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  • Writer's pictureTatiana Slezak

Birthday Bash in Venice: Mum & I Take on the Floating City!

Living down under in Australia, jetting off anywhere usually means shelling out big bucks. Venice seems as far away as Mars.

But during my six-week visit to Poland in 2023, when the opportunity arose to whisk my mum away to Venice for our birthdays, well, let's just say I didn't waste any time packing my bags. and the best thing was I didn’t have to pack much. Yippee!!!

So picture this: it’s my birthday, my mum just had hers. What better way to celebrate than a trip to Venice, right? So off we went, flying with Ryanair, feeling like I was in some supermarket of the skies. You pay for your seat - sure, everyone has to, but everything else? That’s extra. Still, I’ve got my backpack with the essentials – undies, toothbrush, and a spare shirt – and I’m ready to roll.

Touching down in Venice, the heat hits us like a sledgehammer. We're sweating buckets, but hey, no complaints here. This is Venice, baby! 

On our first day, we decided to take it slow and just soak in the vibes of the city. We spent the day wandering around, taking in the sights and sounds of Venice. And of course, what better way to cool off than with some delicious Italian gelato?

The next day, we breezed through the crowds, thanks to my hubby’s pre-booked tickets, and headed straight to the Doge’s Palace. This place is something else! It’s like stepping into a history book, with fancy corridors and rooms dripping in opulence. The Doge's Palace isn't just a building; it's a living, breathing testament to Venice's rich history and grandeur. As we wandered through its labyrinthine corridors, I couldn't help but marvel at the intricate architecture and exquisite craftsmanship on display.

Every room seemed to tell a story, from the majestic halls adorned with stunning frescoes to the opulent chambers where the Doge once held court. And let's not forget the Bridge of Sighs, with its haunting legend of prisoners sighing at their final view of Venice before being led to their cells. It's these little details that make the Doge's Palace such a captivating place to explore, offering a glimpse into the splendor and intrigue of Venetian life centuries ago.

At the end of our visit, I had to indulge in some tiramisu and coffee at the Doge's Palace restaurant. I mean, who wouldn’t, right?

While enjoying my tiramisu, I thought about the little quirks that made Venice Venice. Like the fact that every bench in town seemed to belong to a café! Genius, right? No free seat for you unless you buy something!

And don’t even get me started on the hotel room. The toilet was in one corner, and the shower was practically in the bedroom – talk about being intimate!

But you know what? None of that stuff matters when you’re in Venice. Because everywhere you look, there’s something beautiful to see. From the winding canals to the crumbling old buildings, it’s like stepping back in time.

Sure, we got lost a few times – thank you, Google Maps, for saving me – but that’s all part of the adventure, right? And let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like sitting by the Grand Canal with a gelato in hand, watching the floating city go by.

So yeah, Venice might be hot, crowded, and a little bit crazy at times. But it’s also magical in a way that’s hard to put into words. As we boarded our flight back to Poland, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the memories we’d made together in this one-of-a-kind city.

Venice, you’ve stolen a little piece of my heart – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tips for anyone planning on visiting Venice:

  • First of all, like us, if you fly to Treviso Airport, book your bus ticket to Venice in advance via Venezia Unica to avoid any last-minute hassle. Trust me, you'll thank yourself (and me!) later when you're not stuck in long queues or scrambling for a seat.

  • When it comes to exploring the city's attractions, like the Doge's Palace, definitely book your tickets in advance. Not only will you avoid waiting in queues, but you'll also have more time to soak in the sights and sounds of Venice without feeling rushed.

  • Now, about those gondolas. Sure, they're iconic and romantic, but they can also be pretty pricey. If you're on a budget like we were, don't feel pressured to splurge on a gondola ride unless it's a must-do for you. Instead, opt for a Vaporetto ride on the Grand Canal. Our tickets included public transport, and let me tell you, it was a blast! Cruising along the waterways of Venice, watching the city come to life around us, was an experience I'll never forget.

So there you have it, my Venice adventure with my mum in a nutshell. From spontaneous decisions to unforgettable moments, it was a trip filled with laughter, exploration, and gelato galore.

My relationship with my mum has always been important to me. She is not just my mother; over time she has become my friend. Moving to Australia evoked a sense of guilt in me, which was why, during my last visit to Poland, I wanted to have something special between us that we would always remember. That 'something special' turned out to be this trip. I'm glad I had the opportunity to express my gratitude to my mum. I'm grateful that I could say 'thank you' for the many years of love, care and support she has given me.

About the Author

Tatiana wears many hats in life. She is a passionate ESL teacher, does energetic healing work with clients after hours and helps the Polish community with interpreting. Tatiana is the author of the book How to get out of the fog: The blueprint to put your life back on track through self-discipline. She emphasises the importance of self-care in managing her diverse responsibilities. Above all, Tatiana cherishes her role as a mother of two wonderful girls and a wife.


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5 則留言


I like the look-on-the-bright-side type of thinking when you mentioned about the crowds and all. That’s the spirit. Venice must be amazing!


It absolutely was. Generally I try to look on the bright side of life 💕



A delightful and engaging read on Venice - particularly of interest to first time travellers! Why did you chose Venice and not Florence or Rome - would like to know so that I can follow suit.

Anita Mathew


That’s a good question. Venice seemed for me less obvious, more romantic and cozy. At least in my mind. I wanted to give my my something she has never experiences before and is much different from what she sees everyday in Poland. Also there are no direct flights to Florence from my city and I wanted to make it as easy as possible.

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