Venice, Italy – “The Man, No Plans, A Lot of Canals”

Whereas, Rome’s age, mustiness and general dirt factor feel fairly oppressive, Venice’s age shines through and actually adds to it’s beauty and charm.

Unfortunately, with all that style comes relatively little substance. Let’s watch.

I roll into Venice at around 2 in the afternoon. On my train is an Australian bloke named Michael who’s also doing the whole Eurotrip thing, but more haphazardly. He has no place to stay, so I tell him to come to my hostel and see if they have room for them, because I’m a nice guy. Luckily, they do. We drop our stuff off and proceed deeper into the city.

Venice is a city to get lost in.sure, you can have a map, but eventually you kind of give up on that. It’s twisting labyrinthine maze of canals and narrow streets make you wonder if that damn Minotaur is going to actually show up. Despite the confusing nature of the streets, Venice is a very small city, and if you don’t eventually end up where you began, you’ll hit one of it’s few landmarks, Piazza San Marco or the Rialto Bridge, and you can usually find your way back from there.

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It doesn’t matter, though, because the old style buildings and not to mention the canals will keep your attention. Hopefully not long enough for you to walk into them. I didn’t do that. Trust me.

Venice is largely a tourist destination, and is filled mainly with food and kitschy cool shops with neat little souvenirs and trinkets that are fun to look at.

They also have these things.

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Celebriducks.

What.

No seriously, what.

This is astounding.

Who thought, “People like celebrities, people like rubber ducks. This freaky shit practically invents itself!”

Here’s the whole collection, including the rare, coveted Jesus Celebriduck.

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Moving on…

Michael and I basically just wander for the whole day, taking in the city, the shops and a lot of gelato. Seriously, I think had at least six scoops a day. Get the hazelnut or nutella ones. They’re great.

We returned to the hostel to meet up with two Americans, Kris and Jamie, to sample Venice’s nonexistent nightlife. There are no real bars, just what I like to call “beer holes”, bars set up inside a small, enclosed space that have you order and drink somewhere outside. We went to the one with a disco ball, because that seemed legit. I ordered a traditional Venetian apertif, which means after tif, called a spritz, which is basically Campari and soda water for €2.50. Why the woman put an olive in it is beyond me. I specifically asked for no olive.

We returned to the hostel and Michael rushed off in search of a wine stand we had seen earlier, which had been selling liters of wine for €1.70. He returned with a €5 bottle of terrible wine, and his spirits broken. The guy who sold him the wine told him no such place existed. Clearly, it was a mutual mirage.

We all stayed up til about 2am drinking this awful swill wine and talking about god knows what.

The next days were more about what nice low key things I could do in Venice, such as read a book canal-side or getting lost some more. I’d really exhausted all the other things to do. I also ate more gelato.

It’s also worth noting that the waiters who served me lunch and dinner bore an uncanny resemblance to music auteur and self-proclaimed booty enthusiast Pitbull. What this says about the Italian people as a whole is for you to decide.

My last night, me, a couple of German girls, and a Canadian girl named Sarah, who inexplicably has a travel itinerary very similar to mine, went out for pizza…in the Jewish Ghetto portion of Venice, for some reason unbeknownst to me. The Germans were commenting on how very few Jewish people lived in their city, Bonne. To my credit, as a representative of the United States of America, I did not make a smartass comment.

Next: A Vienna Sausagefest

Grazie,
Ganesh

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