Saturday, January 23, 2010


Hi all

Dad and I are back from Venice and I must say that Venice is everything that they say it is. I must be honest Venice was a place that I had wanted to visit but I was not really looking forward to but this trip has changed my view. The trip started off with some difficulties for both dad and myself however more so for dad. I had to drop off some documents in Trieste for my visa so my trip to Venice was not a direct one. While getting to Trieste was no problem when I got to the consulate to drop off the documents I found that I needed to have the letter of support translated to Slovenian and I was informed that I would not be able to drop off the letter until translated. Well here I was in Trieste on my way to Venice and I had to figure out how to this letter translated. I was informed that I would be able to go to a little border town in Slovenia and go to the courts to get this document translated however no one in the court spoke English so the next option was going to a private translator but that would have taken at least a day to get translated. After pleading my case it was agreed that they would translate the document at the consulate for 27 euros making me very happy. I was then off to Venice, I was able to quickly buy my ticket for a cheap price and got the train no problem however what I didn't know was that I had to validate my ticket before getting on the train. I was discovered about 3/4 of the way to Venice and had to pay a 50 euro fine on the spot. Needless to say that put a damper on my mood but that quickly lifted when I got to Mestre (where dad and I were staying) and easily met dad as I was leaving the train station. After a quick stop at the customer service department to try to get back my money and complain we were off to the hostel. The hostel was really nice it was for sure more like a hotel then a hostel. That night we took it easy as both dad and I were tired (dad was more tired then I and was asleep by 5:30) and then next day we were off to Venice.

Venice at night, I think this was just outside the train station.

Pic of me trying to look Venician

One of the many pictures of gondolas that dad made me take while in Venice

Dad and I got off the beaten path for most of our first day and this was one of the delightful squares.
One of our first picture of Venice with dad looking like the locals

Our first day we wandered Venice around off the beaten path looking to see how the Italians lived and generally trying to avoid all the tourists (there were not a ton of tourists however they were on the main routes). We headed to St. Marcs square where we had gelato and and watched the tourists then wandered around at the top of the island. Slowly we headed back where we went for 3 course dinner (it was wonderful and filling) at this little kosher restaurant that we found in the Jewish quarter and headed back to the hotel. The next day dad and I wanted to see some of the islands (there are lots of little islands in the bay by Venice) and we bought a water taxi pass and went to Murano (they make glass on the island and it is famous in Italy) and to Borano (this is a little fishing village with lots of brightly colored house). Mom you would love Borano it is beautiful and both dad and I agreed that if we were going to live in the area that it would be Borano that we would live (I tried to talk dad into getting a place on the island). That night we made our way back to the main island and had some Italian pizza and we were pretty cold and made our way back to the hostel. Saturday (our last day) we packed up at the hostel and stored all the luggage at the hostel and headed back into Venice to see everything that we missed and then about 2 we caught a train back to Mestre and grabbed a bite to eat and caught a bus back to Ljubljana.

homes in Borano (not all the bright colors)
Italian sunset

Borano (note this little cannel)
Mom's future house (dad and I were thinking B & B)
Random shot of Venice
Some more homes in Borano

One of many shots of gondolas that dad made me take (you can't see the accordion player who was playing and singing in the boat because he had just sat down when I was taking the picture)
This was the most authentic gondola that we say (if I were going to take a gondola I would be looking for gondoliers that look like this)

All in all it was a great trip and I would have no problem going back.


  1. Thanks Wes for your visual tour of Venice. Sorry about the train ticket issue. Was the issue dismissed or do you have a chance of being heard? Venice looks amazing - those are such narrow streets between the rows of buildings. Do the local people all have boats or are the boats just for tourists? There doesn't seem to be too many people on the streets - what is the population? What keeps those people there, what business or industry is there there? Yes, I love the colors of the houses. Are all the houses that close together? There didn't seem to be any green space - are there any trees? Did you see the lace factory? Is it a cottage industry or mass produced?

    I have many questions but will stop now. Love the pictures of the 2 young men trying to look suave!!!

  2. Firstly if you are referring to dad and I when you said "two young men trying to look suave" I think you may have made a mistake in typing because it should have read "two young men looking suave" it is alright those mistakes happen.

    As far as the ticket issue goes no I have not heard back but from my posting on my Facebook account apparently it is a fairly common problem with taking the train in Italy and most people have gotten stuck with the fine when traveling though Italy. They said that it would probably be a few weeks before I hear anything and seeing how things run in Italy I am sure that it will take the full two weeks.

    Local people do have boats and you can see them all up and down the canals, actually I think that only locals would be allowed to have boats on the islands. The population living on the island of Venice is about 61000 people but Venice is said to have a population of 230000 or so people but that includes the people on all the little islands and on the mainland. There were not many people around because dad and I were off the beaten path and from what I hear most Venicians try to avoid the main streets and all the tourists. Also in Italy often all the shops close around 1 and people head home for lunch and do not return until after 4 or so. So that was another reason that there were not many people out and about, because they were all eating lunch.

    As far as why people live there it depends on which Island you are talking. If you are talking Venice, i suspect that the houses have been handed down from generation to generation because dad and I saw some real estate listings and the places on the island were very expensive (think in the 350000 euro price range and up). Also we were reasoning that there is probably a certain percentage of the population which lives off the island and is only there for weekends and the summer. As far as for those who live on Murano I think that it is again a combination of those who have lived there for many years and those who are working on all the glass factories on the island. For Burano I would assume that it is people who have lived there for generation after generation as it is a small fishing village and they hand make lace. All these Islands get their fair share of tourists that is how I am sure that many people survive. Dad and I were discussion what kept people on Burano and we were not entirely able to figure it out, although as we were leaving there were a few ferries coming in from the mainland full of people suggesting that many people work off the island. These islands are not far from the main land so it is not difficult to move back and forth as desired.

    Most of the houses on all the islands are pretty close together however there was much more green space on Murano and even more green space on Burano then on Venice.

    We did not see a lace factory because I think it is more a cottage industry however given the quality and the fact it is all hand made the cost seemed to be very reasonable.

  3. Thanks for the additional information. It would be good to see it in person. If I come this summer, are you willing to be my tour guide?