Yesterday I began my literary podcast through Italy, starting at Lake Como. If you missed it, you can find it here.
From Lake Como we continued onward to Venice. I said yesterday that I liked 3 things about Venice, so I will start with that.
- It’s very pretty. Picturesque. Instaworthy. Whatever you want to call it. You have to be a pretty bad photographer to get bad pictures in Venice. The city makes it easy for you.
2. We discovered hand dipped ice cream bars here. That means that the ice cream is dipped in liquid chocolate and drizzled with the toppings of your choosing. We liked this a lot!
3. We started our day early, before the crowds really hit. We had breakfast in a cafe that felt real. I like travel to be about real experiences outside my regular routine. Unfiltered, perhaps unphotogenic, but real experiences. So I liked breakfast because the people around us were getting ready for work and speaking Italian and NOT tourists like us.
Now, down to the details.
Where we stayed.
We were only in Venice for one night and we stayed at the Antica Villa Graziella. It’s on the mainland which was fine with me because it’s more reasonably priced and I didn’t have to carry my luggage over 17 bridges myself. It had wifi and air conditioning and parking so it served our interests well.
What we did.
We arrived in the evening just in time to catch dinner and get rained on, probably by the same storm that chased us away from Lake Como. Now, this was no little shower. It involved thunder and lightening and me questioning why I was running up bridges with a lightening rod of an umbrella and actually crouching down so as to not feel like the tallest peek around. Yeah. Drama drama. But it’s a pretty amusing memory now, so it’s okay.
The next day the sun shone and we hit the streets early, as mentioned. We roamed and shopped (which is mainly what there is to do), until our designated ‘glass blowing tour’ meet up time.
We had wanted to visit Murano Island for the real deal glass blowing tour but ran out of time, so this was our compromise. And what a compromise! We paid $7 to watch a 3 minute demonstration of glass blowing, hear a 5 minute history of its history in Venice, and then, full access to shop in their store. I’ve never paid to shop before, and especially not for fragile glass items that probably wouldn’t make it home. At the end we got a gift to go, aka, a glass horse. You guessed it, I didn’t wrap it right and it broke on the flight home. Needless to say, the tour was a bit of a comical disappointment.
Then we roamed some more until it was time to get in the car to our next destination, Cinque Terre.
My regrets about Venice are:
- I didn’t take any tours so I have no context of it in history or as a place except a tourist destination.
- The pathetic glass blowing tour.
- THE CROWDS. They speak for themselves. And totally interrupt all my photos!
Since I don’t like to end blogs on a sad note, I think this is a good spot to put photos of St. Mark’s Basilica. It’s another one of my regrets that I didn’t actually explore it but it’s beautiful, so here! Bonus: the people watching is pretty good in this square too.
Come back tomorrow for my thoughts on Cinque Terre, which I liked a little bit more and for different reasons.
This was country 5 of our 6 country Euro Trip. To read a summary of the trip, click here.