Friday, September 23, 2016
Italy Vacation: Venice
Venice was such a beautiful city! I wish we could have spent a few days here, but we only had one day and part of it was tied up with travel. I am still glad I got to see Venice and what all the hype is about with this flooded city. This was our last full day in Italy and you can find my other recap posts below:
Rome, Day 1 recap HERE.
Rome, Day 2 recap HERE.
Rome, Day 3 recap HERE.
Florence, Day 1 recap HERE.
Florence, Day 2 recap HERE.
Our last hot breakfast at the Plaza Lucchesi hotel.
We then headed to the train station and took the train from Florence to Venice. I love how the trains in Italy give you complimentary snacks and drinks during your travels. I had water and some lemon cookies (from Rome to Florence it was Nutella cookies).
We stayed at the Londra Palace in Venice. This was my second favorite hotel that we stayed in while in Italy.
The flowers by the entrance to the hotel were so pretty!
When in Venice, you can't miss the St Mark's Campanile, which is the bell tower of St Mark's Basilica.
It was lunch time by the time we checked into the hotel, so we decided to check out food in Venice and found a nice restaurant close to our hotel in St. Mark's Square called Ristaorante Quadri. You'll see that I enjoyed a Bellini. :) They brought out some Italian bread, chips and nuts for us to munch on while we waited for our food.
We had a bottle of rose (I promise you, we do not drink this often at home!), a fresh salad and the best, best, BEST lasagna I tell you that I've ever had. That lasagna may not look like much, but OH it was good!
Then I finished off the meal with a nice slab of chocolate cake, a cappuccino and some tiny little cookies. This meal was our most expensive during our entire stay in Italy. We found things to be just a little more pricey in Venice versus Rome and Florence. However, every bite was worth it!
After lunch we started our 'Best of Venice Tour including Grand Canal Ride'. Here we are at the top of St. Mark's Basilica, our tour guide took our photo. However, no photos were allowed inside St. Mark's Basilica, so I don't have any to share.
You could see salt on the brick of the buildings and a lot of the buildings were built in a way so that they could withstand some movement. In the photo on the right, you'll see a cross above the archway. This cross marks the place where Marco Polo’s house was in Venice. It’s believed by some historians that this is where he was born. The courtyard is called Corte del Milion in Italian, because Marco polo was nicknamed ‘Il Milione’.
Pigeons in St. Mark's Square.
Our tour included a boat ride in the Grand Canal and it lasted for a good hour! I took so many photos, too many to recap here.
Bridge of Sighs - called that because the bridge became the path by which the prisoners were transported from the prison to the inquisitor's office. It was believed sadness and sighs of condemned prisoners occurred as they were led through it to the executioner.
After our tour, Brian and I did a private gondola ride for an hour! It was my favorite part of the day! It was romantic, relaxing and so many sights to see!
Another photo from the gondola ride... once again, I took a million photos and too many to share here.
This fire escape sign was funny!
After the gondola ride, we were famished. We had dinner at a pizzeria called Rossopomodoro, which means tomato red in Italian. The salads were so fresh in Italy, that I decided to go with salad and pizza for dinner... oh, and wine!
For dessert I had an espresso granita (sort of similar to the one I had in Rome) and I believe tiramisu.
Its hard to not stop and just eat everything while in Italy! Popsicles on the left and on the right is pizza dough with funny faces.
St. Mark's Square at night. So pretty.
The next morning this delicious breakfast awaited us! Did I mention this was included in the price of our room?
The view from our breakfast table outside was of the lagoon. I really loved the little glass flowerpots filled with fruit!
And, that's it!! Recapping this trip was a lot of work! I hope these pictures encourage you to see Italy someday if you haven't (or to go back). It really is such a neat place with lots of history, charm and delicious food (and drink!).