So, if you were unaware, we (myself, Josh, my parents, and my dad's parents) just got back from Italy. And it. was. AMAZING. It has been a lifelong goal of mine to travel to Italy. I'm not sure where it began, but I have always loved the idea of the history that is there, the laid back yet passionate culture, and of course, there is the food! Joshy declares that he doesn't like Italian food and is glad to be back home for that reason. I for one, am craving it at this jetlagged moment. Spaghetti for breakfast, maybe?
Many have asked for lots of pictures, so I thought this would be the easiest revenue. I took 400+ pictures on my Nikon and only like 800+ on my cell phone. Therefore, I thought it would be easiest to split it up.
In planning our trip to Italy, I decided I could't just go to one place. How could I stay for a week in Rome knowing that Venice was just a couple of hours away, and vice versa? We narrowed down our destinations to Venice, Florence, and Rome and we planned a 9 day adventure (11 total counting travel days) with 3 full days for each city. We landed and Rome and took the Trenitalia (really not so scary as the internet may make you to believe) to Venice and that is where we will begin.
Ah, Venezia. You were my favorite of the 3 cities. You are so charming with your canals, colorful buildings, and open markets. Did I mention no traffic? Even with all of the tourists, you would be surprised at how quiet it is without any vehicles.
Our first day, we did a tour of Doge's Palace- the seat of the Venetian government when Venice was it's own country. If you were unaware (I was), Italy was divided into many different countries until Napoleon invaded. Doge's Palace was where the first democratic government was...trialed? and held many prisoners, as the government was pretty strict. One of the four(?) crimes punishable by death was to pollute the canals. Unfortunately that is not so anymore, and the canals are not the crystal clear waters that they (apparently) once were.
Thus the famous Bridge of Sighs was created. Named so as the prisoners would "sigh" as they saw their last view of beautiful Venice on their way to their execution.
One of the famous cells in Doge's Palace belonged to Casanova and includes a crazy tale of Casanova's daring escape. Pretty interesting stuff!
Just beside Doge's Palace is San Marco's square. That morning was rather rainy and Acqua Alta was in way. I knew about this occurrence of high tide, but didn't realize how often it really happened.
Our first night after a long day of traveling, I thought the platforms pictured above were set aside for people selling things. Turns out they are there for the tourists and Venetians to get from point A to point B.
The evening of our first full day we took a boat tour to Murano and Burano. The two are almost like suburbs to Venice.
Murano is famous for the art of glass blowing. I wish I could've photographed some of the beautiful creations in their shop, but they don't allow photography so that other companies don't steal their innovative ideas. One day when I'm rich, I will have one of their gorgeous chandeliers! I mean, they're only like, tens of thousands of dollars.
Burano is famous for lace making. We were allowed to watch a demonstration by an 80-something year old woman, the youngest of her group that knew the skill and the last to have been taught the skill. Again, this was not allowed to be photographed, wah, wah. Now to learn the art, one must learn it from the lace makers directly.
In my opinion it's also famous for it's brightly colored homes. Supposedly, they were painted so brightly to help sailors find the town in bad weather. Burano is much smaller, around 2,000ish people and seems to be the perfect place for me to relocate, that is if I can get Josh on board.
Our second full day in Venice was a free one. We decided to do some exploring, on foot of course. Venetians, and basically everyone else in Italy, does the majority of their inner-city travel on foot. Did I mention we averaged 6.5 miles walking a day? Some days 8 miles. No wander they can eat all of that pasta and still be itsy-bitsy. Thus, I felt no shame with my pasta eating as well.
I'm not too proud to do the touristy things, but it's nice to get off of the beaten path too. You are not doing Venice right if you do not get a little lost. And that's what I told my family when I convinced them to trust my Venetian navigation skills (hint: you MUST get Trip Advisor app for it's maps!). We visited the Libreria Acqua Alta (pictured above), Rialto Market, and went to the top of the San Marco Square clock tower for the best views in Venice.
We finished the day with a gondola ride down the Grand Canal. FYI for your visit to Venice- gondoliers only sing if you pay them extra. Darn.
So that completed our three day excursion in Venice. If you have any questions about any of the tours we did, I would love to pretend like I know what I'm talking about and give you my tips. I do hope you get to go some day if you have not!