Venice, the city of Casanova, the legendary seducer. Unfortunately his story played out long before my time. Lord knows I would have loved to meet him, he said the most beautiful things. Men in this day and age can learn something, but that is not the point. The point is that I remember the exact moment when I first became aware of the story of Casanova. I saw a commercial on TV promoting the movie. With Heath Ledger playing Casanova. To me it wasn’t play, he had me from the start, I was immediately seduced by Casanova in Venice and ever since, visiting Venice had been on my to-do list when I grew up.
Seduced by Casanova: The Movie
It has been years since I watched the movie, but I have not forgotten about it. I always dreamed of being seduced in Venice. Seduced or whisked away on a wonderful adventure. I would have been happy with either one or both. Didn’t really matter. I just wanted to experience the magic I saw in the movie. When the chance appeared to go to Venice for 3 days I immediately booked as to start my adventure at once!
Normally things are portrayed better in movies. Venice was not. The moment I could see the coastline of Venice from the boat I fell in love. No wonder Casanova could say such beautiful things, he was living in a beautiful bubble of inspiration. When I got to the island I was mesmerized. I arrived just in time to see the sunset on the Bridge of Sighs. I personally don’t know a better way to start a few days off. Honestly perhaps my timing with doing things is sometimes off, but my timing for arriving in Venice was definitely not. The sunset on the Bridge of Sighs is one of the most magical experiences of Venice, in my opinion. Especially when you look to your right you can see a bit of Piazza San Marco, making it all the more perfect.
I actually had the opportunity to cross the piazza when it wasn’t crowded with tourists. The beauty of traveling in the off season! Anyways I could really take my time and admire what I was surrounded by. Not to mention get great pics! I actually got this opportunity twice, as the first time was when I arrived and got caught up seeing the sunset but had to start walking to my hotel as I didn’t want to be navigating way through the narrow streets of Venice in the dark. I did happen as I love sunsets and architecture but I get points for trying!
The second time was during the day time when I really gave all my attention to San Marco, as one should. Yes, I let my attention slip from Casanova but rest assured he was still on my mind seducing me with the beauty of Venice.
First Impressions Of Venice, Italy
During my time in Venice I felt so calm, so at ease. I thought it was because I turned my phone off, however it wasn’t that. The feeling was different, it was better, it was calmer. It took me a full day to realize why. In Venice nobody seems to be in a rush (a part from me the first day trying to outrun the sun and the moon). There are no cars, no horns honking and no pumped up mufflers. No general traffic. I never realized how much noise I am used to on a daily basis. Everyone does everything by boat or on foot. The boat goes as fast as it goes and so do your legs. There is no point in rushing. It was amazing.
It does render me to give you a word of caution for when you visit Venice. If you are the kind of person that is always at war with time thinking you’ll making it up in the car or other fast vehicle, you’re most likely going to be late. Unless you get yourself a bike and are able to cycle for your life depending on how late you are.
Mini cruise of Venice
This made me realize that what my father always said is true. He said: ‘’It doesn’t matter how fast you arrive, it matters that you arrive’’. Literally experiencing this made me enjoy my surrounding even more. It allowed me to really take in all the beauty that Venice has to offer. I think I was more aware of my surrounding than in any other trip. I knew Venice was magical. To make sure I saw all the magic Venice had to offer I took the boat, which is your fastest way of transport if you don’t have a bike, from the beginning all the way to the end, it was like a mini cruise through Venice. I could’ve gone with a Gondola, but the size of them scares me, I think the risk of capsizing is too big. I know the people working with the Gondolas are talented people I am just not willing to risk it.
The passenger boat was perfectly fine for me as I could make a round trip and get on and off if I saw something interesting. Since I was interest in getting a ”Mini Cruise” of Venice I just stayed on till it reach it final point and then got on the other on going back. This was really great as it gave me the opportunity to fully take in each side of the Grand Canal, spotting exactly where I wanted to wander pass once I got off my mini cruise.
Recommended: First Cruise Experience: Reality vs. Expectation (Titanic Fears)
Wandering The Streets Of Casanova In Venice
Things got even more magical when I was wandering about in Venice and stumbled upon a board advertising a concert of Interpreti Veneziani and they were performing ”Quattro Stagioni” by Antonio Vivaldi. Four Seasons is my absolute favorite, when planning my trip to Venice I always hoped to see a performance of it but I didn’t dare to hope out loud as I was there for a short time and didn’t book in advance. To my luck, when I asked the lady at the ticket desk whether they still had tickets she said yes. I enjoyed the concert so much I cried. Honestly cried and was so overcome emotion I needed to wander if off, which enabled me to soak up the Venetian night.
