of research on hostels in Venice, and the ones in the central location we’re all $50+ a night with pretty bad reviews. I ended up finding an awesome looking hostel that was pretty cheap with great reviews. The only downside was that it was located in Mestre, which was a 10 minute bus ride from Venice. But there were frequent shuttles to and from the airport to Mestre as well as between Mestre and Venice. So it wasn’t inconvenient at all.

At Venice airport I bought a bus ticket to go to Mestre, not realizing that it went to Venice first. I had originally planned to go to Mestre to check in and then go Venice after dropping off my stuff, but since the bus took be to Venice first i decided to get off and do some exploring. It was only a weekend trip so I didn’t have too much with me anyways. I didn’t really have a plan I just wanted to see and do as much as possible. So I decided to walk around and get my bearings, see as much as possible, and eat.

The weather was absolutely perfect, maybe 60/70 degrees F during the day. I strolled along the grand canal, a bustling area with lots of boat traffic. The buildings lining the canal are all so different and beautiful to look at. I’m not usually a city tourist, and I’m used to chasing nature. Finding new hikes and seeing wildlife, so exploring a city was something totally new to me. I actually really enjoyed myself, if I had longer I probably would have found some nearby hikes, but I did enjoy finding cute coffee shops and secret little views of the canals.

I made it to the famous St. Mark’s Square where I saw St. Marks’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Companile. Just around the corner from this area is the Bridge of Sighs, a very famous spot in Venice that connected the interrogation room to the prison, where prisoners took their last sigh while taking in their last Venice views. I also saw the bridge from like 3 viewpoints as I was getting lost in the less traversed alleyways. I saw so many cool buildings and nice sights, but I don’t know what all of them are called. For lunch I found a really cute square where I ordered butter and sage gnocchi. It was delicious! I enjoyed just people watching and eating and drinking, it’s honestly how I spent a good amount of the weekend. I also was able to find my favorite store of all time, Lush Cosmetics. I’ve mentioned them before since I’m slightly obsessed but I now have a mission to get new lush products in as many languages as possible. So far I have some from Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, UK, USA, and now Italy! I got a face toner and deodorant that I recently started running low on. The lush here was super nice (I actually went twice during my trip) and I got free samples both times!

Another day one highlight was a gelato I bought and then enjoyed sitting alone on a tiny canal watching boats whiz by. It was super relaxing and I was very happy. At around 6 I started getting hungry again, and found my favorite restaurant of the whole trip. I really think this is a hidden treasure, it’s called Ristorante Povoledo. It’s located right on the grand canal and has some pretty spectacular views. I went right on time and had a perfect corner table. I also wanted to add that if there’s anyone who is ashamed to go out to eat alone really should go out of their comfort zone and try it. Sitting in silence and just living in the moment is amazing. It can feel awkward or lonely but I can’t imagine feeling ashamed to do something alone, and I feel extremely confident and comfortable traveling solo and I’m so happy about this. Yes sometimes I wish I was with my boyfriend and had someone to enjoy the moment with, but in the end I’m also really glad that I’m able to have such a good time on my own, and I feel like I don’t need to rely on anyone. After my wine and giant pizza and views of the canal during sunset, I decided to find my way to my hostel to check in and call it a night. To be completely honest with you all I got lost on my way home. I took a bus saying “Mestre City Center” which is evidently different than Mestre Train Station, so I had a bit of a walk. Oh not to mention I hopped on the bus and noticed no one around me paid or scanned their cards, so I figured I pay on my way off. Turns out I’m wrong… I was supposed to buy a ticket (I’ll admit it I’m far from perfect). But luckily no one checked so I hopped off when I realized I was on the wrong train and then made the 15 minute walk to my hostel. Thank god for the maps.me app for helping me navigate to my hostel.

I stated at the Anda Venice Hostel, and I highly recommend it to any budget travelers. It was super new looking, clean, and had the perfect setup for chatting and meeting people. I had a much needed shower, watched an episode of Handmaids Tale (my current fave show) and then fell asleep by 10. I had walked over 8 miles and it was just a half day in the city, I was so ready for a good night’s sleep.

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