August 12, 2014

Venice, Italy {1}

     I'm not even sure where to begin with Venice. People have lots of opinions on Venice. I heard that 3 days was too long, it smells, we would be bored, etc. I also heard that it was beautiful, unlike any other place in the world, and awesome. I went in not really knowing what to expect from Venice. In short, I (and G) LOVED it. Obviously, Italy is a beautiful country and I enjoyed every single second of our time there but if I had to choose, I'd say Venice was my favorite part of the trip. I loved wandering around, the lack of cars, and the ability to just 'be' in Venice. I loved the history and traveling by foot or by water everyday. Although the food in Venice was not very good, we did have our favorite meal of the trip there.

     Venice was the first stop on our trip. We arrived around 9am on Wednesday and since we couldn't check-in to our hotel until 2pm, we stowed our bags, freshened up, and headed out into the city.

     We didn't have any particular destination in mind, we just walked and walked and took it all in. This trip has been such a dream of mine, I just kept thinking 'I can't believe I'm here!'. We walked through the crowds at the Rialto Bridge but decided to save the walk over the bridge for another day and ultimately came across Osteria Bancogiro, which was one of the spots I knew I wanted to hit while we were there! We were feeling pretty tired by that point so we stopped for our first (of many) bottle of wine in Italy. The wine prices are so ridiculously good over there, it's staggering to come back home and see our prices in the US. We ordered a bottle of wine, had a cheese plate and proscuitto wrapped melon, and enjoyed the lovely views of the canal. Bancogiro is near the Rialto Bridge but not so close that it's packed with tourists. Getting a seat outside was easy. I definitely recommend Bancogiro as a stop for wine but as far as food, I'd ordered the cheese plate and the melon again but not anything else. We went back on our second day and the food we had then wasn't very good but the wine, service, and view are excellent!

          After wine and cheese, we headed back to the hotel where I promptly fell asleep after getting into our room. Our hotel, Hotel Bellini, was absolutely perfect for us. On vacation we spend very little time in the hotel room so we don't go for top of the line or even centrally located hotels as we don't mind walking at all. As long as the hotel is clean and in a safe area, this saves us money and gives us a chance to see more of the place we're visiting. In this case, our hotel was located in Ponte di Scalzi, steps away from the Scalzi Bridge. There is a vaporetto station located just outside of the hotel, which was super convenient. I was a little apprehensive about using the vaporetto but trust me when I say it is so easy to use and was definitely a time and money saver for us. I'm often afraid of public transportation in places I've never been but there are many signs in the stations and they are staffed by very helpful people. Plus, if you get off at the wrong stop chances are you can walk to your destination or just hop back on the vaporetto, it's pretty difficult to be actually lost in Venice! We took a water taxi from the airport but other than that we found no need to use that service. We either walked or used the vaporetto all 3 days we were there. I should also mention that Hotel Bellini is located within walking distance of the train station which is really nice, especially if you traveling around the country like we were. I would for sure recommend Hotel Bellini for those that don't mind a walk or short ride to the hot spots. 
     Our anniversary, June 18th, was our first night in Italy so we got dressed up and walked until we found a spot that looked appetizing and anniversary worthy. We ended up at Da Fiore , which ended up being our favorite meal of the trip. The atmosphere, food, wine, and service were all top notch. G and I shared several dishes: melon with buffalo mozzarella, shrimp in Tuscan lard and rosemary, scallops in their shells with thyme and homemade pesto, pasta with clams, mussels, and scallops, and tiramisu. It was all really delicious. We decided that night that we were going to have tiramisu at every restaurant we went to in Italy and decide which was our favorite! 

*all photos of us/restaurants are taken with my Canon Powershot D20- the unbreakable camera- which is why the quality is not nearly as good as scenery photos which are taken with my Canon Rebel T1i, which was bought from Canon refurbished by the way*

That concludes day one of our time in Italy! After dinner, we went back to our hotel and had a glass of wine at the hotel bar. We loved the hotel bar at Hotel Bellini. It had a little bar with a lovely bartender named Igor plus a small seating area that we lounged in every night. Hotel bars are also something a lot of people have opinions on and they are often hit or miss, but this particular hotel bar was a hit :) 



1 comment

  1. My mouth is watering.

    I loved Venice as well. Would love to go back now, I was 22 when I went and was drunk most of the trip :)


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