Monday, July 9, 2012

Venice: Part 1

Christopher and I had the amazing privilege of celebrating our one year anniversary in Venice last weekend. He had been promising to take me here for over a year now and, boy, did he deliver!! 

Before you continue on, check out this fun video of our trip:

People kept trying to tell me how amazing it was going to be and I kept just smiling and nodding, not understanding what the big deal was about the place. I would continually ask Christopher, who had been to Venice many years prior, to explain what it was like and each time I would respond: "So it's kind of like Amsterdam?" to which he would chuckle and shake his head no.

So you can imagine my delight when we finally arrived and I finally got "it". This place is splendid! It's a walkers dream! Living in Edinburgh we have come to despise having to drive places since everything is so walkable. So Venice was an obvious perfect fit for us!

The weather was extremely hot, with high humidity! Basically we would walk a bit, get gelato, see the sites, get more gelato, get dinner, eat more gelato. You know, the usual.

After one intense night in our hotel with a broken air conditioner, they kindly switched us from our 1 star hotel to a nearby 3 star hotel closer to the city centre at no cost. We are forever grateful for the modern technology of the air conditioner.

We saw the Piazza San Marco & the Accademia museum (where I read Italian out loud to a docent who didn't have his glasses so he could translate it to me!).

Basilica di San Marco
These were huge paintings taken from an old church and hung up in this museum. It's a miracle they stayed attached to the wall at this angle!
We visited cool mask shops and I took pictures of nearly every canal we passed!

What is this statue supposed to be?!
Gondolier meeting?

Another amazing place we visited the the Doge's Palace. I have never heard of this place before going to Venice but after seeing it, I now think it is a must see if you are traveling here! The Doge was the senior-most elected official in Venice and therefore had the most elaborate, gorgeous palace he could ever wish for.
Ornate gold ceilings
Most intricate family tree I've ever seen!

Venice's winged lion
The ceiling looked like this in many of the rooms.
Cruise ship traveling by the city. 

On Sunday night we got to watch the Euro Cup final in one of the city squares. Since the game was between Italy and Spain, there was a big turnout. All the bars turned their TVs to face the square and set up chairs everywhere. We are Spain fans normally but since we were in Italy we figured we should root for them. Much to our dismay, they lost horribly to Spain! But it was fun to watch either way.

The best part of Venice, though, is just wandering the streets. Day or night, it's an absoluter treat to get lost in this beautiful city.

In Piazza San Marco, the restaurants that face the plaza have live bands that play instrumental music throughout the day and late into the night. It's really fun because while the area may be touristy during the day it feels like a summer lounge at night where you can wander around dancing and listening to the music all with the backdrop of the Basilica.

Check back tomorrow for the last day of our trip (on our actually anniversary day) where we visited Murano, Italy, took a Gondola ride, and ate delicious food at my grandparent's favourite restaurant in Venice!

Have you ever been to Venice? What did you think of it? I think everyone has a different opinion on the place depending on how old they were when they visited and who they visited with. 

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  1. Taking a "picture of nearly every canal" isn't a bad thing, they are all VERY unique and amazing to look at! I am truly enjoying being able to travel vicariously through your adventures :0)

    1. aww thanks Heather! So glad you are enjoying our pictures. And yes, I probably have many more canal pictures on my computer than I care to admit!

  2. I loved Venice. Such an amazingly unique place :) so glad you got to see it/experience it!