Posted by on Jan 1, 2012 in Europe, Italy, Travel | 0 comments


Venice is a place I had always wanted to visit, there’s something so mysterious about a city built on water.

We arrived on NYE 2011, and walking out of the train station were immediately greeted with a bright blue sky and sparkling canal.

We took the scenic vaporetto to Piazza San Marco, the main square and also close to where we stayed.

Venice is a very crowded and touristy place, although we had to remind ourselves not to judge too harshly as we forget that we’re tourists too!

We stayed in a beautiful apartment which although located only a few steps back from the hustle and bustle was surprising peaceful.


The view from our bedroom window

The view from our bedroom window


The main streets are packed with tourists and bad pasta served with sauce from a jar, but walk five minutes down the narrow twisting and turning alleys and you are suddenly alone.

Allowing yourself to simply wander the winding streets and get lost is where you’ll find the real beauty.  It feels so personal, as though you have stumbled into someone’s backyard.




Check out the Rialto Market for fresh seasonal produce, and wander the stunning Basilica di San Marco.

We took the ferry to Murano the famous glass making island, and to Burano a fishing island where the houses are all brightly painted different colours and beautiful lace is sold.






Something we’ve come to expect when travelling is a lack of common social courtesy that just wouldn’t fly in Australia.  People regularly jump queues, use their cameras with a blinding flash repeatedly indoors, use portable dvd players without earphones on public transport, and on NYE barge their way to the front and cross the red tape to stand in front of you at the edge of the canal!

Just before midnight the 10 second countdown was on, the crowd pulsing as a flare went up.  Then came the fireworks which were amazing.  I’m not comparing them to Sydney’s, but for a relatively small city they were impressive, and standing so close to the barge on the canal meant you felt like they were going to rain down on you.


NYE venice


It was different to Sydney as people don’t get in early and stake out positions, when we went down to San Marco at 10pm it was busy but not crazy.  However by midnight that had definitely changed, people from every inch of the city had filtered into the square and it was mayhem!

We were in the throngs of a huge mob, a sea of drunk and disorderly. People were pushing and shoving and it was impossible to stand still, your body at the mercy of the seething masses.

There was not an inch on either side of our bodies, instead we were pressed up against anyone and everyone. For some reason a few people decided this would be a good time to light up, and we came home smelling like chain smokers.  However the mood was jovial, everyone was laughing and having fun – it was NYE!  But everyone wanted to go in a different direction and were doing whatever it took to try and get there.

I made the mistake of wearing a scarf and several times nearly choked when it was wrenched away in the hoardes.  The baby steps you could occasionally take were hindered by the hundreds of bottles and cups rolling under your feet – I shuddered to think of the clean up in the morning.

Considering alcohol is so easily accessible, being sold at every café and corner store, and there was no restriction at the event, people were pretty well behaved.  I have no doubt that in Australia in a situation like that there would have been a punch up within seconds.

All in all, watching spectacular fireworks over a canal in Venice in the arms of someone you love was a pretty amazing way to start the year 🙂


Em Venice





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