During this year’s Easter weekend, I took a whirlwind trip to Venice. Venice is famous for being one of the most romantic cities in the world. It is filled with winding, narrow streets and beautiful architecture. You can take a gondola ride through the canals with your significant-other and get serenaded by your gondolier or eat spaghetti ‘Lady and the Tramp’ style, sitting next to the blue water.
This was not my experience of Venice. For one thing, gondola rides were expensive and so beyond my limited budget and for another:
Instead, I went with my Berlin travel buddy. She had a long weekend from work and I took the opportunity to have one last burst of freedom before I bury myself in revision for the next month.
On Good Friday night, we touched down in Treviso airport and rushed off the plane, eager to get through in time for our bus to the city in half an hour. We needn’t have worried- the airport was small, we only had cabin bags and passport control took no time at all. The bus was also waiting outside the front door, so we found it with plenty of time to spare.
An hour later we arrived at Venice’s bus station and jumped off the coach before realising that we had no idea where we were or where we were going. Our bus driver pointed out our location on my map-app and as we knew our hostel had views of San Marco Basilica, we headed off in that direction. The bus stop was on the other side of the city to where we wanted to go but thankfully the main island of Venice is relatively small and for a place where you’d expect to get lost easily, San Marco and the Rialto Bridge were very well signposted. In fact, where there were no signs, people had graffitied them on or put up their own.
I had managed to fit my weekend necessities into my small backpack and this turned out to be genius. Whilst my travel buddy had to drag her wheelie back nosily across the paved streets and over the many, many bridges, I was at ease. After about 30-40 minutes, we emerged from an alleyway to find San Marco square and I think I actually did a double take and let out multiple exclamations. The small lanes had suddenly given way to a massive square, lined with some of the most beautiful architecture I have ever seen. I couldn’t wait to return in daylight and go camera crazy.
Crossing the square brought us to the ferry docks. We knew our hostel was near Giudecca and, after spotting the Bridge of Sighs, we found what we thought was the right port. After managing to figure out how to buy our 72 hour vaporetto pass, we waited for our boat but soon realised we were at the wrong dock after all. We managed to find the right one but the boat wasn’t coming for over 20 mins so we settled down for a wait. Finally on the boat, we looked out for a stop saying Giudecca but there didn’t seem to be one. We asked the guy on the boat who told us that the whole island was Giudecca and there were multiple stops. We had no idea whereabouts on the island our hostel was but thankfully a girl on the ferry overheard us and directed us to the right place. Eventually, we were there.
We were pleasantly surprised with our hostel- Generator. We’d left booking until the week before and little seemed to be available. I couldn’t tell whether this was because there are limited hostels in Venice or because the Easter weekend was particularly busy. Generator was warm, cosy and clean with quirky decor, wifi and a nice common area. Unfortunately, our 16 bed dorm room was typically noisy- snorers, people sleeping through their alarms, slamming doors and loud conversations- so it felt like I barely slept during our stay, but I can’t blame that on the hostel! Price wise it had worked out at about £30 a night, which is more than I had hoped to pay but I would certainly recommend it.