Monday, September 3, 2012

Venice, Italy - Day 1

Our big vacation this year was an Eastern Mediterranean cruise, which started in Venice, Italy. We spent a few days in Venice before the cruise and I absolutely fell in love with this city. Bo had been before when he was much younger and he gladly re-confirmed that it is still his favorite city in the world.



One of the things I loved most about Venice is that there are no cars in the city - all modes of transportation are by water, and there are several! We flew into the San Marco (VCE) airport and took the Alilaguna line to our hotel on the main island. We stayed at the Boscolo Venezia, which was one of the nicest hotels we've ever stayed in - doesn't hurt that we got a free upgrade to a suite that was half the size of our house!

view from the lagoon

view from the canal


tanning area

welcome gift!


We planned to spend the day in the St. Mark's Square area, and lucked out since our hotel provided a free water shuttle. We were the only ones on it at that time, so we got a private ride around the island!





Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs

St. Mark's Square

San Giorgio Maggiore
 
Santa Maria della Salute


Our private shuttle dropped us off at San Marco - it was packed!

San Marco

St. Mark's Campanile

St. Mark's Square

The line to get into St. Mark's was dreadfully long and standing in line for hours was not how we wanted to spend our first day. Instead, we went to the Correr Museum - nothing really special here. The main reason to here (in our opinion) is that there is no line, and you can get a combo ticket that also gives you admission to the Doge's Palace, which typically has a very long line. Plus, the Museum was air conditioned, which was a nice break from the heat. It was also connected to the National Archaeological Museum, which was a little more interesting and had some beautifully ornate rooms.



I developed a slight addiction to gelato on our honeymoon, so I had to have some in Venice. It was pretty good, but the gelato in Florence is still by far the best to me.




With our combo museum ticket, we skipped the enormous line at the Doge's Palace and spent over an hour there.

Doge's Palace

Doge's Palace

view from the top of the Doge's Palace

Doge's Palace, The Hall of the Grand Council

crossing the Bridge of Sighs

view from the Bridge of Sighs

While we were in the San Marco area, we stopped for a drink at Harry's Bar, which is where the bellini was invented. Of course, we had to try them. They were really good, but so so expensive (18.50€ each!!) and pretty small, which was somewhat disappointing.


 

We spent the rest of the afternoon stopping in various bacaris, which are small wine bars that also have amazing food, as we made our way back to the hotel.

I am now hooked on Italian Pinot Grigio

sangria

more gelato :)

octopus, squid stuffed with octopus and couscous, and pancetta-wrapped ricotta

some more of the above, with sardines and artichokes

raw scallops



We made it back to our hotel just in time to watch the sunset from the hotel's private dock overlooking the Venetian lagoon. The vaporetto stop right next to us just happens to be one of the best public places on the island to watch the sunset, and I would definitely agree since our spot was even better. It was a gorgeous ending to our first day of vacation!







3 comments:

  1. Your pictures are amazing!! I am embarrassed to say we havent been to Europe yet, not that we don't want too. I would definitely love some gelato there and one of those bellinis! Do you or your husband speak italian or can you get arpets pretty well speaking English??

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    1. Thanks!! We both did Rosetta Stone for Italian before our honeymoon and did a quick refresher before this trip. It definitely helped us get around (we like going to small local places that aren't as tourist-friendly), but almost everyone speaks English so we never had any trouble.

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  2. I meant can you get AROUND pretty well speaking English. Sorry :)

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