LAST STOP, VENICE, ITALY
we took the italia rail from rome (see that post here!) to our last stop, venice. the train took about 3.5 hours and cost us each around $150 for first class. we got to all sit together in seats that faced each other, drink mini champagnes and enjoy the scenery. so relaxing!
let me start off by saying that venice is definitely one of the most interesting places that i’ve ever traveled to. probably because everything was new and exciting. you load your luggage onto a boat and just take in this magical city. we were all pretty giddy at this point. you don’t really think about until you arrive how there really aren’t roads, just tiny little alleyways that you will get lost in, countless bridges and water around every turn. it was pretty unreal, really. much more of a wander and find a good spot sort of place…
definitely not the most luggage-friendly destination (lugging our bags over 3 bridges, cobblestone streets and up a flight of stairs.) but our apartment made it worth it. we rented this one from airbnb as well (you can rent it here) the hosts gave us endless recommendations and tips.
talking to a local is so important, so you can get those silly questions out of the way. (what’s the tipping like here at restaurants? what about the public transportation? what time is best for dinner?) so many things are different over there! we stayed only a 5 minute walk from the rialto bridge and i really liked our little area.
the home of two architects, everything had it’s place. they brought a lot of treasures back from their travels from asia. the kitchen was my favorite part…open, airy, beautiful lights, open shelving, two balconies looking over the canal. it was where we hung out the most.
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i loved the white beams & floors, of course. and how about those little bells hanging from colored string? a nice touch indeed.
i spent a lot of time on that balcony. one of my favorite things about venice was ducking into a cicchetti bar around 5pm. (they reminded me of this champagneria in barcelona we went to.) common cicchetti include tiny sandwiches, plates of olives or other vegetables, halved hard boiled eggs, small servings of seafood or meat laid on little slices of bread. they pair perfectly with a “spritz,” which is prepared with prosecco wine, a dash of some bitter liqueur like aperol, and then topped off with sparkling mineral water. take your plate out to the street and share!
we did make a mistake that had us a little shaken up. in venice they have a waterbus called the vaporetto. it looked simple enough to use, a little expensive but worth it after a long day of walking. we paid for a 36 hour pass and they pointed us on which one we wanted to take. apparently they work more on an honor system of whether you actually paid for your ticket, so you can get a pretty big fine if you get busted for not having one. what they didn’t tell us was that we needed to validate our ticket in this little machine before we got on our first ride. the area was crowded and we just didn’t see it. so when they came around to check tickets, we smiled and handed him ours. he looked at us funny and said “this is not good.” he said we each owed him a 60 euro fine right now because he couldn’t tell if our tickets were old or new. he made us get off at the next stop to pay him. this is when my mind started spinning a little bit “what if this guy is just a random guy who wants to rip us off?” he wasn’t wearing anything that made him look official and his two assistants dressed in normal clothes met us when we got off. pretty confused on whether we should pay this dude…or run (ha) he finally said we only needed to pay only one fine or he would call the police. i didn’t want to mess with all that, we paid it and just decided it wasn’t a big deal if we split it and just moved on from the scenario. so take this lesson, validate your ticket. or it’s annoying. have you heard of this scenario? i wished we had seen that sign!
anyways, on to better memories. the peggy guggenheim collection was incredible. probably my favorite museum that i’ve ever visited. all of the artwork is hanging on the walls of her former home, so it’s very approachable in size. a great daytime activity looking at beautiful modern art. i liked the garden & cafe here too. peggy was one cool chick, i tell ya.
the bridge by the peggy museum had a bunch of love locks on it. sure, it’s a little cheesy, but i still think it’s a cute gesture. it was pretty cold when we arrived in venice because of the rain. that place can sure be melancholy…
we slept in and woke up to the rain quite a bit. our host set us up with bacon, eggs, toast and coffee for our slow starting mornings. victoria taught me how to poach an egg (how did i not realize it was that easy?) one of the nights we were all really exhausted and the girls made a bacon carbonara at home that was excellent. i probably had 3 or 4 servings. the perks of traveling with two good cooks!
i loved all of the planters in the windows. and just like rome, the blushy pink buildings were striking. we just wore comfortable slouchy sweaters & beanies everyday…
our last meal, trattoria all madonna! many people on my instagram told me this was a must-go meal. bellinis to start, delicious crab in the shell, and squid ink pasta (it sure looks gross, but it was SO good) the environment was lively and hip. you must go right when they open because they get very busy! our waiter was quite sassy and pretty much chose what we were going to eat, but we were okay with that.
and we ended the trip with a gondola ride (we had to!) with only the lights in the apartment windows, our gondola man sang to us through the small, echoing canals. definitely a memory we will never forget as friends.
i have to take arian back to this beautiful place. and i really would love to visit the amalfi coast next time. have you been to venice? did you love it? i lot of people told me it was very touristy and smelled terrible. i didn’t have that experience. yes, the shopping was not my favorite there (seriously, a mask store on every corner it felt like) but i thought venice was wonderful. very happy we went.
(this post was sponsored by airbnb, all opinions are my own. photos by designlovefest)