Expectation is the enemy of satisfaction. Venice is probably one of the most romantic destinations in the world, with Gondola Rides along Venetian Canal making it infamous for couples and tourists alike. And with a reputation as grand as theirs, my expectation is above and beyond.

I was excited for the mere fact of being able to experience a real gondola ride at Venice, Italy. After all, it has been widely replicated. With painted clouds of ceiling and man-made canals. Singing falsetto drivers while wearing black and white horizontal stripes. And romantic ambiance deemed worthy of a dream locale. The origin must be breathtaking. Or at least way better than all the replicas I’ve been to. Like the Venetian Mall at Macau, or even the local Mckinley Hills in Manila. All of which does a pretty good job in honing our expectations of a real gondola ride.

But to my dismay, Venice is nothing like that. It’s just an overrated tourist attraction that lacks proper maintenance. With locals milking profit from tourist alike, and 100 US dollars as their minimum asking price per 15 minutes gondola ride. Not to mention the lack of enthusiasm from Gondola drivers, nor the falsetto singing that makes it all a tad bit romantic. The canals on the other hand are polluted. With awful smells wreaking here and there, and clothes hanged alongside. It was dreadful. Far from the high expectations I’ve had of Venice, far from the image it drew on social media. It didn’t meet my expectations. And I couldn’t help but sigh in exasperation.

My opinion of a place might be too subjective. Like that of someone who’s expectations weren’t met, or a person who’s very hard to please. Venice still is a good pitstop of Italy. Situated right in between Milan and Rome. One must never miss this iconic place when touring Europe. Or so I thought.

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