Countdown to Christmas 2020: 5th of December

December is already here! Christmas might be a little bit weird for a lot of people around the world this year due do the pandemic, but hopefully better days are ahead of us. I decided for this very special period to do my own sort of Advent calendar, with a series of six short articles published every four day… and a surprise for Christmas Day! Here’s the second one: an unforgettable immersion in La Serenissima, the vibrant city of Venice.

📷 For more pictures have a look at my gallery of photos of Venice.

🇫🇷 Cliquez ici pour lire cet article en français.

Click here to go back to the Blog menu.

Have also a look at the other articles from my Advent calendar: 1st of December9th of December13th of December17th of December21st of December

It all begins in the train station of Mestre, a not-so special concrete hall located in front of ugly office buildings and surrounded with huge multi-storey parking lots. Nothing in this place could suggest the proximity of one of the greatest gems of our world, just a few kilometres away, except maybe for the high concentration of tourists from various countries on all the platforms.

Trains leave every ten or fifteen minutes, every day of the year. You jump on the first one heading to Venezia-Santa Lucia. Three minutes later, you’re already on the bridge crossing the lagoon, and the excitement grows. You might well look out the window, you won’t see much from the train; yes, there’s a city on the other side of that bridge, but it’s hard to distinguish anything clearer apart from one or two tower bells. And suddenly it’s the end of the ride, and you’re already at the train station on the other side. The whole crossing took less than ten minutes.

You help yourself out of the train with your luggage and you follow the signs pointing to the exit of the station. You walk through the automatic glass doors and bam, you’re there. Without a single warning, the extraordinary beauty of the city explodes in your face.

venice-train-station-forecourtYou haven’t started exploring Venice yet, but you’re already captivated. The Grand Canal is there, just before you, similar to the dozens of pictures you saw before, but also so much more alive with its buzzing traffic of ships, gondolas and vaporettos. Right in front of the station, the greenish dome of the church of San Simeone Piccolo rises proudly, while the elegant silhouette of the Ponte degli Scalzi to the left invites you to cross it and beginning to meander randomly around the city.


After a minute or two, you realise that you haven’t moved and that you’re still standing on the forecourt of the station. It’s like waking up from a dream: the charm from that first moment breaks down as soon as you’re trying to find your way to your hotel. Soon, you’ll be on St Mark’s Square, amazed by the beauty of the Basilica and the Doge’s Palace. You’ll get lost many times in the maze of the countless narrow lanes, always so similar to each other, vainly trying to find your way to the Ponte Vecchio. Maybe you’ll take a vaporetto ride to Burano and the exceptional colours of its houses. You already know that it’s a trip that you’ll never regret.

But nothing will replace the magic of that first instant, the moment when you stared at Venice for the first time.

Click here to go back to the Blog menu.

Have also a look at the other articles from my Advent calendar: 1st of December9th of December13th of December17th of December21st of December

6 thoughts on “Countdown to Christmas 2020: 5th of December

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