Trying Aperol Spritz for the first time in Venice, city of Refuge

Trying Aperol Spritz for the first time in Venice, city of Refuge

This short travel story is an excerpt from the new novel Exquisite Hours by Joshua Humphreys. Set in New York, Bangladesh, Bangkok, Venice, London, and Vietnam, Exquisite Hours is the story of Anaïs Spencer, a beautiful young woman who travels the world lying to men.

‘What brings you to Venice then?’

‘I, Octavian, have always felt that I would end up here. And somehow I have, ended up here.

‘Is this the end?’

‘Do you think it is?’

‘How should I know? Taste that.’

She pushed the skewer back with her finger and drank. ‘That’s amazing.’ Astonished, she broke into a smile. Then she moaned with pleasure. ‘That…’ she sipped again. ‘Oh. … It tastes like sunshine. You could drink that all day.’

‘And so we shall,’ he assured her.

‘What’s it called?’

Spritz Aperol,’ he said with a very attractive Italian accent.

From within was brought a large plate arrayed with every deliciousness that Anaïs had yet tasted from the lagoon. ‘The fish and chips are cold,’ she said, touching them with the backs of her fingers. Then she had some. ‘That’s amazing. It’s delicious.’

‘You just ate mermaid tail.’

She cackled and then tucked into the grilled vegetables.

‘All mermaid stories aside, you’re in Venice why?’


‘Yes. How did you come to be sitting at Paradise Lost?

‘Well you walked into that gallery today didn’t you?’

‘Not today. I mean how have you ended up here? What have you fled? All strangers who come to Venice have fled something. The city was founded by refugees. You’ve fled something, no? Was your heart broken, Anaïs? Declare everything.’

– – –

When heading to Venice, make sure you take a look at our tips to discover the hidden venice. Does it still exist? Yes, and we will help you to find your own piece of Venice.

Here is our guide to eat on a budget in Venice.

It covers 22 restaurants to eat like a king without paying a million euros.

Best Travel Websites we recommend ❤️
(Fresh Update 2023)

Booking Hostels and Discounts 👏👏👏

As a user of Hostelgeeks, you also have access to exclusive hostel discounts. For booking hostels, we use:

We recommend installing the Hostelworld App. It is very useful!

How to find cheaper Flights ✈️

The first websites we always check are Skyscanner and Google Flights.

Find our step-by-step process in our review about Skyscanner.

Travel Insurance made easy 🤒

We are currently using Safetywing and Hey Mondo. We wrote detailed guides about these insurances:

Smartest Travel Tools you need to know 🤓

Find all our recommended travel tools and websites here.

Get your Smart Packing List (Free Printable)

Knowing what to pack and what not to pack is key. As an example, you need a one-fits-all padlock.

We put together the ultimate list of smart items to bring.

Download your Free PDF Packing List

Best Hostel Packing List