Heading South, our time in Venice and Florence
Trip Start Dec 16, 2012
14Trip End Mar 18, 2013
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We were not staying in the Historic City of Venice. Our hotel was actually on the Island of Lido (Lido di Venezia) which is an 11km sandbar and the beach resort island of Venice. It is very quant and everyone is very friendly. We had our first official Italian meal there filled with eating Lasagna, Milanese Chicken, Truffles and spaghetti, and an amazing Bolognese sauce! And of course, it wouldn’t be an Italian meal without a nice local wine to accompany it
For our first and only full day in Venice, we woke up early to catch the water taxi. The water taxis here are something you’ll never see anywhere else in the world. Venice has an amazingly well organized system of pretty much a metro, but on the water. A boat arrives every 15 minutes, and docks where you need to go. It was amazing to see! It allows locals here to live all over the islands of Venice and still get to where they need to go very fast and efficiently.
We were all super excited to be in Venice!!!! We docked right at the famous St. Mark’s square. We took a ride up the Bell Tower to see the entire city. Venice is big, and it’s crazy to think there are no cars allowed on this island! Everything involves walking, which we are very much use to at this point in our travels.
It was a glorious and relaxing day. We toured St. Mark’s Basilica, walked the streets of Venice looking for jewelry and souvenirs, drank Limoncello , saw the famous Rialto Bridge, ate more gelato and cannoli’s, and mostly just enjoyed the first sunny day since we’ve started this trip
We spent much of the afternoon sitting outside a wine bar on the water, drinking local wine and taking in the sites and sun. Amazing. The one thing we DIDN’T do was go on a gondola ride! Of course this was on our TO DO list for Venice….until we found out the price. Starting price is 80 Euro for a 40 minute ride. For just the 3 of us, that was too much to spend. We understood why gondola rides were so popular in the summer, mostly because the streets of Venice are too overcrowded with tourists to move that a gondola ride through the canals is a peaceful haven for a short time. But we were lucky enough to enjoy Venice when it was only semi busy and we could still enjoy all the beautiful bridges and canals. We finished off our amazing day by heading back to Lido and eating our dinner on the beach. We were so excited to have the beach so close to us that we woke up very early the next morning to catch a beautiful sunrise before we started our journey to Florence. We all agree. WE LOVE VENICE.
We then arrived in Tuscany!!!! Our train arrived in Florence shortly after 12:30pm. The train rides have gotten a lot shorter since we’re spending more time in the same country. It was another beautiful day, and after settling into our Bed and Breakfast we made our way to the museum, The Galleria dell'Accademia to see the famous Statue of David!!
We woke up at 5am the next morning to take the earliest train to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower. Believe it or not we were the first tourists there! The Leaning Tower was very cool and we enjoyed playing around doing the funny "tourist" photo. We paid the overpriced amount to go to the top of the tower, which in the end we were glad we did because the Tuscan countryside is breathtaking. By the time we left Pisa, hundreds of tour groups had arrived. We were glad we made the early trip.
Back in Florence we enjoyed roaming the local markets. We stumbled upon a little restaurant for lunch which HANDS DOWN, makes the BEST PIZZA IN ITALY! We were floored by how delicious they were! We were so full, but didn’t want to waste any of its greatness that we stuffed ourselves! Well worth it.
After lunch when all we wanted to do is nap, we got our 2nd wind and climbed the massive hill to reach St. Michelangelo’s Square. Again this had breathtaking views of Tuscany and we enjoyed a bottle of wine in the sun shine.
Our first few days in Italy have been fantastic and we look forward to spending the New Year in Rome! See you in the New Year!!!