Travel Series: Venice

I’ll be honest, Venice was not my favorite city. We didn’t quite have enough time to fully appreciate everything this gorgeous city had to offer, and it was one of the worst cities as far as tourists go (a little hypocritical, since we were tourists too, but it’s hard to fully enjoy a city when it’s completely swarmed with tourists!). Nonetheless, we made the best of our quick trip, and simply decided that this meant we’d have to come back some day (hopefully soon!).

We started the day with our typical routine that went a little something like this:

  1. Alarm goes off, immediately press snooze
  2. Keep snoozing until the alarm automatically shuts off
  3. Gin eventually wakes us up
  4. Get ready for the day in ten minutes or less
  5. Take a pack of cookies for breakfast on the go
  6. Promptly fall back asleep in the car

This was how our mornings went anytime we left Florence, almost without fail.

We made it to Venice around noon after sleeping for the entire drive. It was just Emily, Gin, Elvio, and I for the day. Emily and I found ourselves wondering whether Gin and Elvio were constantly arguing, or if they just speak in arguing voices at all times. Italians man.

Once we parked our car, we crossed a bridge to where the city really began. It was a little strange, because there are no cars, no motorcycles, not even bikes. It was a little refreshing to get away from that, even if it was only for a short time. However, the amount of people just about make up for the lack of vehicles. We stopped for a quick lunch at a pizza place, but it was more of a fast-food type restaurant than genuine Italian food. It was good to get it done quick though, so we could keep exploring the city. We walked the whole time, which meant we could peek in all of the adorable little shops. The streets are all tiny and winding, you could spend days getting lost in them. Unfortunately, we had about 4 hours and a lot we needed to see in the city center.

The city square is absolutely gorgeous, however the amount of pigeons is a little ridiculous. If you aren’t a fan of birds, I can’t say I’d recommend Venice. Once getting over the hundreds of pigeons, though, we saw the stunning St. Mark’s Cathedral, and the equally beautiful, though no less unique, Doge’s Palace. The lines were a little too long for us to actually go in either, but we waited in line and made our way to the top of the Campanile. Elvio sat this one out, waiting in the shade. It was another sweltering hot day, so Gin, Emily, and I were so thankful to find that this tower had an elevator rather than hundreds of stairs. The views were spectacular.

Once we made it back to ground level, we were just about out of time for the day, so we hopped into a very full water taxi to get back to the car. It allowed us to see some more of the city, including the Ponte Rialto, and a sculpture of hands holding up the Ca’Segrado Hotel. The piece (which has since been removed) was a commentary on climate change, highlighting the fact that rising sea levels threaten to destroy this beautiful city. This was one of my favorite parts of the whole day, because the piece was so unique.

The car ride back to Florence was much like every other car ride we took, with us sleeping almost the entire trip. Venice was beautiful, we just didn’t quite have enough time to enjoy all of it. When we got back to Florence, we quickly got ready and made our way to the restaurant where Ambra worked, called Buca Lipa. It was in the basement of an old castle in the city center, and our table was in the wine cellar. Travel posters completely covered the ceiling, giving the place a very unique ambiance. It was extremely fancy. We had bread, Italian soup, massive steaks, potatoes, fried zucchini, beans, and dessert. If you know me, you know how shocking it is that I willingly ate beans, but that’s just how good this food was. We also got to try some red wine that Emily and I actually enjoyed. After saying our goodbyes to Ambra, we went to see the Duomo by night. As stunning as ever, it was the perfect view to remember Florence by.

We ended the night with full stomachs and tired legs, as usual. I also got the worst blister of my life after walking throught the city, but the shoes and the views were so beautiful, it was worth it. Next stop: Siena!

Stay tuned for more updates!

xoxo, second sister suzie

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