During my stroll I secretly imagined walking next to Casanova being seduced by his beautiful poetic words. I got so lost in my fantasy that I wandered further than I planned to. Venice is enchanting in that way. I wandered all the way from one pier to another! Luckily I came across an ice cream shop so I could refuel with some delicious venetian ice cream. On my way back I admired the beautiful architecture of the Guggenheim Museum. I couldn’t go in as it was already closed as it was already around 11 PM. Oops!
The next day I went to take a peek at the famous Venice fashion, even though you don’t notice it much on the streets the Venetians do have a certain flair to their dressing. The shopping streets are rather small giving it the feel of being in a mall. I can’t help but imagine that scene where a girl is being seduced by Casanova in Venice during the 18th century and he gently pushes her against a wall. Having maybe walked the same narrow streets as where that scene takes place makes me think that, that moment was way more intimate than displayed on the TV.
Of course I couldn’t leave out a mention of the famous Venetian masks of which there were plenty. Either vintage and on display or to buy. You have tourist versions or the ones that are actually made to be durable for example to use for your secret nightly escapades.. just like Casanova..
Visiting Lido Island
After shopping I went to Lido Island to go to Lido Beach even though it was the start of December, in the spirit of making it a December to Remember I couldn’t possibly not go. Even though going on my heels, I don’t know what I was thinking!, to the beach was a *slightly* terrible idea, going to the beach was not. I love the beach and it being a Venetian beach just made it a little more special, also there was barely anyone there which was great. It enabled me to do this:
If it was really crowded I don’t really see myself doing that. I am still to shy to try something like that. My Casanova courage has not set in yet.
Dinner at Rialto Bridge
To finish off my perfect Venice trip I needed to have dinner looking at the Rialto Bridge. I had already walked over it when I was shopping but had not taken a proper minute to look at it to allow it to enchant me, which over the course of dinner it definitely did or it was the Italian wine*, who knows?
I actually already showed up at Rialto Bridge enchanted by Venice, because during my Venice shopping spree I came across a mall with a rooftop view that I just *had* to see. The mall is called T Fondaco dei Tedeschi by DFS. It’s a great place to shop, they have wonderful products however the 360 view of Venice has the products beat. I think even they know this as they advertise the view in grand ways on their website. I went there just before sunset. I saw Rialto Bridge and then went there as I couldn’t miss it on my 3 day Venice Itinerary.
With all the words I know in all the languages (5) I know, I still don’t think I can describe how scared I was going up there. They have one of those stairs where you can look down at what is beneath you as there ”open” slots to get to the rooftop terrace and I hate those with all my being. Luckily it’s just the last staircase to the rooftop terrace that is like that, you have escalators bringing you to top floor. At the top floor you have this beautiful expose room where they had art displayed. The current exhibition was called ”Plessi Under Water”. It was confounding looking at it but it was beautiful.
Anyways the horrors I withstood by going up the scary stairs were greatly awarded with unbeatable views of Venice that would put a love spell on basically anyone. Seeing those things does make you reflect on how lucky you are to be standing there. At least that is the effect it had on me.
At some point I noticed that from the rooftop terrace I could actually see the restaurants I had planned to check out so I went back down the scary stairs and made my way to the restaurant with the best view of Rialto Bridge. Not going to lie, that was the reason I chose the restaurant. I wanted to create the fantasy of having fantastic pasta in Venice while looking at the beauty of the Rialto Bridge. Thank my lucky stars that my pasta tasted amazing but let’s be honest can you really get a bad plate of pasta in Venice? In Venice, Italy? I doubt so.
Of course this plate of pasta wasn’t my only one as I had one at the most romantic restaurant at the Bridge of Sighs as well and once in town just to have a different atmosphere each time. In 3 days of Venice I consumed A LOT of pasta as it so happens to be my favourite food of all time. So I definitely took advantage of being in the land where it’s from to eat it as much as possible!
After my touristy Venetian dinner, I walked over San Marco square back to my hotel to see it one last time. At the hotel, well, at the bar across from it I had the famous Spritz Veneziano as my last Venezian drink*, because how better to end the night than with a proper cheers to the Beauty of Venice and a thanks to being seduced by Casanova to actually go see it.
Come to think of it, it was not Casanova who seduced me, it was Venice.
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*If you drink, drink responsibly and respect local age restrictions.
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