Holidaying in Italy in the summer meant we did have a couple of days where the heat overwhelmed us a bit but none so much as Venice. Our train was due to depart at 8.30am and waking up at 6.30am allowed us to get ready and take a leisurely stroll to the station. By this time it was about 23 degrees and allowed for a perfect walk. We arrived in time to get some pastries and drinks at the station.
We boarded our train to Venice, the journey time was 2 hours and it would have been a shorter time if we had departed from Milan but it was cheaper from Florence so that was the deciding factor. The train journey was especially lovely as we got an upgrade into 1st class. We had loads of space but didn’t take full advantage of the complimentary food and drink as we were still full from breakfast.
I loved Venice for 5 minutes. I stepped out the station and it was like stepping into the movies. It was amazing, the canal was beautiful. It didn’t take long for the unrelenting and oppressive heat to affect us though. It was about 35 degrees but felt even hotter due to the insane humidity. We were instantly very uncomfortable.
We had a skip the queue ticket for St Marc’s Basilica that I had booked for, 90 minutes after our train arrived. This should have given us plenty of time but Venice is so confusing to manoeuvre about that even with a map it took us this whole time to get to the square. It was a very frustrating time, my suggestion would be don’t book anything for Venice that’s time dependant.
St Marc’s basilica was beautiful, it is easy to see why it’s nicknamed the ‘church of gold’. The interior was really amazing and the square itself is also fantastic. It is full of stunning buildings however it also contained an astounding amount of tourists which just added to the heat and we felt we had to depart the square quickish.
We stopped at ‘Q food & more’ for a slice of pizza and a drink. They had nice pizzas, they were more like focaaccias and certainly filled us up. We then decided that as we had taken so much time to make our way to the square we should find our meeting point for our tour later on, the Rialto Bridge. Once we located it we decided not to stray too far away.
We found the ‘White Gelateria’ which was an ice cream place with a difference as it was self serve. I made a fantastic strawberry, raspberry and meringue creation which was very refreshing. We also walked to a market and a punnet of cherries being kept cool under some running water was too much for me to resist. I ended up with my hands stained purple! We spent the rest of the time ducking in and out of shops trying to escape the heat. The streets in Venice was so narrow and there were so many people, it was incredibly tiring walking around.
We finally met up with our walking tour at 2.45pm. Although I booked the tour through Viator the tour company was called Bucintoro Viaggi. We were quite a large group but we were given headseats and our tour guide had a microphone so we were able to hear everything. The guide was really funny, informative and as he guided us through town I was entertained, despite the difficult heat.
At the end of the tour we had a gondola ride, lasting 35 mins. Adam at first said he didn’t think he could handle the ride, the heat had given him a blistering rash and he had started to feel sick. Whilst I also felt quite awful I didn’t want to lose the chance to ride a gondola in Venice. In the end Adam came on with me and the gondola route rarely left the shade so it ended up being a highlight of the day. I was a bit annoyed that we were only on the gondola for 20 minutes, a lot shorter than the time I had paid for. I was even more annoyed when I contacted the tour company and they basically called me a liar and said it wasn’t even possible to do the ride in that time. My watch said differently!
Once the gondola ride had finished we had about an hour until our return train. I couldn’t face a walk back to the station so we decided to splash out a little more and get the water taxi back, it cost us about 15 euros but it was so worth it!
So we arrived back at the station in one piece. We were soaked with sweat, sore with chafing and heat rash, feeling sick but Venice was ticked off the list. Adam absolutely hated it, said he would never return. I was divided, though Venice certainly didn’t live up to the hype.
At the station before boarding the train we grabbed a sandwich and a drink. The fact we had drunk 8 litres of water without going to the toilet was a testament to how much we must have sweated. The train journey was an air conditioned haven though.
We got home and had showers and Adam cooked us dinner of pasta with pesto and Italian sausage and we ended the night recovering on the roof terrace.