In the land of gondolas

In the land of gondolas

Travel Tales

In the land of gondolas

We always wanted to travel to Europe at least once in our lifetime. Fortunately for us, my sister was staying in Zurich (Switzerland) and she invited us over for a 12-day trip.

Although we visited Rome, Milan, Paris and the Swiss Alps, what remains on top of our list is Venice. Anybody who sees the place cannot help but fall in love with it.  

The Grand Canal, the picturesque scenery, its buildings, gondola rides, the romantic atmosphere – everything!  

We travelled to Venice from Milan by train. When we got out of the station, we were awestruck.

The Grand Canal was right next to the station!  We had literally walked into the canal. It took us some time to get used to the fact that, everything in Venice runs on water. There is water metro, water-taxi, signals (yes there are signals in water) and water-ambulance.

There are four or five landmarks which one must visit in Venice. So we took a day pass for the Metro, so that we could travel all over Venice. The first spot we chose was Piazza San Marco. This place is a major tourist attraction with a clock tower and a church (with gold panelling). We clicked lots of pictures there. In fact, many Bollywood movies have been shot here.

How can Venice be complete without its gondola rides?  We took the gondola ride, through the canal and by-lanes. It was expensive but worth it. The boat itself is very narrow but we thoroughly enjoyed it. We were lucky enough to follow another gondola, where a romantic couple wanted music to add to their experience.

It was wonderful. The gondola rider showed some important buildings like Marco Polo’s house, an old prison. It was really wonderful to see houses whose backyards were streams! Imagine opening your back door and finding water.

Venice is filled with restaurants and you can choose any one of them to taste the authentic Italian food.

For our lunch, we had risotto (this is like our own pongal!) and penne Arrabiata and of course pizza (Margherita). All the three were amazing!

We learnt that there are three islands in Venice which are famous for three different things.

The first one is Murano which is famous for its glass works.  Venetian glass work is world-famous and it’s worth owning one.

Here, all the glass work factories organise tours and demos for the tourists so that they can see how a glass figure is made from molten glass. We watched it and it was awesome.

A worker made a horse from molten glass in flat ten minutes. We bought few glass works as souvenirs for our friends and relatives in India. The second island is Burano which is famous for its crochet works. The last one is Torcello. We decided to skip the two islands because we were running out of time.  We had to catch a train back to Milan, so we travelled back to the station by the water metro. It was dusk time. The sky was filled with different hues of reds and oranges.

It was like watching a painting unfold in front of our eyes. It was that beautiful. No wonder, many famous poets and painters took inspiration from Venice. We clicked thousands of pictures of the sunset and the sky. The horizon with colours in the background made sure that our photographs were like picture postcards. 

When our departure time came, we were reluctant to go back. We wanted to stay longer. But we had to leave the dream place for a real one.  We invite the readers to share their travel stories and photographs for this column. You can mail us on or 

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