The Journal by TWC is exactly that, a Journal of a life, of sorts, a collection of articles written and curated by Thomas W Coombs esq. On a variety of topics that many of us love and enjoy. From fashion to cocktails, travel to wine and some of the simple things in life in between, be it literature, photography or film.

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Issue 33; Take Me Back To....Venice

A world apart from any city, the floating city, held together by old wooden struts and the will of the people.  Thought of as one of the most romantic cities in the world and swarmed by tourists every year, crowding through the tiny walkways or taking water buses and taxis around the maze of canals.  In 2017 I ventured to this city with a group, but I want to go back and just eat and drink and take it easy. Welcome back to Venice.

The city is hidden in the North East of Italy and the views of the Alps as you fly in from the UK are outstanding.  And even with the arrival at the airport the journey onward is as good as the place itself.  Getting a water taxi to your hotel is a must, to relax as you head from port in the confines of the canals, the wind in your hair just setting the holiday in motion.  You may read a slight nostalgic tone to my writing but I fell in love with Venice, to be honest anyone who visits can’t help but love it and it is even better once you get your bearings and get away from the hustle of tourist mayhem.

When in the city I do find myself being on the street pounding the walkways and alleys rather than getting around by boat.  You see more and get lost more than you would being carried around and yes Gondolas are expensive and for tourists only, so if you are in a haggling mood then go for it, but not for me.  I do however want a cocktail and a lot of great food, and then in Venice there is plenty.

Like much of Italy you eat outside, and if a little cooler? You don your winter coat of course and relax.  Being English changing the winter coat for a simple jacket was enough to pass as warmer.  But you can jump inside, on your own as we did once for lunch.  They could tell the English a mile off “inside you say?”.  The food is amazing, even down to your small bistros with drinks and snack a plenty, the more you drink the more snacks you receive to keep you going.  It is a great way of life and concept and for a food and wine lover, something I am happy to be brought to other countries.

From bars and restaurants you move through them, weaving down the alleyways and walkways, over bridges, side stepping the crowds.  Of course we all know St Marks square, or to be precise Piazza San Marco, the English love to ruin good sounding names.  It is an amazing site, but take the time to check out some of the shops around the square, the ones where I would need to sell my house to buy one of the watches or rings in the windows.  As you weave your way through rose sellers constantly asking if I would like to buy one or all of them.

Head off towards the grand canal and ease you way along and you will find some gems of Venice, Harry’s bar being on of them.  One of my favourite stories of a trip to Harry’s can be read over on The Senior, once you are done here of course and involves a spoon and a little guilt.  It is a delight I must head to when next in Venice followed maybe by a stroll in the Giardini Reali di Venezia, or Royal Gardens for short.  It is a tourist trap and can get busy as it is home to a ferry terminal with tours going past but take it slow and sit and people watch and it will be much nicer I am sure.

Venice is busy much of the year, the slightly warmer months are the busiest, it sadly is a huge tourist place, but if you can get away from the queues and not need to head into these places as a tourist just a consumer and just admire from afar it will be a much more relaxed affair.