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Chris Sayer’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 11 Jun 2014

Location: Venice, Italy

MapAs we wandered the streets of Venice, we were joined by other tourists in their thousands, many in groups lead by a tour guide carrying a flag so they could be easily followed amongst the throngs. Alice told us that this wasn’t busy season yet. One could only imagine how CRAZY it would be in July and August when it is the peak tourist season. Of course we cannot complain, as we are adding to the tourist hoards by another three. It takes some special consideration to look beyond the crowds and concentrate on what they’d all come to see – a large slice of European history.

Visiting Venice for the first time, I see why its elaborate network of waterways makes it is so unique. These canals are the city’s roads, which mean that there is a total absence of anything motorised on wheels. The whole city infrastructure is based on boats, from shop and construction deliveries, to buses and taxis, to police, ambulance, garbage collection, even funeral hearses. We saw examples of all of these.

After hours of walking, we found that we had traversed the city from south to north, from San Marco’s Square to Piazza Roma, and the consensus was that we’d all pitch in for a taxi back to our starting point. The majority of the journey took us down the Grand Canal, and the experience was worth it just to see Venice from a viewpoint not often seen. Going under the marble arch of the Rialto Bridge made us realise just what a feat of engineering this must have been in 1592.