If you’re going to the country home to pretty much the most romantic city in the world you can’t NOT go. After some talk I convinced Ross Venice needs to be on our itinerary (he had been previously and wasn’t too keen on going back) and I’m so glad we did! I knew there would be a lot of water and gondolas – but nothing could prepare me for the beauty of that city!
We stayed off the main island (Venice Santa Lucia) in an apartment in Venice Mestre. Again, staying far from where everything happens forces you to see so much more.
On our first night we found a fabulous wine bar, El Sbarfalina and had a spritz and some snacks. We stayed there a while and I had a beautiful pinot bianco. We then wandered around and settled on a Mexican restaurant for dinner – their fajita’s were incredible.
We bought tickets for the viapretto, which was a bit of a waste because we only used it once (we are much more the walk-around and explore kind of people) but it is a great way to see Venice from the water! We got off before Piazza St. Marc and walked the rest of the way. The piazza was exquisite but way too busy so we walked to the Galleria d’Academia. All the works in the collection is Venetian art from about the 1400’s with A LOT of gold in the them. The Galleria wasn’t as packed as any of the other museums and galleries so we could wander around without fighting to see the art over people!
Venice is great for people watching – we walked around so much just taking in the beautiful scenery. You almost go into a trance wandering around the streets lined with the most glorious sweet shops and restaurants, walking up and down over bridges watching the gondolas float by. The least discerning streets held the most precious finds from quaint bars and cafes to just being peaceful amongst the chaos of tourists.
Another must-see on our list was the Peggy Guggenheim Collection – what a treat. Peggy was a pretty classy lady, being besties with Jackson Pollock and married to Ernst. I really enjoyed her collection of abstract and surrealism – Ernst, Dali and Tanguy being my favourites. I loved the story about her earrings she wore to the opening of the London Guugenheim – one made by Tanguy and the other by Callard, symbolizing her indifference to abstract and surrealist art.
Venice was our last stop in Italy before heading over to Istanbul where we wouldn’t need any more Euros so seeing as we were on a mission to spend our last few cents we bought pretty much every edible gem we could find! We tried one of the fruit shaped marzipan that we saw in every sweet shop (it was so good but hellishly sweet – we shared one and that was enough!) and the final farewell gelato – a scoop of honey, ricotta and sesame (WOW) and a scoop of dark chocolate.
Venice was certainly my favourite city in Italy, I think mostly because it is just so different to anything I’ve ever experienced.