After our time in Milan, Lake Como and Parma, it was time to head to Venice for a few days to soak up the Carnivale scene. We timed this trip specifically for that , despite the fact that we wouldn't be in Venice for any of the big balls.
We once again headed to the train station to catch our train to Venice and, after barely making it on our train, we were on our way! We were both anxious to get there, but it ended up taking almost twice as long as anticipated thanks to delays with one of the stations. I don't really know what happened, but we didn't end up getting there until around 3:30. By that point, we had missed lunch, although neither of us were really starving. I think it was God's way of saying “lay off the pasta and the pizza!”
When we finally made it to Venice, we walked out of the train station and were immediately taken aback by the beauty. I've seen pictures of Venice with it's canals and multicolored buildings, but this was actually as beautiful as the photoshopped pictures had me believe. The only form of public transportation they have are gondolas, or small boats. It works like a metro with stops and different colored lines throughout the city. Definitely very cool, but it adds to the price of the tickets.
We were pretty overwhelmed with our options for tickets. There are a lot of different tickets that offer discounts for different ages, for different types of attractions and have all sorts of gondola fares on them. After figuring out which type of ticket worked best for us, we boarded the gondola and found our hotel so we could drop our bags off. Since we didn't have quite as much time as we had planned for, we decided just to explore the city and grab an early dinner.
We found Saint Mark's Square, which is the center of all things touristy. Mike had downloaded Rick Steve's audiotour for Saint Mark's Square, so we listened to that as we wandered around the square. Neither of us had done a Rick Steve's audiotour before, but it was pretty awesome, albeit a little cheesy at times. You download the podcast on your phone or mp3 player and listen as you explore whatever the podcast is about. He does a pretty good job of giving you the history about the sight you're seeing, as well as keeping it entertaining. We went inside the cathedral, which was gorgeous as well. There is a whole audiotour for the cathedral, but we didn't do it since we only had a few minutes before it closed.
|Just your every day Carnivale outfits....|
|Mike really wanted a three point hat like this guy, but sadly never got one|
|All of these photographers with big fancy cameras were taking pictures of this, so I figured I should too!|
|This little guy was super camera shy, but absolutely adorable!|
I could have spent hours just people watching in the square. Since it was carnivale season, there were TONS of people dressed in costumes and masks. We even bought masks ourselves, although Mike's greatest regret might be not buying the three point hat to accompany his mask. For next time, right? Anyways, the square was full of business and a great place to people watch. Apparently, there are historic cafes in the square where you can sip coffee and do some serious people watching. We opted out due to the expensive cover charge, but it was tempting.
|Venice at night is absolutely stunning.|
|This princess was a little skiddish, but was obviously the queen of the restaurant we ate at for dinner. She reminded me of Princess Coco at Mike's dad's house!|
After we purchased our masks and got our fill of people watching, it was almost time for dinner. We found a great little wine bar and restaurant where we both got great dishes and a glass of wine. My vegetarian lasagna hit the spot, as did Mike's risotto. We ended the night at another wine bar and were extremely pleased with our first few hours in Venice.
Step count: 18,088