I’ve lived in Italy for 19 months now and still have a hard time writing about Venice. Describing Venice is a hard nut to crack, so to speak. I live 35 minutes, door to door from the Grand Canal and have been more than a dozen times. And every time I go, there’s more to be discovered. Describing it to anyone who hasn’t been there is nearly impossible because it is SUCH a unique city…but I’m going to try. When I was doing a little research of my own about Venice for this post, I realized that I’ve take 887 photos of Venice. It’s not ugly… This statement, right there, should let you know that this post isn’t going to be a short one. So settle in for a bit…
Instead of telling you bits and pieces of each of my trips to Venice (which would be impossible because I can’t begin to differentiate them from one another), I’m going to begin by telling you a short anecdote about my arrival into Venice for the first time. Then I’ll try and let the pictures do the talking.
This is a true story, regardless of how my husband tells you it all went down.
Our first trip to Venice happened on an unusually warm day in March last year. It was a holiday weekend and Steve had Friday off but three of our four kids still had school that day. We looked at the Steve off/Kids in school situation as a total WIN/WIN and decided to head in to brave Venice for the day. You can read about what we did that day HERE.
The important part of the story is that we decided to park our car and take the train from Vicenza into Venice. It wasn’t a fast train, but was instead a Regionale train, which means it made frequent stops at small train stations along the way. The entire train ride took about an hour. I was SO nervous and SO excited at the same time. Keep in mind we were essentially “virgin travelers”—at least I was, and it was the first time I’d ever taken the train anywhere.
We left in the early morning and the train was pretty packed with locals. At each of the stops, Steve and I would get up and look out the window to see if it was our stop. Up and down, up and down. I don’t know what we were thinking…I guess I expected the name “Venice” on a big sign at the train station, but keep in mind, “Venice” is the American word for the city. Venezia is the actual name of the city, and I probably would have figured it out if ‘”Venezia” had been on the sign at the station. But guess what, it wasn’t…the train station in Venice is actually called “St. Lucia”.
So, you’ll understand why, when our train pulled up into the St. Lucia station, we didn’t get off.
For 10 minutes…
Even though everyone else did.
And, if you take a look at a map on Italy, Venice is kind of the end of the line as far as the train line goes…
(Us, not them)
(This is the part where Steve will lie and tell you he knew exactly where we were)
Finally, we decided THIS MUST BE IT and we GOT OFF THE TRAIN.
I will still a little skeptical, I’ll admit. I was SURE we were LOST, so I walked up to this older Italian train worker gentleman and I asked him,
“Venice?” “Dove’ Grand Canal”?
And he turned around, and I swear to God, he was SANTA CLAUS. I’m NOT making this up. He was.
He was dressed in the train workers uniform with his blue slacks and blue sweater and the little tie and everything. He even had the pocket watch on the long chain. Seriously. But I swear, he was Santa. He had the long beard, the belly, pink nose and cheeks. It was him. I wasn’t really blogging much back then, because if I had been, I totally would have taken his picture so that I could blog about how Santa Claus gave me directions at the train station…kind of like I'm doing now, except with photographic proof...
When I asked him if this was Venice and where was the Grand Canal, he got this HUGE (Santa Claus) smile on his jolly old face and he swiveled around and bent his knees a little bit and pointed through the train station and whispered, in perfect English, “It is! It’s RIGHT THROUGH THERE!”
Santa Train Man was SO excited to share it with me. And I got so excited.
It was RIGHT THROUGH THERE.
We hurried up and walked straight through the train station (at that time, it was only about 50 steps because it was being renovated) and when we opened the door, this is what we saw:
That feeling that I had was impossible to describe. It was just, VENICE.
So if you’ve even wondered what Santa does in the off-season, now you know. He goes to Venice. And works at the train station…the St. Lucia station. In Venice. Venezia, actualy. And he loves it, too.
Now prepare yourself for some completely random but favorite photos that I’ve taken in Venice. But be prepared: I STILL have to tell you about the Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Square, our rides on gondolas, etc, etc,….
But not today.
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