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|
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!
|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.
|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|
|more gelato :)|
|octopus, squid stuffed with octopus and couscous, and pancetta-wrapped ricotta|
|some more of the above, with sardines and artichokes|
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!