Travel Diary: Venice, pt 2
Those of you who like a lie-in on your holiday, you're not going to like this post. This involves an early start - a really early start - but it's worth it, I promise. Unless it's pouring down outside, then you can have yourself that lie-in! I'll accept those terms, OK?
My morning began at a bleary-eyed 6:30am. I hopped out of bed, threw on some clothes, washed my face, brushed my teeth and went outside into the dim dark light of Venice. I was staying in the San Marco district of Venice (I'll tell you more on the hotel in the next post) so thankfully, I didn't have far to walk.
It was a stormy morning but luckily there was no rain in sight. Clouds above me threatened and the occasional flash of lightning lit up the sky with a pink hue but aside from that it was a beautiful, dramatic start to the day.
Of course, the plan had been to see Venice at sunrise, but the weather had slightly different plans meaning my view was slightly different to the one I'd hoped for. But nevertheless, it was wonderful to awake with Venice and see the first light come in.
I thought I'd be alone in my adventure but it turns out a few others also had the same plan in mind! Guys with tripods were lined up by the lagoon front, taxi boats were zooming past and a few tourists were just wandering through seeing the sights before the crowds descended.
I stopped to take in one of my all-time favourite Venice views.
One that will simply never get old.
I even witnessed a wedding shoot or two on my morning outing.
How early the brides must have gotten up to get ready is beyond me.
I think I'll be an afternoon bride...
Once you've had your morning fill and are positive you're not going to see any magic change in the light (which is pretty much guaranteed when the cloud is as thick as your winter duvet!) then be on your way.
Walk through Piazza San Marco and enjoy the square like you simply can't do during the day.
Because hours later it will be filled to the brim with tourists, all selfie-sticks and unbearable queues. It really is quite a monstrosity to behold. Do it, just so you've seen it at peak time - but don't stick around. Run if you have to, far far away!
Take time to wander the tiles and watch as Venice slowly wakes from its slumber.
Go grab something to eat and drink nearby, or if you're staying close enough, then it's time to pop back to the hotel for breakfast.
Fill up and get ready for part two of your morning.
Doge's Palace (or Palazzo Ducale in Italian) is the beautiful gothic palace right in the heart of San Marco that's worth a browse around and what's more, it's open from 8:30am in the morning. Go first thing and you'll have the place almost to yourself. Go later, and you'll be sharing with tour groups and those pesky selfie-sticks!
I booked my ticket in advance online - in fact, I did it on my phone the day I arrived whilst shuttling along in the taxi boat! I hadn't needed to as there was no queue when I went to pick them up and I don't think it saved me any money (it was 19 euros) but I'm an advanced planning kinda girl you see. Well, sort of.
The architecture of the building is simply beautiful, having been reconstructed on a number of occasions throughout the years as a result of numerous fires within the the Palace.
Inside it's filled with grand rooms, ornate ceilings and marble staircases that you can quite literally get lost on (I know, because I did).
You also get to witness some rather breathtaking views over Venice through the windows!
Doge's Palace is well worth a visit, and perfect for those wanting a spot of culture on your trip.
If you're not staying in Venice for long, I suggest an early morning start - if you can handle it!
Because after all your morning adventures, you'll still have plenty of the day left ahead of you!