About the Author

Hi. I’m Juliana Dever and according to science I have some sort of "exploration" gene. Embracing this compulsion, I spend a lot of time hurtling around the planet in metal tubes experiencing other cultures and writing humorous essays about it. Enjoy.


  1. Genie / at /Reply

    Love your article. I’ve never been to Venice but it’s on my bucket list. I’m one of your followers and have enjoyed all your descriptive travel comments.
    Thank you to you and Seamus for your work on CASTLE…MY FAVORITE SHOW.


  2. Sara / at /Reply

    Amazing article! I’m italian but, unfortunatly, I don’t have enough money to try a gondola ride ahah, anyway with this article it’s like I’ve been on that gondola too!

    I’ve really liked Enrico’s answers, because it’s so true the fact that, a lot of times, the real beatiful Italy it’s not in the centre of the city (full of cheaters), but in the little canals of Venice, in the hidden streets of Rome or outside big cities like Milan or Florence or even in the smallest cities.

    Then I agree that, sometimes, tourists have a wrong idea of Italy because of websites like Trip Advisor, where other tourists suggest wrong kind of things (for example I love McDonalds or French restaurants, but if you are american or french you shouldn’t come to Italy, if you always want to eat american or french food).

    Then I loved Enrico’s history and I loved even more your point of view of this experience! You’re always so down-to-earth and you always see the right part of the cities you visit! Glad you like it!

    Go on with your articles, they’re beautiful!
    CASTLE #1 but even JULIANA’S ARTICLES #1

    A lot of kisses from Italy, hope you’re coming here soon!

    P.S. Forgive me for my loooong comment (but I had to… Your article was so well done) and forgive me if I’ve made mistakes but I’m a 17 years old italian so… sorry ahah


  3. Kathryn / at /Reply

    You wrote a good article. I was in Venice about a month ago. I felt the same way about the gondola ride but decided I needed to do it if I was in Venice and I am glad I did. Our tour group took a ride in several different gondolas with a singer serenading us from the middle gondola. It was wonderful!
    Keep writing your travelogues. I enjoy reading them. I hope we see more of you in Castle season 8!

  4. Lia / at /Reply

    Great article,very “true”…Enrico say right things..tourists help our Italy but is not easy for who live in cities like Rome,Venice,Florence…I live in the city with Garda’s Lake and i know tourists…sometimes is not easy,they can be rude and want to be the boss of everything because they have money.
    However,the nice thing of this article is that you can understand that in Italy we have a very long history and family for us is the most important thing,I do the job of my father too and I’m proud…Not a lot of countries have this…
    thank you Julianna for your article and thank you for your great photos of my country,I’m Italian and I hope my country can always have tourists like you

  5. Dot Bowe / at /Reply

    Really enjoyed reading your article. I have been to Venice and am ashamed to say that I did not travel on a gondola and came in for the day but stayed elsewhere.
    Please continue with your writing of your travels and may be visit the Lake District , Cumbria one day .
    I love to hear what you think of it.

  6. Sue Cieslak / at /Reply

    I so much enjoy reading about your travels. My husband and I will be in Venice soon and would like to know where you found the gondolier? Going on the smaller canals into the older parts of the city seems more interesting. If you or anyone else can advise us, we would certainly appreciate it. Thanks so much. A belated Happy Aniversary!!

  7. Once again, you really amaze me with the most beautiful pictures! I’m actually going to Italy this summer – to a city near Venice so I hope to spend a day or two in Venice and your wonderful and very well-written story makes it very clear to me that I have to try one of those gondola rides while I’m there. I just wonder if it’s gonna be as amazing without a Seamus of my own 😉 Haha, I guess a family trip can do as well 😉

    // Sofie

  8. Hannah / at /Reply

    I am really in love with your writing style and i enjoy reading your blog! Ist inspiring and i hope i am able to travel as much as you one day too!! Venice is definitelly added to my list;)
    Happy belated anniversary!! Love

  9. Enrico / at /Reply

    hi!I have found it !!
    and it was fun to read about me;) I see that you’ve written everything as I was telling you .. and I’m glad of it… continue to travel ..
    see you soon … maybe;)
    I m sorry for my english .. but I’m very tired and google translator is working for me .. 😀

  10. Rachel / at /Reply

    Well, Great…now I am annoyed that I talked my family out of a gondola ride so many years ago! You made this experience seem so charming. I guess Marsha and I will have to go back to Venice!

