Bonjourno! Today’s stop, Venice, Italy. Every sight is truly a picture that could be framed and every cup of Italian coffee is more delicious than the last. Thanks to Venice, Garrett purchased a stove top espresso maker for our house and regular coffee isn’t cutting it anymore.. oh boy..
Gondolas are definitely one of the iconic symbols of Venice. The gondola ride will cost you approx. ~ 90 EURO which depending on how strong the dollar is at the time you are reading this, somewhere around $100 USD.
There are no cars in Venice. Water buses, water taxis and boats are the means of transportation. Water taxis can be very expensive, so I recommend purchasing a water bus pass. It is a little slower than the water taxis, but it’s affordable especially if you aren’t in a hurry..
You could get lost wandering through the tiny maze like streets of Venice. Sometimes you will even come to a dead end if you don’t know where you are going. The famous Rialto bridge is a good landmark, located right in the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s the oldest bridge to span the Grand Canal. There are shops located where the arches lie.
How cute is this hotel?! We stayed here and each room was decorated in different Venetian décor including a beautiful color glass chandelier.
How beautiful is the Venetian architecture?! I wish I had these windows at my house.
The famous fish market. This is where a scene from the movie, The Tourist with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie was filmed.
Ahhh… St. Mark’s square. The Cathedral of St. Mark is the one with the three domes in the middle. It is free to get in the Cathedral and sometimes Venice is so flooded, there are planks of wood above the water to get into the church. With all the canals and water, needless to say Venice floods a LOT. In 2012, Venice was under 4+ feet of water.
Ever since seeing the Doge’s Palace, I have seen a few replica’s including one on the boardwalk in Venice, California and the Ca’dZan Mansion (Ringling Brothers Museum) in Sarasota, Florida. It is designed completely off of this original Palace, but on a smaller scale. If you’re ever in Sarasota, Florida, I highly suggest adding it to your must-see list.
The Bridge of Sighs.. No, it’s not the bridge with all of the people on it below.. Look up. It is the small one with the two windows surrounded by the blue scaffolding. You will find this bridge to the right of the Doge’s Palace. Convicts crossed this bridge to be put away in prison as they got their last view of Venice.
The most random thing happened when we were walking out of St. Mark’s. It was raining, and a guy was standing there with am umbrella waving us down, looking like he was about to try to sell us something. He told us on Tuesdays it was free to go on a water taxi to Murano Island with a free glass factory tour! We were skeptical at first (as you should be when anyone is waving you down), but “something” told us to accept his offer. He said that the city was holding this option free to give the glass factory more tourism. Out of all those people in St. Mark’s square, I guess it was OUR lucky day!
Murano Island was very cute and quaint.. a smaller and less crowded version of Venice. We enjoyed going in some of the shops and had a delicious lunch there.
Murano Glass is the real deal. This famous handmade glass is shaped into beautiful works of art right on Murano Island and sold all over Venice (and other parts of Italy). Because it is so sought after, there is a lot of counterfeited glass out there. It is important to know what you are buying and look for the Vetro Artistico® Murano marking. If you are picking up postcards and Murano glass beads from the same shop, it’s probably not authentic.
It was really a difficult task to pick pictures for this blog, as every turn in Venice is a picture. Venice is definitely a photographers paradise and a perfect port to start your next (or first) Mediterranean cruise!