As it often goes with us, one morning we decided to visit Venice. It’s actually not as crazy as it sounds – we were vacationing on Lake Garda at that time and even though Venice was not in our plans, it was just too close to resist. So after a two hours’ drive we were glad to be able to stretch our legs at the parking near Santa Lucia train station (the last place where you can leave your car before entering the town center). We were excited to explore this floating city with our three little travelers. What we didn’t know is that we would be stretching our legs the whole day.
The twins were 21 months, and our big boy was 3. We’ve been to Venice before and had some vague recollection of narrow streets and lots of bridges, but somehow you never really pay attention to how (not) accessible everything is till you have a stroller with you. So here we were, standing with two strollers at the first bridge over a canal and that’s when we realized that Venice is not only full of bridges, but that those bridges are also built in such a way that there are stairs everywhere.
It would be possible to carry a child in a stroller over the stairs (but beware: there are many bridges with even more stairs). Actually we saw quite some people doing just that. But we had three children and with just two of us there was no way we could manage it. As we have not travelled to Venice to turn around at the first bridge, we brought the buggies back to the car, packed all the stuff the kids might need in a backpack and set off on foot.
Of course we couldn’t see as much of the city as we had hoped that morning, but the kids were doing great and they walked all the way to St. Mark’s square, passing Rialto Bridge, admiring all those boats and gondolas, and chasing each and every pigeon we came across. By the time we reached St. Mark’s the children were too tired to continue or to walk back and so we took one of those very expensive taxi boats back to the parking. It was an unforgettable experience, maybe even more so because we all had to explore this beautiful city on foot.
If you are planning on visiting Venice with a baby or a toddler, go ahead, you will love it. Just consider leaving a stroller at home and be prepared to walk a lot and carry your children when necessary.
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