Sunday, March 16, 2014

Venice - The floating city! Photos from our stay in Venice.

Ah, Venice! The floating/sinking city! What a sight to see. It was truly amazing to get to visit this unique city. 
We drove over the bridge to the giant parking garages outside of the city and then donned our backpacks and took a small boat called a Vaporetto from there to St. Marks Square. 
Our phone was about to die and we had no idea how to get around the city so we took a picture with our camera of the name and address of our hotel so if we needed to we could ask the locals to point us in the right direction. 
Here is another vaporetto passing us.
What a fun adventure!
This is the view of St. Marks Square from the boat. 

We started making our way through the city to find our hotel so we could drop off our backpacks. The weather was pretty hot and muggy today!

I love this shot of all of the gondolas lined up. 
We followed the path marked to the Rioalto bridge because we knew our hotel was a little ways past there. 

We found our hotel without stopping to ask for directions! The Foscari Palace! Another recommendation from my parents. They highly recommended it because it has great central access to everywhere and has an awesome rooftop patio where you can watch the boats go by in grand canal and take in the beautiful views and sunsets of the city. 
The rooms were nicely decorated. I am not sure why every bed and bedding in Italy is built for a twin...
This is the view from the rooftop patio.

You could see the tower in St. Marks square, and that is the grand canal. 

We dropped off our backpacks and started walking all around the city to take it all in. 
It was so cool to watch the gondoliers navigate the skinny canals and use their feel to push off the sides of the buildings to propel them forward. 
This is the famous Rialto bridge. It has covered shops across it and it was built in 1591!

Back in St. Marks Square. They were hosting a college graduation in the square. In Italian culture, your family members dress you up embarrassingly and parade you around the town after you walk at graduation. Everyone was singing the same song as they paraded their graduates through the town, so we looked it up to see what they were singing. It was a song that was made up to basically to make fun of them and keep the new graduate level headed so they don't get too proud of themselves now that they were a college graduate. 

The famous Venetian lions.

Enjoying the sunset from our rooftop trying to figure out where we wanted to go for dinner. 

We ended up going to a place right around the corner. It was packed so they ended up seating us at a table that was connected to another table of four. The people they seated next to us were from England and were totally halarious! They ended up sharing their wine with us and then in the end they paid for our whole dinner. This was their best attempt at posing for a picture with us!! Haha!
Everyone is always so friendly when you are traveling. 

The next day we headed out walking aging to check out the other side of the Grand Canal. When we were first arriving to Venice on the vaparetto, there was this interesting glass case and building at the end of the point by St. Marks Square so we thought we would head that direction to check it out. 
We ended up walking for about 4 hours and stopped in lots of shops along the way. We got some lunch and candies at a chocolate shop. I tried a dried orange slice covered in dark chocolate! Delicious!

So we finally made it to our destination and cracked up laughing. The building was a really cool church, but the glass case had a sculpture in it of a naked little boy holding a frog! Definitely not what we were expecting!

We didn't end up paying for a private gondola ride, but we did take the little gondola water taxis across the grand canal. 

Venice was a very cool place to experience and if you have never been here before, you should definitely include it as a stop on your Italian vacation. I wouldn't recommend more than a two nights stay, it is easy to see the whole city in that amount of time. 

After touring Venice, we headed to our last stop on our trip, to stay at a farmhouse and take an Italian cooking class an agritourismo called La Tavola Marche in La Marche in Piobbico. 

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