Venice was our last city in Italy and the last stop of the trip for M and N! We arrived in Venice in the late afternoon after driving from Montefollonico. It was a nice end to our road trip getting to drive all the way to Venice. After dropping the car off we took a taxi to the water shuttles, and then a water shuttle to our hotel. The water shuttle was quite the adventure. Our hotel was located on the far end of the island so we got to see quite a bit of the city on the way. Venice was beautiful – besides Nice it was the prettiest city of my trip. The architecture was incredible and the water made everything that much more beautiful. I practically grew up on a boat so I definitely enjoyed the boat aspect of the city. It’s still a little crazy to me that there are no cars in the city but after spending a couple days there I’ve seen how impossible it would be to have cars there – the city just isn’t designed for it. After getting dropped off by the water shuttle it was quite the adventure trying to find our hotel. We ended up taking the long way which included dragging out luggage over four extra bridges (luckily people saw us struggling and offered help) before we found our hotel.
After checking in we set out to explore the city and do some souvenir shopping for our friends and family. We wandered through the city; through small alleyways and plazas. Venice is definitely a type of place you can take a wrong turn and become easily lost! One of the things Venice is known for is Murano Glass which is hand blown at the nearby island of Murano. Since Venice is so well known for Murano glass it was sold everywhere. I ended up buying some glass bead bracelets for Molly and my mom. I also bought Molly some funky drinking glasses that were kind of like stained glass. After doing a little souvenir shopping it was pretty late so we headed back to the hotel. On the walk back to the hotel we wandered through the main square of the city which also happens to be the lowest point of the city. The square floods when high tide comes in. It was crazy to see the square flooding and then the next morning there was still quite a lot of water in the square – people were running around barefoot playing in the water.
The next day started with breakfast on the patio of our hotel. The patio was right near a water taxi stop so we had some great people watching. We ended up spending the day wondering around the city and doing some shopping. And, of course, we had to check out the Rialto Bridge. It really was beautiful. In the afternoon we also went to visit one of the other islands which had a huge Armenian church. It was cool to see the culture and history of the church on the island. That night we ended up having a casual dinner and relaxing.
Our third day in Venice was spend doing a little more shopping and walking around the city – Venice is pretty small and there’s not a ton to do. I’m still really glad went because the city is beautiful but people were right when they told us prior to our trip that three days was plenty in Venice. For our last night in Venice (and the last night of the trip for M and N) we took a gondola ride through the Venice canals and went to a fancy Italian dinner. It really was the perfect way to end our time in Italy. The ride was fun but not quite what it’s like in the movies – our gondola driver did not sing to us! He actually spent quite a bit of time talking to the other gondola drivers and then he even talked on his cell phone! I still enjoyed the ride and it was cool to ride through all of the canals. We also ended up taking a million pictures of ourselves in the gondola – so stereotypical but we had to capture the moment. After the ride we headed to a nice Italian restaurant for dinner. We sat outside on the patio which was surrounded by trees and had twinkling lights. Our dinner was pretty fabulous too – I had lasagna, M had squid noodle pasta, and N had gnocchi. Of course our last meal had to involve pasta. We also had breaded oysters as an app- I’m normally not a fan of oysters but these were actually pretty good. Of course we also had to order dessert! We split a tiramisu, a panama cotta, and this Italian dessert of cookies and sweet wine! The cookies and sweet wine is definitely an acquired taste – we had it in Pisa the first time and it was way too strong. After dessert our waiter even brought us out some complimentary grapes which came directly from the restaurant’s own grape vines.
After dinner we had one last adventure in Venice. There is one disco tech in Venice so we decided we should check it out. Only problem is that it was on the opposite side of the city as our hotel. We figured Venice is pretty small so it would be ok. It ended up being quite the trek across the island and when we got there the Disco Tech was closed! Even though it ended up being closed it was still a fun walk through the city and a great way to end our last day in Venice!