To experience something like Venice is truly unique. Here is a floating city where all the streets are pedestrian only, and every couple of minutes you walk over a bridge because wherever there isn’t pavement there is water. The houses are all painted cheery colours and there are flowers in every second window sill.
We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, which is on the mainland (as Venice itself is an island) but it was only a short bus ride away. I wish I had taken photos of our room because it was absolutely stunning – and it had a pool! 🙂
Every morning we would make the ten minute commute to the city to tour around. Venice was a nice change from Paris because it was smaller and easier to trek the city on foot, and we would spend all day out and about and bus back at the end of the night.
The Grand Canal was really cool because is it on every gondolier’s route and so you see a lot of little gondolas bobbing by, making for some very scenic photos. We waited in line to go up the San Marco Campanile and wow, the wait was well worth it! You take a short elevator ride up to the top and suddenly all of Venice is below you – the tower offers a panoramic view of the city and it truly is breathtaking. All those terracotta roofs and sparkling blue waters!
Instead of doing a private gondola ride for 80 euros each, we opted to do a group tour through a company where they fill the gondola with 3 couples. Kyle and I were lucky enough to get the best seats on the boat, the ones were the gondolier is right behind you, and we managed to get some great photos. A woman on the gondola was also kind enough to offer to take our photo for us – shoutout to her!
Other things we did included the Piazza San Marco, Saint Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, the Rialto Bridge (though it was under construction) and the Bridge of Sighs.
We also took a vaporetto to the Island of Murano, which is the island that hand-blows glass and loved it. We had dinner on the island and picked up a few hand-blown wine stoppers for family back home. You have to be careful that it actually is Murano glass however as a lot of the cheaper items might be knockoffs manufactured somewhere else.
If I could have done anything more in Venice (we were only there 3 days) I would have liked to also travel to the Island of Burano, which apparently is very colourful and scenic. However, it only gives me a reason to return soon!