We don’t have a lot of pics from Venice since I was in excruciating pain during our visit there. I have a herniated disc in my neck and sometimes it slips a little and my muscles go into protective mode, seizing up for a few days and then finally relaxing little by little (that’s how the doctor explained it to me). When this happens, I’m in so much pain that I really can’t think straight, and every movement is difficult. I can’t move my neck up or down, or to the right or left. Sitting and walking are hard. Thankfully this has only happened twice. And thankfully on this trip, my neck was doing great in general, but I most have slept on it wrong and the disc must have slipped a bit, because the day of our trip to Venice, I woke up in trouble. Getting from Tuscany to Venice by car (a 4-hour drive), leaving the car and then taking the train into the city, and then navigating the city to find our airbnb was a nightmare, especially for Waldir who had to carry our luggage in a no-car city. (We both packed light, but still! Not easy.) There was a mix-up finding the airbnb and we ended up going to the wrong address, which was on the other side of the city. I won’t bore you with the details but I’ll simply say: it was a mess.
When in this state of pain, I can’t function much. Waldir was very patient and helpful, bringing me medicine and food while I spent most of our time in Venice in bed. I needed anti-inflammatories, which we couldn’t get at first because the pharmacies were closed by the time we arrived–and then closed the next day because it was a Sunday. Waldir went to church and then spent hours searching the city, looking for anti-inflammatories for me. (Tip: make sure to bring tylenol/ibuprofen in case of emergency! I had a few but not enough. Lesson learned.) So yes, in Venice Waldir spent a lot of time helping me and I spent a lot of time lying down. (We watched the documentary “Inside Job,” which is great, by the way.) On Monday, Waldir was able to get the medicine and thankfully it helped my muscles calm down. Finally I could walk around and we took a vaporetto (waterbus) ride to enjoy the canals. The next day, we went to the rooftop of the famous Fondaco dei Tedeschi luxury department store, where you can get an unbeatable (and free) view of Venice. I recommend this!
-Pack lightly (it’s a carless city!). The streets are hard to roll luggage on (due to uneven roads).
-If on a budget, take a vaporetto around the canals (local form of transportation) rather than pay for a private boat ride. Crowded, but you might meet some new friends (we did, and they had great tips!).
-Visit the Fondaco dei Tedeschi department store and take the escalators/elevators to the rooftop to get a free, fabulous view of the city.
-For food, we basically lived off Dal Moro’s fresh, inexpensive, take-away pasta. We also liked Frulala, where we bought fresh juice and smoothies a few times (not cheap, but we needed some vitamins!).
-I really wanted to do a free walking tour–didn’t get to go b/c of my neck, but you should go and tell me how it is 😉
–Kayaking also looked fun!