How nice was it? Ve-nice!

Since I was young, I’ve always wanted to visit Venice. Mainly because of the classic cornetto advert on the Gondola. So when I found out that it was just a €14 coach trip away, it was rude not to go. We hadn’t started university again at this point, so we were just catching up on work and had plenty of time to visit places. We quickly booked the coach trip and a hostel for the coming weekend, what a great way to start the new term!

The day came and our coach was at 9:30am. But the pickup point was on the other side of Milan, which meant a very early start for both Anna, and myself. We slept most of the journey and then headed straight to our hostel. It really wasn’t as I had imagined or seen online. It reminded me of a “modern” day Addams Family house, it looked (and felt) haunted. But hey, it was just a place to stay.

We decided that we would use the rest of the day to just get lost on the island of Venice through the narrow, cobblestoned streets. When we arrived onto the island, it was just how I imagined; beautifully picturesque and typically Italian. As a photographer, it was great to just aimlessly walk around photographing the views.

The second day we woke up and met Alessandro in the morning. Alessandro was at Coventry University as an Erasmus student last year doing Photography. We became good friends throughout the year and agreed to meet while I was in Italy. We toured around Venice and eventually met with Mariana who traveled from Milan a day later than us. Mariana stayed at the same hostel but in the room next door. She shared the room with other people visiting Venice and this was how we met Gilbert. Gilbert is an Australian traveling the world for a year. He quickly became our friend and joined us on the rest of our Venice experience.

On the third and final day, we went back onto the main island of Venice and decided that we had to be those cheesy tourists and take the classic ride on one of the Gondola’s. There were plenty of places where we could hop on and ride a Gondola and they were all the same price: €60 per Gondola for 30 minutes. Of course this price was shared between us. So five of us shared a Gondola and it’s price, which meant that it wasn’t so expensive.

As we slowly went through the water-filled Venetian streets, the Gondolier told us facts about Venice that really were fascinating. Then towards the end, he started singing. It’s been on my bucket list for a long time, to sing the song from the cornetto advert on a Gondola and I was determined to do it.

The Gondolier sang for a while the song used in the advert, but in Italian – the real lyrics of the song. But I just couldn’t help myself and had to finish the ride off with the cornetto version. It still hurts me to this day that there were five of us on that Gondola and not one person recorded it for the memories. I’m forever going back into the non-technological age and replaying the memory in my head. So you’re just going to have to believe me on this one.

Venice was an amazing place to visit. I loved photographing the place and it was so peaceful. It really made me feel relaxed. It was also great to spend time with Alessandro again and it really made me realise that friendships don’t just disappear, even if you are living in completely different countries.

Side note: I lost my £5 sunglasses from Porthcawl market in Venice, which was the only downside to the trip. – R.I.P Sunglasses, you will be missed.

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