If you’ve missed my previous Italy travel blogs, here they are!
Here I am, writing my final day in Italy and we finished it with lots of walking.
It’s hard to believe that we’ve travelled for eight days already. Time flies when we are enjoying ourselves. It’s been quite a dramatic trip. Having left our twins back home with Sue’s parents, our house got burgled, lost my cars and god knows what else, then continued our trip around Italy, enjoyed some of the most spectacular scenes, saw some of the most amazing landmarks and met some of the friendliest people, it’s sad to know that our trip is finally coming to an end.
Sue and I had done plenty of walking since we started our trip in Rome. Tiring it seemed, but we had been travelling like this since we met almost nine years ago. We loved exploring a place on foot and it’s always the best way to ‘see’ a place.
My camera was always with me and its the best companion next to my wife. It documented everything that we saw and experienced. On that note, the OM-D had been brilliant! The days when I used to lug around heavy big DSLR are gone. Now I am either traveling with the OM-D or the Leica, either even both will equate to a much lighter and compact travelling option.
So on our final day in Venice, we decided to visit the part of Venice where not many tourist would go. We walked through many back isles, saw many tight waterways, visited some local schools and residential areas. We thought that would be the best way to see how Venetians live in modern days. But we also walked pass a few landmarks that we accidentally came across the previous day and promised to come back.
First place of visit was Scuola Grande Di San Marco and Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo at the Campo San Giovanni e Paolo, one of the largest squares in Venice. The basilica itself was definitely worth the visit. It may not be the grandest nor the most spectacular but the sheer scale of the cathedral was simply breathtaking. The columns were huge and tall and those stained glass windows at the end of the basilica was something to admire. Exiting the basilica, to the right was the scuola which is now a civil hospital. We didn’t go inside but there’s a museum of medicine on the second floor.
After a brief visit of the square, we headed back to Piazza San Marco for bearing as we wanted to visit the north side of Venice. Enroute to the northern part of the island, we came across one of the most visited tourist attractions of all, the Bridge of Sigh. Then of course we had to stop for a couple of pictures!
But there wasn’t anything else to do apart from a couple of sourvenir photos so we continued our journey along the waterside. As we walked further away from the piazza, the quieter it became. We also started to see more locals chilling at some local cafes. Then also a few giant ‘super’ yachts parked next to us. It’s like parking your Bentley next to a Louis Vitton store. It felt funny all of a sudden and just showed the lifestyle of the super riches. After that ‘WoW’ scene, we ventured into a very quiet residential area. Like many other ‘zones’ in Venice, there’s always a waterway. This is the main mean of local transportation I guess but as a visitor, this is very refreshing.
We also bumped into some friendly locals who greeted us from their balcony. I guess they wouldn’t see many tourists venturing out this far that often.
Then we decided to just randomly walk around the back isle when we came across yet another famous point, the Venetian Arsenal. Going inside was forbidden but the outside suggested that this was a special place indeed. Simply Google this place to find out the history behind it!
Continued our walk further west and heading back to central Venice, we came across yet more little streets filled with local shoppers. We simply loved the experience. I am much of a hater of over-crowded tourist attractions where people were rude and impolite. I rather head towards the outside and into the back streets anytime. But seriously, Venice really is like a maze. Even more so when you are out of the tourist zones as signs were scarce and not easy to find your way. It was lucky that I had a GPS which helped me navigating around but even with that, it can be a little tricky at times due to signal problems.
So we spent the whole day walking, our legs were tired and we ended up at a beautiful seafood restaurant for our dinner. But we didn’t end our day there. I wanted to do a few more night scenes of Venice so despite the rain, my brave Susan came with me to San Marco again then to Ponte degli Scalzi for a photograph of the Grand Canal. The rain was getting heavier so I rushed a little before my wife got soaked. Then we took the water bus back to our hotel and ended this amazing journey.
There was much to remember about Italy. I was here in 2002 but back then I joined a tour instead of exploring myself. We were taken to places and were given a strict timetable for doing things. I didn’t like it. Though I saw Italy. This time round, I finally have more time to learn about Italy, the culture, the food and history. It’s an amazing experience. Also, back in 2002, I wasn’t really a photographer yet and now I can record this magical country with my vision through the lens. I simply can’t say more. But before I end this chapter, I want to say thank you to my dearest wife for taking me out here again. Indeed I enjoyed it very very much.
A few more photos for your pleasure!