Posted by: Stevie D | October 20, 2012

Venice and the north of Italy.

Leaving Croatia wasn’t easy but our next destination promised much as it is, I guess, pretty well unique in the world. We travelled north, leaving Croatia, passing though a tiny outcrop of Slovenia and entering Italy near Trieste. It was then a simple matter of following the Adriatic coast around and Bobs your uncle.  However, we found that, unless you want to pay the heavy tolls on the Autostrada, many Italian roads are overcrowded and very poorly maintained. It took a whole day and into the evening to reach our next campsite which was situated on the narrow spit of land between Lido de Jesolo and Punto Sabbioni. You can take a boat trip to Venice from Punto Sabbioni and the whole coast here is one long sandy beach. However, the site itself, whilst very well equipped regarding showers, restaurant and the like, had a few drawbacks. Firstly,it was situated on sand, extra sticky sand,which got everywhere, whenever you moved, the sand came with you.Also,they wanted something like 12euros a day to use their WiFi. In England, we call that daylight robbery and I’ll have no part of it. Finally, and most importantly as far as Jayney was concerned, the place was alive with mosquitos. Jayney,whose defense systems weren’t designed to cope with such an onslaught, was badly affected as the little bleeders missed no opportunity to steal what they considered their share of my lovely lady.

We fixed a day to head into Venice and, it must be said, we had a fantastic day in this amazing city. The evening before we went however, we had a massive thunderstorm which turned the campsite into it’s own ‘mini-Venice’.

If Carlsberg made rain…….

There follows just some of the pictures we took as we wondered around Venice’s myriad streets and squares.

As you approach Venice from the sea, the city appears to be floating on the water.

The canals give Venice a surreal air.

The most well known sights are crowded with tourists.

We were lucky enough to have glorious weather for our visit.

Some of the architecture rivals any we have seen on the trip.

It’s not all grand buildings however. Venice is a tangle of tiny backstreets which, to me, are much more interesting.

The hard part is finding your way around them.

There were literally hundreds of shops selling these masks. I wondered how they all made a living.

Jayney on the famous Rialto Bridge over the bustling Grand Canal.

There are as many ‘back-canals’ as there are backstreets. It is indeed an amazing place to just wander around, looking lost.

I was quoted 80euros (£65)for a half hour trip in a Gondola. I politely declined. That’s 4 tanks of petrol for the bike!

After seeing Venice, there was little to keep us in the area so we headed  South West through some lovely countryside but on some diabolical roads until we reached our next stop in the hills near Florence. Our intention was to pay a visit to Florence and explore the Tuscan countryside. Events back home put paid to that however, as I said in the post ‘Spanner in the Works’ a couple of weeks ago.

We had two long days of driving up to Nice, on France’s Cote d’Azur, from where we could get a flight home.

As for Italy, we left with mixed feelings. On the plus side, the people are so friendly and bubbly, the history and architecture are amazing and they do make the bestest Pizzas. Negatives however are that it is one of the most expensive places we have been, both for fuel and almost everything else. And if riding/driving is a big part of your reason to travel, the roads, apart from the toll roads, are bad, bordering on the downright dangerous.

Finally, most distasteful sight so far? In Venice, outside the public toilets.Turnstile gate at the entrance with a big burly enforcer squeezing 3euros out of unfortunate,desperate,mainly elderly tourists who know they are being ripped off but are in no position to argue. Good to see the spirit of the Mafia is alive and well in Venice. Be ashamed Venice, be very ashamed.

Overall, I’ll not be hurrying back.

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Responses

  1. So Venice is not as “romantic” as it’s made out to be. That is a shame! I always thought it would be nice to see, but it’s never been high on my places to visit. It was nice to hear your point of view! Hope the next stop proves to be a little more friendly! 🙂

    • Don’t get me wrong Shadowrun, Venice is an amazing place to visit. The public toilet situation just sickened me a little as I watched an elderly couple distraught at having to pay £5(english)(maybe 8$) to take a leak. It was just an extreme example of something which affects many tourist traps.

      • Oh… Okay. If I go, I just need to remember to take a leak before visiting the sites. Gotcha! 🙂

      • When we Brits are having a houseparty, we often say ‘Bring a bottle’. This could put a whole new slant on it. 🙂

  2. Just checking in to see where your at, we had a quick trip down to Germany for Halloween had a great time down the Rhine over to the Mosel then back Lux an back Belgium like you say Steve starting to get a bit colder.
    Hey Ho back to work next week and planning the next trip hope you find that sun again take care.
    Jof.

    • Hey Jof. We’re back in sunny Spain now so no worries about the cold. Soon be time to think about heading home ourselves though. Ah well, all good things come to an end. 😦


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