October 11, 2014

Exchange travel experience: museums, gondola and...Venice hospital!

Gondola in Venice
What happened to today's post protagonist? Don't worry, she didn't end her trip in the hospital!
"She" is Nanna Lára, a curious and energetic food lover from Reykjavík, Iceland. She's a student of economics in the University of Iceland and she's taking an exchange semester at Bocconi University in Milan, during which, like any international student in Italy, she's traveling as crazy!
And she's telling us today about her experience to the charming, touristy but unique Venice!

I haven´t stayed in Italy for long time before the exchange program. I have been here for one month now and traveled to several places.

I went to Lake Como, that really impressed me for the beautiful views and where I also had a very good dinner.  

I´ve also been to Lugano in Switzerland, here we hiked up one of the mountains surrounding the lake and the view there was stunning! And after the hiking we could bath in the lake and relax.

I went to Oktoberfest in Munich the last weekend of September. It was so much fun, really intense though since we took a bus really late on Friday evening and drank all Saturday and went back with the bus to Milan later that day. But so much worth to experience real Oktoberfest!
I went to Portofino last weekend. Portofino is completely different from every other towns or cities I've visited. The colorful houses and small beaches were really charming.

And I went to Venice. I already visited it when I was 14 years old, during a holiday with my family in Slovenia. But I decided to go again to bring my best friend that was visiting me from Iceland.
Venice, Italy

Venice is definitely one of the most beautiful cities I´ve ever seen. So special with all those narrow streets, boutiques, art galleries, cafes and of course the gondolas. We took the train from Milan an early Monday morning and arrived to Venice around 10.40. The weather was really nice and, despite the week day, there were already many tourists there. We started finding a nice square to sit down and eat our lunch; we brought some snacks with us because we knew Venice is really expensive. 

Our first destination was to St. Mark square. A nice walk from the train station, along canals and alleys. We found it eventually with a little (BIG) help from Google maps. It’s really easy to get lost in Venice since all the streets are so narrow and for me they looked all really similar.

On our way to St. Mark we saw many small boutiques, galleries and beautiful buildings. We went inside one of these beautiful building because we thought it was a museum. it looked like it... But when we had been there for couple of minutes we realized that this was not a museum but a hospital!! But I think that's a perfect example to understand what is Venice: every building is so spectacular that you can easily confuse museums from hospitals!

After walking around the island for couple of hours it was really nice to rest the feet and go to a gondola. I admit it is the most expensive 30 min boat trip I have taken, but it was worth it. I mean, you are not in Venice every day…

Canals in Venice, Italy
See it better!
We saw some new places on the gondola ride that we wouldn't have seen otherwise. 
After the gondola trip we found a "cioccolateria" called Vizio Virtu, where we bought really good chocolate and a brownie that we ate up right away!
In the evening we found a nice restaurant near the train station. The food was good and the price was affordable for students like us.

A couple tips for next travelers!

Four must-do suggestions in this unique city!
1) I recommend to spend some time in St. Mark square and walk along the sea.
2) But it is also nice to get a little bit lost and discover new places.
3) Although it was really expensive, I think it's a must to go on a gondola.
4) The small boutiques and gallerias are really nice to look into.

It's unique, yes. And that's why it's so expensive... Two ways to save money!
1) If you want to save some money it's wise to bring some food with you.
2) And don't buy anything near St. Mark, you can get the same stuff for half that price a little further from the square.

Who to bring with you to Venice!
1) This is the most romantic city I´ve been there so bring your boyfriend/girlfriend with you.
2) But was also really nice to have a friend romance there as well.

A vote to Venice from 1 to 10? I would say 8!

A big thanks to Nanna Lara (who''s now off to Tuscany) for sharing her story with us!

And you? Where have you been and where are you headed?Leave a comment or contact us through our Facebbok page if you want to share your travel experience on Gadders Blog too!

PS. If you are planning a longer trip to Venice, save money also booking in advance!
Use this tool to check out flights and hotels prices.

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