Thursday, July 31, 2014

Italian Adventure 2014: Venice

At the end of May we enjoyed twelve wonderful days in amazing Italia

One of the greatest perks of living overseas is being able to travel parts of this earth we never imagined we would. We are so very grateful for the opportunity and sure do not take it for granted. God created such a beautiful world.

It is so hard to put into words how much I love this country. The food, the language, the rolling hills, the wine, the love....I could go on and on. 

Our first stop on our Italian Adventure was one that Roberto (we will use his Italian name for these posts. hehe.) and I were "iffy" about...Venice. Before our trip we heard two different opinions. One, people really did not enjoy it, said it was too stinky and too crowded. And Two, people loved it, said it was one of the prettiest and most romantic cities in the world. Our thoughts? We LOVED it. We have even gone as far to say it is our favorite city in Europe so far (although the Tuscan countryside is right there with it- more on that later). 

It truly is so romantic and beautiful. From the beautiful water (we didn't even notice the stink!) to the tiny paths to get through the was quaint, lovely and truly breathtaking

We were in Venice for 3(ish) days. I will summarize at the end of this post our must-see sites, eats and stays in hopes that it will be helpful to those of you planning a trip to this wonderful country.

Some friends suggested we stay in Lido, a little beach town about a 15 minute boat ride from Venice. And I 100% can say it was one of our best decisions. This little town is the epitome of a beach town. It is casual and lively. It has tons of low key restaurants, lots of gelato shops, bike shops and it is lined with miles and miles of beach. After about a 40 minute boat ride from the airport we arrived in Lido(!) and checked in to our hotel, Hotel Pannonia.

 Of course, our first stop was gelato! And some of the best during our whole trip, although ALL gelato is ah-mazing. We then hopped on the boat (make sure to purchase the Venice Rolling Pass if you are under 29 for much better boat ride prices and some other great deals) and made our way to the main island! 

This night we just walked around and soaked in our surroundings, basically we walked around with our mouths hanging open. The only "touristy" site we hit up this night was Rialto bridge- truly one of the most beautiful places in Venice!

And we enjoyed some of the best pizza at Anitco Forno, sooo good. 

We spent most of the next day exploring and relaxing in Lido. We enjoyed the beach in the morning and explored with bikes in the afternoon. It was so nice and super relaxing.

This man sure does make traveling a blast. I couldn't ask for a better travel buddy.

The rest of our days were spent exploring all the sights like Piazza San Marco, St. Marks Basilica and many more beautiful bridges and sights (see below for complete list). everywhere you look. Venice is the perfect place to get lost. There is not one street you turn down that is not less charming than the last. We loved spending hours and hours exploring the city and  popping in and out of beautiful places we would find. 

 St. Mark's Basilica. Incredible.

One of my favorite parts of Venice was the water. I love that it surrounds the city, I think that is one reason it is so romantic.

 There were definitely crowds, they are everywhere in Italy, but here, we never fealt overwhelmed by the amount of people.

 Traveling is the absolute best and absolutely exhausting. I crashed, and I means crashed, during one of our boat rides. Thanks for the pic Roberto:) Most days we would enjoy a fun-packed-filled day in Venice and then head back at night to relax and enjoy calm Lido. 

Now, Our Suggestions.

Where to Stay: 
Lido. Again, I cannot recommend this place enough. We loved staying here. We stayed in Hotel Pannonia, which we highly recommend. 

Where to Eat: 
We tried not to spend a ton of $$ on food. 12 days of eating out can really hurt the wallet for newlyweds:) So lots of places I recommend are on-the-go places, where we then would find a beautiful place outside to eat, or reasonably priced restaurants.
- Antico Forno. Amazing pizza. 
- Alfredo's. A great variety of Pasta to-go and so yummy. 
 - Try a Panino Napoletana at Rossopomodoro.
- Try a Fornarina at a Bakery...chocolate pastry goodness, you do not want to miss. 
Be aware that restaurants in Venice can be very expensive, especially in St. Marks square. So if you are going to eat on the go somewhere this is the place to do so. 

What to See: 
- Piazza San Marco (St. Mark's Square)
- St. Marks Basilica
- Rialto Bridge
- Ponte dell' Accademia Bridge
- Relax on the beach in Lido for a morning or afternoon
- Gondola ride. We opted not to do this. It is about $100 and we felt like we enjoyed some beautiful boat rides on our way to and from Lido (especially at nighttime, on the back of the boat outside) that we did not want to spend the money. 
- Shops. There are so many fun and unique shops to pop into, here!

Other Tips:
- purchase Venice Rolling Pass, if between the ages of 14-29, for much better transportation prices.
- great walking shoes!
- Venice is smaller and has less tourist "sites" than Rome and Florence. So this is a great place to just walk and enjoy. You can see all of Venice with your own two feet, so GET LOST and explore it!

Lastly, a thank you for getting through this long post with lots of pictures. A little funny thanks to Roberto...
So, so true:)

Venice, we ADORE you! Next stop...Florence!

Planning a trip to Italy? Have any questions? Please feel free to shoot me an email!

Also, be sure to check out my Travels Page to see all our travel adventures!

Linking up with Treasure Tromp for Treat Yo' Self Thursday and Home of Malones for Thoughts for Thursday. 
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  1. Love your photos, especially the ones next to Doge's! We thought the same way you did before going to Venice but it was one of the most unique and romantic places we've ever been! We also heard the food wasn't good but aside from one place on our last night, we definitely ate well.

  2. pretty awesome recap you have - you and your hubby are so dang cute!

  3. That looks like so much fun. I love traveling, but I have never been to Europe. I would love to go when my kids get older.

  4. Beautiful pictures!! This looks like a dream trip, so glad you guys had a wonderful time! And that first picture of the pizza... drooling!

  5. Absolutely gorgeous! I've never been, but my husband has and he loves Venice as well. I can't wait to visit one day. I'm glad you two had such a great trip.

  6. Oh what a breath of fresh air to hear you didn't stay in Venice itself! I'm super intrigued now, because I had heard wonderful things about Venice but didn't really want to stay there for some reason!

  7. We've been going back and forth about trying to take an Italy trip within the next 2 years. This convinces me we need. It looks b-e-a-utiful!! And delicious. :)

  8. Visiting from the link up. I love, love, love this post.... my favourite trip ever was to Italy and your amazing photos remind me why.... Glad you had an amazing time!!!

    <3 Sarita

  9. Wow! Incredible pictures! I am trying to convince my husband in to an Italy trip next summer!


  10. You do a wonderful job at capturing the beauty of the city in your photos. Looks like you had an amazing time!


  11. Your pictures are amazing and I love the suggestions that you give at the end of your travel posts!! This will hopefully come in handy for me one day in the near future :) Lido looks like such an amazing town and I'm drooling over that pizza!

  12. Oh my goodness - I'm SO jealous!! This looks like an amazing trip... and makes me hope we can get our honeymoon schedule ASAP! Totally keeping your recommendations in mind.... gorgeous pictures!! Can't wait to see your post on Florence - I lived there during college!!

  13. That sounds incredible!!!!! Your pictures are gorgeous and Venice itself looks gorgeous. We're planning on visiting Venice on an upcoming trip so your post was very helpful!


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