  11. Jan / at /Reply

    I love these articles! Hope you’ll expand this ‘Faces’ category! Also great to see that Enrico tells you to ignore Trip Advisor… I’ve heard that many times before in other locations:)

    • Thank you Jan, yes there are many more lined up, so come back in the next few weeks!

  12. Funny that he mentioned Fiashcetteria Toscano. The last time we ate there we ordered a steak for our young kids. The server knew that it was for the kids. Yet he brought out the largest steak that we’ve ever seen and then charged us $140 for it. We learned to never again order meat that’s priced by the gram! We felt like scammed tourists.

    • That sounds frustrating Eric! Things like that do happen, and unfortunately even in some of our favorite places. The best one can do is try and keep an awareness of things that sounds a little suspicious, though you can probably never avoid it completely, even at home. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Teresa / at /Reply

    I remember thinking the gondola ride prices were outrageously expensive. I now feel bad for thinking that. Yikes!

    • Initially, it does feel like that, right? You hear the prices and you’re like “what?” I also felt like I was doing something oh so touristy. But really, it’s neither. Its a Venetian heritage that’s many generations old and each gondolier is self-employed. That’s why I love talking to people on my travels to get the insider’s perspective.

  14. Edna / at /Reply

    Ooh I was just in Venice, staying in the north; I know exactly where he’s talking about! Cannaregio, right? I was amazed at how quiet it was, and how many little old Venetian ladies I saw walking around! It definitely felt far more local.

    It’s sad though, our Venetian friend (also named Enrico) was telling us how no one can afford to live in Venice anymore — even he lives in Mestre now, and commutes into Venice every day for work (though he was born and raised on the island!). Plus business at his family deli has been suffering steadily for years, because the elderly Venetians were the ones who appreciated quality meat & cheese, and would pay accordingly — but they’re passing away in droves. Tourists don’t know the quality differences and often just try to find the cheapest deal, so business is literally dying 🙁

  15. Maren De Simone / at /Reply

    I’ve been to Venice many times because it keeps calling me back and it’s amazing how it manages to retain its charm and grace despite being overrun by people on a daily basis.
    Here are some tips of mine if you’re interested:

    The rest of the lagoon is worth a trip as well (and not all of it is as crowded as the city). The boats have become rather expensive, but there are combined travel tickets available. If you’ve got time though, don’t rush from one place to the other- the islands invite you to take it slow, especially Torcello.

    If you go in winter, it’s still crowded but the light is amazing. I recommend going to the top of the Campanile right when it opens in the morning, as the view is stunning (you can even see the Alps and the Apennine Mountains on a clear day). Cover your ears when the bells start sounding though, otherwise you’ll actually be stunned when you leave.

    Another great thing to do is to see a concert in the Teatro La Fenice which burned down twice and has been restored with a lot of love and respect for the original design. Those interested in its story can attend a guided tour through the building which is the very thing for the romantic at heart. The concerts usually are superb and the atmosphere is unique.

    If you visit in summer during the Biennale (which is a rather grand art exhibition spreading throughout the city) you might be lucky- they usually use some of the old palazzi for themed installations, meaning you can enter a lot of otherwise inaccessible houses, and they usually are fantastic. If you’re lucky, there’s a balcony overlooking the Canale Grande… okay, I’ll shut up now. Sorry. And thank you for your amazing blog!

    • Thank you for sharing such in-depth suggestions! This is really great. ????????

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