Oh, Italy, despite your inherantly chaotic and disorganised nature, you will always have my heart.
We decided to take the train from Switzerland to Venice, since it was such a gorgeous trip through the Alps. We had Swiss rail passes all sorted, and thought the trip would be a breeze…unfortunately we forgot to take into account the fact that we were traveling on Good Friday and should have booked our tickets WELL in advance. We rocked up the day before to buy them and everything…EVERYTHING was completely sold out. Just when we thought we weren’t even going to be able to get there, they managed to find us a way, involving many MANY small trips on small trains, and adding an extra four hours to our journey. At that point, we were taking whatever we could get! We decided to treat it as an adventure, and off we went 🙂
The funny part about taking trains into Italy, is that there is a ridiculously noticeable difference pretty much as soon as you cross the border. Everything gets a little bit dirtier, louder, and more disorganised. But also infinitely charming, and just so ITALIAN. Love it!
We finally arrived in Venice, and arrived at our apartment in the heart of San Marco. SUCH a cute place to stay!
For our first day, we headed immediately out to San Marco Square to check it all out. Despite the UNBELIEVABLE crowds, we were blown away by the architecture. What a beautiful place!
That afternoon, we headed to Rialto for the fresh food markets. We weren’t incredibly impressed with the restaurant food in Venice, so we decided to take matters into our own hands. The markets were absolute chaos, but so much fun. We came home armed with a massive amount of cured meats, aged cheeses, produce, bread, olives, and even alcohol…YUMMO!
We finished up the afternoon with the one thing you MUST do in Venice…a ride in a gondola! It was ridiculously expensive, and the single MOST touristy thing one can ever do in Italy, but it was FABULOUS. Seriously, I don’t know if I’ve ever been more relaxed then when we were floating along in the ‘backstreet’ canals of Venice. I could have stayed there all day! Loved loved it.
And finally, that night, we headed out for a wander and a truly Venetian meal of street food! We had our best meal (hands down!) at a street vendor that sold lightly breaded and fried seafood and vegetables with polenta. YUM AND A HALF.
The next day, we headed out to see a few of the islands…Murano and Burano in particular. Murano was known for its glass making, so we spent our time exploring all of the AMAZING glass stores and picking out a few things to take home (including some tiny glass piggies for the girls!). Honestly, if you want something made out of glass, you can certainly find it in Murano…I couldn’t believe how beautiful it all was!
And Burano is known for its lace making and beautiful colourful buildings. They looked like little Easter eggs all in a row. I LOVED this island!
Our last day was a bit rainy, so we decided to have a quiet day shopping and heading out for a leisurely lunch. We decided to go to a place way in the outskirts of Venice, and were SO happy we did. Away from the overwhelming crowds, we could finally appreciate Venice for the beautiful city it is. We even stopped at a local grocery store, where they didn’t speak English…love that! We kept the camera put away for the most part, but did take one ‘quiet Venice’ pic, just so we could remember the beauty.
It’s definitely not our absolute favourite Italian city, but we had a wonderful time in Venice!