This post was written by Darcie, aged 15, as part of our Children’s Writing Competition.
Venice was everything and beyond anything I could have ever imagined from the moment our trip began. We boarded a small boat early that morning that gave us a relaxing trip of just 20 minutes into the city of Venice. As we glided through the water our eyes were graced with views I had only ever seen on postcards. As we grew closer the skyline became clear, to reveal: tall church spires; balconies full of blooming flowers and eventually, a cascade of neighbouring boats entering the main port. The Venice port was very busy yet surprisingly orderly as our boat docked. The hot sun was blazing down upon us and showed Venice in it’s true glorious state.
Our tour guide brought us through Venice’s hectic promenade full of people, whilst telling us an interesting history of the historic places we passed. One of the stops on our tour was the ‘Bridge of Sighs’ which passes over the Rio de Palazzo; it was an amazing sight to see – being one of the most famous bridges in Europe and I felt grateful to be seeing it. We had been very fortunate with the weather and so could make out every tiny detail on the ancient bridge – despite having to struggle to the front of a large group of fellow tourists to get a glimpse. But it was definitely worth it.
Our tour continued until we reached ‘St Mark’s Square’ where we finished our tour and had our free time for the rest of the day. St Mark’s Square was enormous and outstanding. The detailed architectural design on every building was so intricate and intriguing that I could have stared at it for hours on end. The whole of the west facade was a wonder of it’s own with Romanesque carvings around the doorways, great arches and beautiful marble decorations.
We exited the piazza in search for a place to go to for lunch, as it was simply unaffordable to eat in the main square. There were restaurants and cafes galore, as approximately every 10 metres you would surely stumble upon one. We found a sweet little pizzeria on the corner of one of the streets and enjoyed an absolutely delicious lunch of pizza (I know! Typical tourist in Italy).
The streets were flooded with eager people trying to shop or sightsee. Long canals flowed through everywhere and at the end of each street a small bridge was in place to allow you to cross over the canal. The canals had a surreal and mesmerising look about them as individual gondolas gently made their way through them, whilst holding families, couples and friends all having a seemingly happy time. Each of the gondoliers controlled their boat with such precision and looked so mysterious as they stood mute at the back of their boat. My younger brother just had to get a photo with one of them, as their iconic striped t-shirts and straw hats looked too good to pass up on the opportunity.
We gradually made our way through the city – which seemed as though we had walked a long way, but when put in perspective with the sheer size of Venice we realised that we in fact hadn’t travelled too far at all! Each of the shops had an authentic Italian air about them as their shop windows were full of spectacular rich looking clothes which resembled those that are featured on a fashion runway.
We walked and explored more of the city until we were hungry once again. Deciding where to eat dinner put us in a great dilemma, as we were absolutely spoilt for choice. Each of the restaurants’ food looked very appetising, yet we eventually decided on an outside seating restaurant which had big white umbrellas over every table and was being beautifully candlelit by a waiter as we were being seated. I opted this time for a slightly more adventurous meal of risotto with peas, clams and muscles. I immediately thought I had made a mistake when I ordered as I was told that risotto was actually rice; I was pleasantly surprised when it came however as it turned out to be my favourite meal of the entire holiday. We peacefully sat in the restaurant, full up after our meals watching the people walk by and the sun slowly set over the top of the buildings.
The time then came to return to the boat which was a much more difficult task than we had anticipated, as we couldn’t seem to find the right route to get back. After a while of wrong turns and backtracks we eventually found our way to the allocated meeting point. Looking around me at that point made me realise that Venice was just as magnificent at night as it was in the day. Everything had changed from a lively and vibrant city to a peaceful and glowing state of calm.
We once again boarded the boat – which was lined with fairy lights from top to bottom – and slowly departed from Venice. Each of the things I had seen on the way in did not look the same, as they had been renewed and transformed with the illuminating light. I was sad to be leaving such a wonderful city but was filled with joy of the amazing time I had there.