For our four year anniversary, we decided on a romantic getaway weekend to Venice. We went for a short trip and unlike other trips, we hadn’t planned a lot. There were only two things that we really wanted to do, and that was take a gondola ride and go to ‘the most beautiful bookshop in the world’…
After we did some sightseeing and had lunch, we decided to go for the gondola tour. There are a lot of place were you can go aboard, most famously of course the Grand Canal. Most people start there, so if you’re visiting Venice in the high season, make sure to find another spot so you don’t have to wait (too long) in line. You can find the boarding points easily, because you can recognize them by the red and white striped poles at the sides of the canals.
We had to look for a bank because you could only pay the gondoliers in cash. It was 90 euros for a quick ride of 45 minutes. It’s hella expensive, but you can’t really leave Venice without having done a gondola tour.
Our gondola was very kitsch, with fake red fur and golden details. It’s all part of the charm. Our gondola floated on the narrow candles, under bridges and through the beautiful city. It was a whole different point of view from when we walked around the city earlier that day. It was absolutely lovely. After a while, the gondelier navigated us towards the Canal Grande, which is the biggest canal of Venice. The water is deeper here and the gondola’s were much more affected by the weather. It was very windy so our little boat rocked a lot more than it did before. I was afraid we would fall out of it. Did I mention I’m a scaredy cat? Anyway, we didn’t fall out, but we did get soaked because it began to rain. It began to rain a lot. It was still warm and we had the greatest fun. How many people can have memories of a gondola tour in such a downpour?
Our gondola ride was soon over and we headed back to our hotel, laughing and jumping in the puddles, running around all the people that were hiding from the rain in the stores around us. We didn’t care, we were soaked already.
The second thing that was on our list, was a visit to Libreria Acqua Alta. Acqua Alta means ‘high tide flood’ and this bookstore is flooded with books. This bookstore is on hundreds of list of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, and it really deserves to be on there.
The store is full of narrow corridors and passageways that are all stacked with books. In the middle of the shop there is even an old gondola that is used to stack books in. It was wonderful to walk around in it.
When you walk through the store, there awaits another surprise. Outside is a little patio that is also stacked with books. Rows upon rows of them, and even some stairs you can climb, that will give you a wonderful view of the city.
Venice is such a lovely city and these are two of my highlights of them. If you’re a bookwurm lik me, you can’t skip a little trip to this bookstore. And everyone should have a ride in a gondola at least once!