A family friend once told me that he went to Venice, but didn’t go on a gondola ride. “But how could you go to Venice and not go on a gondola?” I blurted out. I thought it was absurd, a crime against humanity. One does not simply go to Venice without riding a gondola anymore than they should venture to Mordor alone. And then I went to Venice and realized that I could take one gondola ride or purchase 10 full-sized pizzas. I was the type of person who would be much happier with the 10 pizzas.
In truth, I have spent very little time in central Venice. In fact, I probably spent only 7 or 8 hours there. Most of my time there was spent instead at Lido, which is a small island just on the outskirts of Venice. It is often the end of the line for several water buses there (Venice is the place where public transport predominantly consists of boats that travel along the canals).
When I toured around central Venice, it was full of grandeur and mystery. Canals and people were everywhere, and I often felt that I could get lost and just explore the city forever. Lido was almost the opposite.
Lido was like a mellowed down version of Venice. There wasn’t as many shops to go to or fancy sites on this island. But it was a great place to go to relax. I had a chance to bike around the island, enjoy the scenery, and stop and sit at cafés. This is where I typed a few other blog entries, and had the most productive afternoon so far on this trip. Lido had a beachside, some charming architecture, friendly people, and some absolutely magnificent parks and scenery. Lido was definitely not the same as Venice, but every inch of it was just as beautiful.
I wanted to go to Venice for several years. During my stay there, I realized that I wasn’t going to have the trip to Venice that I’ve initially wanted. I went to St. Mark’s Square, but wasn’t able to go to St. Mark’s Cathedral (in my defence, the line was enormous and it would have probably taken several hours). I didn’t see much of the canals or historical sites. I didn’t even step on a gondola. Unfortunately, I wasn’t even able to finish 10 pizzas on this trip. But, I am still glad to have been blessed to spend my time at Lido. Amidst all the busy travelling and trying to see all the sites, it is nice to be able to sit down for a few afternoons and just relax.