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Venice is a ghost city. Beautiful, but abandoned. It’s 6,000 locals will probably continue to vacate the islands until the only inhabitants left are the tourists which infest its bridges.

canals2 canals

Venice is being sold as an amusement park, an extremely expensive place with gondola rides with a backdrop of a beautiful set. Don’t get me wrong Venice was absolutely gorgeous, but it was set nonetheless.

gondola

The interesting thing about ghost towns is that tourists unwittingly occupy spaces which locals wouldn’t dare to go; places that were the first to empty in the economic crisis (44% unemployment), places which are known to be haunted.

tourists

Fun fact: many of the hotels which have sprung up around Venice have a document history of horrors inside their walls. Good thing tourists don’t do that much research before investing in their lodging. Some of the islands off the main part of Venice also have an intriguingly disturbing history. Not quite as picturesque as the movies portray it to be, Venice is a seemingly serene location that turns out to be not quite so serene.

There is one thing I will give the city though, it is absolutely gorgeous. The train station in Venice lets out right into the canals and my friend Jin and I walked about five steps until we hit a bridge. All of the taxis, buses, ambulances, and the garbage trucks were all running on the water. Though the city was very touristy, it was still a fantastic place to be.

canals3

venicepose

By the time Jin and I were there for an hour we were already lost, the labyrinth of bridges are simply impossible to keep track of. Even after being there for three days we had no concept of how to get around without going completely out of the way.

One time after trying to getting lost for a good hour, my exasperated roommate said, and I quote “I hate these goddamn bridges” Comical seeing as the canals were the main reason we wanted to visit Venice.

By a happy mistake, by friend and I accidentally booked our train for the wrong day and were able to spend four instead of three days in Venice. That Monday was probably one of the most notable days of hookie I have ever experienced.

also the masks of Venice are fucking amazing.

masks

I decided to make a day trip to see the Dolomites, a mountain range a few hours away from Venice. The train ride itself was insanely gorgeous and definitely worth it.

at this point in my trip I cannot decide if some of the people here are traveling to see and experience a place, or if they are just going for the pictures. Everywhere I go, I see people who pay such extreme amounts of money only to turn their back on a view to look at their phone. Venice is the birth of the phone photography project because my friend Jin,whose only itinerary for the Venice trip was a ride on the gondola spent half of the time not looking at the view.

venicephone

the more I travel with other people the more I enjoy traveling on my own.

for your enjoyment i have collected a list of idiotic statements from spoiled study abroad students

“I cant wait to go back to america and have real a lasagna”

roommate trying to find a suitable notebook for class — “this is so stressful why don’t they just have a target here”

*disgruntled moan* “dont they have ihop here?”

“omg mom wtf why did you pack my suitcase like this?”

*uncorks champagne bottle off of pantheon* “i dont know why people here are so rude to Americans here”