Venice, Italy





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Venice is one of the most interesting places I have ever been. What a unique experience staying on this island. I’m truly amazed at not only how beautiful the island is but how the locals function day to day living on the island. It is so interesting seeing how goods are shipped in daily and packages are hand delivered on foot vs trucks here in the US.

My husband and I stayed off the Grand Canal at the Westin Europa Regina. I must say I highly recommend this hotel. This location is right off the Grand Canal with a phenomenal view of the Santa Maria Della Salute Basilica. Every morning we sat out on the waterfront patio and delighted in the beauty. This hotel is right in the heart of the shopping district and less than a five minute walk from St. Marks Square.

It seems that Kevin and I went on almost every tour that Venice had to offer. We did the MUST do gondola ride through the canals while being serenaded to traditional Italian songs. I had dreamed of this moment and let me tell you that it was MUCH better in person, incredible!

We cruised to the Islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. Our first stop was the Island of Murano which is famous for their blown glass. Being a big fan of Chihuly blown glass I was in awe seeing this done first hand. The next stop was the Island of Burano where they are known for their colorful homes of the local fishermen and their fine hand sown lace.
Last stop was the Island of Torcello known for the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, founded in the 7th century. I will say that I do not recommend this trip after you just got off of a 10 hour flight and have jet lag (you just might fall asleep on the boat)!!

We took a stroll through St Mark’s square and enjoyed a cappuccino at the famous Caffe Florian. Caffe Florian was established in 1720 and anyone who’s anyone has been there from Lord Byron, Charles Dickens, to Casanova. Caffe Florian is known for their pricy cappuccinos and I must say it was well worth it too me. We sipped cappuccino outside along the Piazza San Marco while listening to the live orchestra band!! What an experience just sitting there on the Piazza listening to great music, people watching and taking it all in!! I was sitting there the entire time going, “Is this my life?! Am I really doing this in Venice right now?!“

After finishing our drinks we toured the St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace. The Basilica is known for it’s Byzantine style architecture and is covered in gold mosaic tiles. The gold mosaic tiles line the ceiling domes and columns inside the Basilica, just stunningly beautiful. It was interesting touring Doges Palace and the secret passageways of the old prisons. We were able to walk through the bridge passageway that the prisoners walked through from the court to the prisons, it was their last view of the outside. This is a must see, very interesting!

The last night in Venice we had to go eat at The FAMOUS Harry’s Bar. We had the best risotto and of course we had to have their signature drink, the Bellini. It was like no other I have tried, simply delicious. After dinner we walked back to our hotel in the rain, it was such a remarkable trip!