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A weekend in Venice

Two cities used to be on top of my bucket list of romance and one of them was Venice. Since I was a little girl, those images of the canals, the gondola and the timeless beauty of its Palazzo got me thinking that if I would ever visit Venice, it would have been with the person I love and for a special occasion. That little girl dream came true, and yes, Venice took my breath away from the moment I stepped on the first boat.

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Venice can be an expensive affair! As you arrive, you have to choose between the glamorous and overpriced water taxi and the ferry. I guess when the same ride costs more than 100 euros on the first and just about 30 euros for a 3-days pass on the second, the choice is rather if you just want to get there, or if you want to look like Amal and George Clooney cruising along the Gran Canal.

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I opted for the second, and even if the ride between the Piazzale Roma and San Marco took almost one hour, I certainly recommend it! Great views of the Canal, slow enough to take videos and perfect on both side of the boat to capture images at any light of the day.

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People everywhere. So crowded were the narrow lanes, that even stumbling into one of the garbage carriers was a very picturesque moment. They NEVER stop and warn people by loudly yelling ‘attenzione, attenzione’ (careful, careful). So don’t get into their way.

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The joy of having a friend living in Venice comes with few benefits, one of them being the absolute pleasure to have an aperitif Da Lele, a local hangout where a glass of pretty decent white wine costs just 60cents and comes with a delightful little plate of local salami and bread for just one more euro. We had five rounds!

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Every Sestiere (zone) of Venice is beautiful. Whether you wish to walk around the crowded San Marco or venture out across Castello e Canareggio with fewer people and larger streets, you will find yourself staring at those perfectly shaped tiny canals framed by picture-perfect bridges.

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Locals told me that there are more than 118 little islands, 200 canals, and 400 bridges. Not to mention the 400 gondoliers constantly cruising around the city on their elegant gondola. Did you know? One can only become a gondoliere by family origin and not by profession.

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Yes, it was a pricey whirlwind trip, but when you are sipping your 18 euros Aperol spritz, before heading to a gourmet dinner at the Danieli, and your table overlooks the Gran Canal at sunset, the price tag fades and the memory of one of the best weekends of my life remains.

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