The main water  canal in Venice, undated photo - Creative Commons via Pixabay/Gayulo The main water canal in Venice, undated photo - Creative Commons via Pixabay/Gayulo

Enjoy Venice but check café prices, don't walk with baggage

Mon, Jan. 22, 2018
CAIRO – 22 January 2018: One of the most unique cities in the world, a city of water canals and bridges, with no cars, buses or any type of vehicles allowed. The only way to explore the city is either by boat or on foot. Let us explore Venice. I will tell you about the details of my trip there.

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A narrow alley in Venice in June 2015 - Photo courtesy of Mai Abdallah

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A water taxi in a narrow canal, undated photo - Creative Commons via Flickr/Riva degli Schiavoni & Rio della Pieta)
As soon as we got out of Venice’s Marco Polo Airport, my friend and I took a taxi at the exit of the airport to the last point cars can reach. We then changed to public transportation; a water bus or “Vaporetto” as they call it in Venice which operates on the main water canal of Venice, the “Grand Canal”. The Vaporetto stops at several stations along the Grand Canal, covering different parts of Venice. It brought us to the closest station to our B&B, which was located in a small street on a very narrow canal which is not accessible with the Vaporetto due to its size.

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The main water canal in Venice and the Vaporetto on the left,
undated photo - Creative Commons via Pxhere

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The public water bus "Vaporetto," undated photo - Creative Commons via Pixabay/Lenalindell
To reach Venice’s charming, small, inner canals you can take either a water taxi or the famous “Gondola”, a narrow long boat made out of wood, operated by a gondolier who is wearing a stripped T-shirt and a black hat. The Gondola and the water taxi will take you from the wide “Grand Canal” to the narrowest canals in Venice, so you can enjoy the uniqueness of the city and watch its buildings and streets from within the boats, while enjoying your cruise.

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A Gondola in the Grand Canal, undated photo - Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons/Peter K. Burian
We took our baggage and decided to walk to our B&B instead of taking a water taxi or a Gondola. I believe it was not a good decision at all. We pulled our baggage through Venice’s ancient cobbled streets and across a lot of little bridges. It was the hardest part of the trip since each little bridge or “Ponti” as they call it in Venice, consisted of stair steps upward then a flat part then stair steps downward. For each “Ponti”, we had to pull our baggage up the stairs of the Ponti and then down the stairs again to cross the canals. It was not easy. A water taxi could have saved us from this workout. We finally reached our B&B, checked in our room and immediately started exploring the city.

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A narrow Canal and a Ponti in Venice, undated photo - Creative Commons via Pixabay
The main square in Venice is Saint Mark Square (Piazza San Marco in Italian). It is the biggest square in the city, located at the starting point and the widest part of the Grand Canal. It hosts the very famous and beautiful Saint Mark’s Cathedral (Basilica di San Marco) with its lovely architecture and sculptured details on its outer facades. On the inside, the basilica is a lovely piece of Italian art; rich in paintings on the inner ceiling and inner sides of domes, mosaics on walls and marble on the floor. The Basilica is a mix between medieval parts that survived until now and contemporary parts which replaced the damaged medieval parts.

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Basilica Di San Marco, undated photo - Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons, by Ricardo Andre Frantz)
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Another view of San Marco Square, undated photo - Creative Commons via Pixabay/Anabana)
After enjoying that impressive piece of art, we returned to San Marco Square. In the square you will find the beautiful Doge’s Palace, various classy cafes and restaurants where bands play live music while people enjoy their meals or drinks. Keep in mind that those cafes and restaurants of San Marco Square are really expensive compared to the cafes and restaurants in the small side roads and small squares of Venice. For example, a cup of cappuccino costs €3 in a small café close to our B&B, but you will pay €14 in a café at San Marco Square! After checking the prices, we left at once without ordering anything.

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San Marco Square, the main and biggest square in Venice, undated photo - Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons/Janmad
To be continued...

Part 2:

How to enjoy Venice like an Egyptian



Part 3:

Venice's Burano Island, the original El Max of Alexandria



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