Venice is supposed to be the city of love but that’s certainly not how I saw it as a 15 year old British tourist travelling there with my parents. At the end of the trip I saw Venice as the City of Deception.
Venice is a city that thrives on its tourism industry with over 15 million people visiting the city each year. The city is unlike any other settlement I’d seen before.
I’d like to comment on how foreign Venice is to anything else you’ve visited. Nowadays we use road transport every day of our life, however if you go to Venice you won’t see a single car, train, bus, van, truck etc. The only methods of transport are by foot and boat. Venice looks like its from the Renaissance period. I would like to say that this uniqueness of being a foot and boat city is why the millions of people visit Venice, however this lack of cars kind of made me feel alienated.
Venice is visited for its beautiful architecture and beautiful canals, which host romantic/wonderful gondola rides.
The city’s architecture is awesome and I have to say the city is great from the outside. By this I mean the city’s beautiful to the tourists that visit it. I mean just look at the photos above, Venice must look rather appealing to you. However there is more to Venice than meets the eye.
I feel it’s important to share a little bit about the city of Venice itself. The touristy areas as I call them are fantastic, but the real city is not so great. Me and my family went on a little guided walk in the city. I wouldn’t say I liked or disliked the walk but I would say the walk is one of the most culturally eye-opening experiences in my life, which completely changed my view of Venice.
The inner parts of the city are quite dodgy, the buildings are run-down, the streets are narrow and street lighting is lacking. I have to admit whilst walking back to the hotel in the night I felt a bit scarred. The inner streets of Venice are full of brothels. The reason supposedly being that after sailing for months sailors who had stopped at Venice for a short break wanted a bit of entertainment and excitement in their lives. The guided walk made me see Venice as an LEDC. I say this because there is a lot of inequality in less economically developed countries like India, where on one side you see a 5 star hotel and on the other side a slum. Rather surprisingly Venice was a bit like this too. Even after being located in a rich country like Italy I could see two different Venices. To put this into more comprehensible speech, there was the attractive touristy part of Venice and the unattractive “real Venice.” (The reason I ended up seeing “real Venice” was because of the guided walk, which you can leave out from your itinerary if you don’t want to see the “real Venice” as I call it.)
Before I finish of writing I would like to give a few tips to anyone planning on visiting Venice. Skip reading this paragraph if you do not plan on going to Venice. The food in Venice is good and it’s even better if you try some of the Italian specialities (not just pizza and pasta). If you eat where the localities do you are likely to find some delicious specialities at cheaper rates like we did. Tourists visiting Venice are often worried that they will get ripped off for food in Venice, however you don’t need to worry about this. Just make sure you don’t eat in St. Mark’s Square. On a positive note I would like to say that Venice’s streets were busing and lined with beautiful paintings, which I suggest you’ve a look at. My family and I even ended up purchasing a lovely oil painting.
Venice is a nice city to visit but according to me it is over-hyped. I’m not trying to discourage you visiting Venice (I doubt I could even if I wanted to), however I do warn you only to go for a few days. After that you’ll run out of interesting things to do. To answer the question posed by my title I would say that Venice is the City of Deception. I say this as the part of Venice tourists usually see is only one half of the actual city. The other part is hidden in the shadows.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my article. I would be interested in hearing your feedback. Please leave a comment, especially if you’ve visited Venice yourself. I’ve tried to write an objective account focusing on the positives and negatives of Venice but I wouldn’t be surprised if you disagreed with my opinions on Venice. After all I’m probably a different age and consequently have a different outlook from you.