When I was there last time – about 10 years ago – I personally was done with Venice: Too many tourists, overpriced, seedy hotels and disappointing restaurants. As I found cheap train tickets, I decided to give it another chance and I’m glad I did. The weather on that November weekend wasn’t appealing at all, but compared to the unbearable heat in the summer, it gave the city an entirely different atmosphere. The fog, rain and aqua alta – the flood that hits Venice now and then – much more matched to a place where beauty and decay lie so close to each other unlike anywhere else. The city by the lagoon has obviously problems: The housing prices go up as well as the frequency of flooding events and giant cruise ships are spitting out more crowds whereas the local population declines. Also the restaurants weren’t overwhelming, but if you don’t mind standing at the bar, you can get away with cheap appetizers and 1-Euro-Espressi. Served at your table, it easily could cost double the price – a very Italian invention. But still – Venice is a symbol, a legend, copied in casinos and theme parks, yet unique. It took me more than three visits to realise that the city is more than just an overhyped tourist trap. Probably another Venetian island helped: Burano! It felt like a little dollhouse village with all the colourful houses and quickly became my favourite place of the entire trip! No matter how overrun it may be: Venice is a wonderful place to wander around. I’ll come back!
Basically this is Venice in one picture: Aqua Alta, cruise ships, the Lion of Venice and tourists on Piazza San Marco.
See also my other articles about Italy: