Mosquitos. What is the point in them? I hate them, but after camping just outside of Venice on the water’s edge, I don’t hate them with same fiery passion that Bani and Harvey do. As the van doesn’t sleep three people and the structure of the gazebo was in a bin in Barcelona (different story) we had to make a makeshift tent out of the sides of the deceased tent and some rope which turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. The next morning, I crawled out of the van and through the collapsed structure which had draped itself over the other two. If its use as a tent had been a disaster its ability to deter mosquitos was a million times worse. When they eventually found their way out from beneath their big green blanket they emerged as if from some sci-fi plague, covered in red marks where the insect population of north-east Italy had enjoyed an all you can eat buffet. That was not a great introduction to Venice and obviously not many people camp in a van when they visit, so when we headed into the floating city, we went in with hopes our day would improve, and an array of angry bites.
And our day did improve. All the days we spent getting lost in Venice were an enjoyable mix of wandering around canals, visiting the attractions and trying to work out how it all stayed afloat. It is such a special and bewildering city, a labyrinth of water walled off by impressive architecture and hundreds of squares. The most impressive of which being St Mark’s, named after the saint lying within the cathedral at the end of the square. The Cathedral is one of the main attractions, famous for its powerful design, ancient horses and the fact the Venetians stole the body of its namesake from Egypt. One of the other things Venice is most famous for is the beach. Although it turns out the famous Venice beach is in California, the beach by Venice was a dirty, smellier alternative, but a nice spot to grab an ice cream and cool down in the lagoon.
Although it is famous for its renaissance art, feats of engineering marvel and sounds of gondola’s cruising its canals, Venice doesn’t cater much to eighteen year olds who want a good budget night out, surprisingly. Instead, we were directed up the coast to the town of Jesolo with the promise of cheaper drinks and clubs without a dress code. We never found a club but we did have a few drinks on the beach before Bani threw a pizza at some hostile locals before we squeezed into the van for another uncomfortable, less mosquitoey, night.
Positives- Venice is a unique city built amongst a maze of canals with an incredible history. It boasts some of the best art and architecture in Europe and some amazing food.
Negatives- Don’t sleep in a collapsed tent next to the home of a billion mosquitos and do not throw pizza at Italians. Expensive and slightly smelly and not good for a night out, but as a sensible person you wouldn’t head there for nights out with food fights. A city definitely worth seeing but go to it expecting to see the arts and learn about history, not for a cheap night out and you will have a great time. And don’t camp.