For most people Venice is a travel destination. Maybe the best travel destination, but still just a travel destination. But it is home for someone else – university students, for example, thousands of students who move from their hometown to this beautiful city.
Living in Venice as a student is different than as a true venetian or a tourist – you’re going to spend months, maybe years in a city which is much different than “normal” cities, and to which you aren’t used to (and it takes lots of time to get used to its inconvenience, labyrinthic calli, smell, humidity, acqua alta and bridges). But little by little, trying and making lots of mistakes, students learn the basic tricks to survive Venice.
- Walking as a tourist (slowly, on the left side of calli, checking maps) is freshmen’s stuff and a true shame when you learn to walk as a venetian.
- …But you better carry a map with you. Just in case.
- It’s better to walk some more than taking a shortcut that involves a bridge.
- Always frighten pigeons and seagulls.
- Keep calm, WWIII is yet to come. (Few people will get this one).
- You need ugly plastic boots to survive, or Goldon (“condom” in venetian dialect) brand overshoes.
- Festivals (Mardi Gras, International Film Festival, Madonna della Salute) are the worst days to take a walk. But you can’t skip Redentore – on Redentore you’ll walk all night long. Drunk, obviously.
- Every calle leads to a place you know. Just follow the crowd.
- It’s useless to plan your route in advance. Just let your feet remember it for you.
- Always do your best to avoid Ponte dell’Accademia. It’s hell’s gate.