When travelling in a van on a budget, our main expenses are food and fuel, suddenly the price of fuel in each country becomes of great interest and the only supermarkets to be seen in are Lidl or Aldi. And so while staying in the Italian Dolomite region we decided to pop over the border into Austria to visit Aldi and a fuel station for supplies, saving ourselves 40 cents per litre for diesel! In hindsight we realised we should have bought an Austrian vignette (a vehicle tax disc), oops, we do plan to see what else Austria has to offer besides cheap supermarkets and fuel later in our trip so we’ll buy our vignette then! After our illegal trip to Austria we returned to Italian soil and found a quiet ‘wild camping’ spot alongside a forest walk where we spent the night.
The next morning having got up and moved on early we had a look at the map over breakfast, “where shall we go today?” (had we mentioned we’re not really planners). We were only an hour from Venice, we hadn’t been sure we wanted to visit the cities on this trip with Chief and the van but we were so close it would be a shame not to go….so Venice it is!
We drove across the bridge to Venice and parked the van at an Aire in Santa Croce and took a short train ride to take us towards the centre where we headed to see the main sites of the Canal Grande and San Marco square. We had read that it was obligatory for dogs to wear a muzzle in the city, we put a headcollar on Chief hoping this would be sufficient but carried a muzzle with us just in case, we didn’t see any other dogs wearing muzzles although there was a sign on the train stating a muzzle should be worn, the rule didn’t seem to be enforced and we didn’t have a problem.
What is there to say about Venice that has not already been said many times in literature and travel publications? Well, we found Venice to be very beautiful, very busy, very hot and a little bit smelly. Adam was worried about the effects of rising damp, we presume Venetians have a solution for this, I don’t know. We enjoyed a few hours walking, taking in some of the sights, eating ice cream and Chief enjoyed receiving lots of attention from tourists. By mid afternoon we were all exhausted from the heat and the crowds and we made our way back to the van, glad we had visited Venice but as ever glad to get back to our sanctuary on wheels and drive to somewhere quieter.