By: Katherine DeVito, Fashion Merchandising and Management student
Venice is similar to NYC, if you replace the streets with canals, and taxis with gondolas. When my train pulled into Venice (or “Venezia” as the Italians say), I was blown away when I realized that the only way to get to the other side of the street was to cross a tiny bridge over a canal. The layout of the streets of Venice made it seem like they built the city then just added some water to fill in where the canals should be, while in actuality Venice started as an archipelago and was expanded and connected over the years.
Since there are no roads in Venice, there are absolutely no cars there. The only modes of transportation are water taxis, gondolas, and personal boats. A few friends and I decided to go for a gondola ride to see the city from a different perspective. On our gondola ride, we learned that only Venetians can be gondoliers, in order to make the experience as authentic as possible. We looped around the whole city, seeing sights like where Casanova lived and learning facts about Venice. We learned that Venice floods from time to time, meaning that around 2 to 3 feet of water can flood the streets. They have a complex system that detects when floods will happen, which sets off a warning bell to warn everyone a few hours before it will happen. Venice actually flooded the week before I was there, so I got to see the marks on the buildings of how high the water came up. Some parts of the city flood regularly, so people that reside in that area have to walk around in tall rain boots just to get home.
Unfortunately, Venice is sinking rapidly, so to prevent this, Italy is enforcing stricter rules on how close cruise ships can come to the city. Not many people live in Venice due to how expensive it is, so Venice thrives off tourism. During the day, Venice is as crowded as Times Square, but around 7:00pm the city turns into a ghost town. Venice is definitely one of the more unique cities I’ve been to, and has a happy, upbeat vibe down every canal. Don’t miss out on visiting Venice, as it’s predicted to be fully submerged by 2100!