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Gondola Rider in Venice

Preface (Travel Safety)

How many of us lose our stuff while traveling? There are places in the world where tourists think twice before traveling, just because the location is not so safe.

Before my trip to Venice even started, I had already done my research for Venice and how tourists felt in Venice.

On frequent posts, there were mentions about tourists getting pickpocketed and some thefts. But I never considered this as a scary thing.

The Beginning

We (And Travel Stories) started our journey to this highly anticipated place in Italy. After spending a few days in Sirmione, a picturesque small town in Italy near Lake Garda, we moved on to our next destination – Venice. Our journey took 4 hours by train from Sirmione.

The first impressions after getting out of the train station left us spellbound. This place is surreal with its canals and boats passing by, it is simply a treat to your eyes. The normal roads are nowhere to be seen.

We were standing there mesmerized for quite some time with this view ahead

The Incident

Finally regaining our composition, we got our public transport tickets and hopped onto our first Vaporetto (water bus). Excited to see this City of Canals, we started enjoying all the scenic waterways and bridges on the way.

Soon our destination port arrived and we stepped out while still enjoying the view. After walking to our hotel and checking in, the disaster struck.

Where is my small bag which has my new laptop and two kindles?

My heart skipped a beat and I could see my next days of the trip going down as the worst days.

After getting over the panic, my brain started deciding the next course of action that can still help us get our bags back.

Hurriedly we put our luggage in the hotel room and contacted the reception if they can help us track our luggage. The first reaction was

It is difficult to get stuff back in Venice

The search

We got a number from reception which was of course not working. What is the next course of action? Think.

We went back running and got a two-day pass of Venice and went to the port. Asking the Vaporetto conductor did not help much as they could not provide much info.

We were losing hope of getting back our stuff and decided to get on the next water taxi going the same way hoping to get a different outcome.

After getting into the taxi asked the driver for help. He said it will be difficult but I will try to ask and got on his walkie talkie to check with other taxi drivers. We waited in patience for a couple of minutes which felt like an eternity. Finally, he signaled us and said someone has found a bag which may belong to us but he cannot be sure.

Also, we can only get it from the Lost and Found department after 7 PM that day. We realized this is our one and the only hope of getting our bag back, so we started on our journey to lost and found which was on the other side of the city. That is when my mind remembered the words from Dalai Lama –

Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength. No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that's our real disaster.

Dalai Lama XIV

The wait

While we were traveling to the Lost and Found department, we sat in silence embracing the sunset and realized something. We realized how beautiful Venice is. We have been in Venice and have already lost our stuff,  covered the city from one end to other-twice.

Now looking at the sunset not sure if we will ever get our bag back. It may be our bag with the lost and found office or maybe not. Whatever was the case, I was content. We had met so many amazing people on our way, received help from strangers and now we were on our way to the office which would tell us if I was lucky enough.

Finally, we reached the lost and found office and with my heart pounding, asked the lady if she had received a bag. She checked and asked us about the contents inside the bag.

After a while, she brought a bag that sent an immediate relief down my spine as I could see my bag in her hands. I could not thank her enough for this and I would never be able to thank that person who first found my bag and rather than keeping it, was a perfect gentleman and returned it to the authorities.

If you are that person, this is my heartfelt thanks to you.

Summary

Is it really safe in Venice? I feel it depends, at every location, we will get people who will try to dupe you, cheat you and get money out of you. But there are more people out there who are always ready to help you, go out of their way to make you feel safe or just be the support you need at that time.

 

Here are some of the pictures that I took on the trip –

Do you have any such experience being on any side – lost something or returned something, do let us know in comments below. We would love to hear your story.

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