Travel :: Venice

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It's so hard to believe that a month has passed since our trip! It seems like yesterday we were riding around on a gondola and stuffing our faces with pasta. Venice was our second to last stop before venturing off to Paris for our actual one year anniversary.

Venice is one of those places that isn't quite as lively as Rome or Florence, but it's unlike any other city and you don't want to miss it. You can easily cover all of the sights in 1 day but we were glad to have a second day to relax and take our time exploring!

Panoramic view from the Rialto Bridge

When we arrived at the train station in Venice we purchased a 24-hour vaporetto pass and hopped on the slow line for a 20 minute ride down the Grand Canal. We joked that Venice is to Italy what Sarasota is to Florida. Mostly an older crowd going about their business and trying to avoid the tourists who are packing into the vaporetto (water bus).

We stayed at Hotel Bel Sito, which is perfectly situated in walking distance to everything but also has a convenient vaporetto stop about 100 feet away. It was the perfect location and had tons of Venetian charm!



We upgraded for a 'superior' room with a view of the side canal. It was really large with a nice bathroom and was very... green. Even the walls even had green fabric on them but we loved how charming it was in the room. We got to hear the gondoliers singing as they came down the canal, it didn't even seem real!  

Canal Entrance to our hotel and our room windows above {left}, A favorite restaurant on the same canal as our hotel {right}


The first day we headed to St. Mark's Square to see Doge's Palace, the Campanile, St. Mark's Basilica, and the Bridge of Sighs. I think at this point we were a little tired of touring things, so we didn't actually go inside any of the main sights. We ate lunch, took photos, and explored the area.


It was starting to get foggy at this point but this is one of my favorite photos!
Oh yeah... this was about the time I got pooped on by a damn pigeon (for the first time). Luckily it was only on my purse so it wasn't hard to clean. Steve was laughing like a hyena but I was just pissed at the birds and wanted to get away from all the idiots feeding them.

Instead of climbing the Campanile, we thought it would be more fun to ride the water bus to the San Giorgio Maggiore Church and see Venice from the bell tower across the canal. Unfortunately the fog rolled in so quickly that by the time we rode the water bus (roughly 5 minutes away) and made it to the top of the tower via an $8 elevator ride, we shouldn't see anything. ha! Figures!



Rain was in the forecast for the next day so we headed up the Canal to the Rialto Bridge, ate lunch, and did the obligatory gondola ride.



For lunch we ate at Trattoria alla Madonna where I had the best spaghetti bolognese ever!
 

I was hesitant about the gondola ride because it was about $95 but it was totally worth it, we would have regretted not doing it. Our gondolier told us some history and answered some of our questions while taking us up the Grand Canal and along some side canals.

We cracked up for most of the gondola ride because the gondola was leaning to the right (Steve's side) the entire time.


Dinner the first night was at Ristorante da Raffaele, which was pricey but romantic and was right next to our hotel. I ordered the gorgonzola gnocchi, which was the best gnocchi from the whole trip. And as you have seen, I had a lot of gnocchi!

My hot date.
The second day we explored the Rialto market area, picked up some souvenirs, and headed to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum to see some of my favorite Jackson Pollack paintings.
 
Accademia Bridge

We walked around the Accademia Bridge the second night before heading to dinner and packing up for the last leg of our trip.


Our hotel had a water entrance on a side canal, which ended up being a huge advantage since we had to leave at 4 in the morning to get to the airport for our flight to Paris. The hotel arranged a private water taxi for us since the water buses weren't operating that early, and it made it much easier on us to get to the airport. The downside is it was about $120, so keep that in mind when you're booking 7 a.m. flights out of the Marco Polo airport!


The Marco Polo airport is small but Air France had the dumbest check-in machines that people couldn't operate so we were glad we got there early. Once we got on the plane I went over some of the French I learned in college and got my taste buds prepared for macarons, brie, and anything other than Italian food!

Has anyone else been to Venice? What did you think?!

17 comments:

  1. All your gorgeous vacation photos make me want to go, now! Gah, looks like a wonderful time!

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  2. Beautiful photos!! Venice was such an amazing city and I'm dying to go back with my husband ( I went when I studied abroad)! So much history and I loved the water taxis, gondolas & just walking and getting lost on all the streets!! Not to mention the food - YUM!! Hope you guys stole some kisses under the bridges!

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  3. oh my goodness, there are no words. what a stunning place! thank you so much for sharing pictures & the hotel. i am bookmarking this for our Europe trip next year.

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  4. beautiful photos!! venice is unreal...it was so crazy to see all of those buildings meeting the water, defiantly worth seeing. xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  5. Your pictures are seriously amazing! I'm so jealous of your trip! And that spaghetti bolognese looks so delicious!

    <3, Pamela
    sequinsandseabreezes.blogspot.com

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  6. Gorgeous pictures! So happy to read this in prep for our trip to Venice in July!

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  7. Love the post as usual! We loved Venice - it was the last leg of our trip and I was thrilled that it was so walkable and relaxing! Our hotel offered a free day trip across to Murano and we jumped at the opportunity to go! Lighting is my business by day so I could not resist all the amazing light fixtures and beautiful pieces of glass!

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  8. Great photos. You've captured it so we'll. I went to Venice three years ago and loved it. We went when there was a heat wave and it was a little too hot so I would love to go back when it's a little cooler.

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  9. Oh my goodness I want to to go Italy right now! These are amazing, girl! Xx.

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  10. I've never been, but girl do I want to now!

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  11. Swooning over the Venice pics! It's a must-visit and on my bucket list :)

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  12. Love these pictures, it looks beautiful!!!

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  13. I am so glad you opted for the gondola ride. I went to Italy but never Venice and I hope to make it back there one day!

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  14. Your pictures are gorgeous and totally have my itching for another vacation!! The last time I was in Italy I was in Rome but Venice is way more beautiful!

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  15. Love, love, love!
    How is Ruby doing?

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

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  16. Love all your pictures and I especially like the blown-glass chandelier in your room. I will have one of those in my house one day!

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