Monday, December 1, 2014

Venice, Italy

Venice, what can I say. Before traveling anywhere I always like to see what other people said about the place and what was recommended, trying to find the little hidden gems. When researching Venice I noticed the experience would either be amazing or horrible, nobody seemed to be in the middle about it. Well I can gladly say that my time in Venice was, AMAZING!. I have no idea why anyone wouldn’t like it! Although we didn't speak Italian (my husband managed to get out a few words here and there) the people were very friendly, extremely helpful and all of the old resident couples extremely cute! 

Getting around was um, a challenge initially since it’s the only city in the world that is made of of so many tiny islands. To get to one place to another you need to either go by water taxi, vaporetto (water buses). 

We arrived from Paris and right away walking through the old city with its small passageways and canals was disorientating at first. Since our hotel was located on Giudecca island which is across the river from the main island it proved a little more complicated to get to than usual which is where we sought help in locating our hotel and more importantly, how to get there. A very friendly old couple showed us exactly where to go, which vaporetto to take (they even came with us for part of the journey) and drew all the directions onto our map.

We chose Al Redentore di Venezia hotel because it had amazing reviews and was out of the way of all the hustle and bustle so it was nice and quiet but it was just as scenic. Additionally it meant that going to the city centre was always an adventure by using the vaporettos to cross the river.

The hotel had been recently renovated and was a perfect blend of the classic italian touch 
in a modern setting. Our suite kept all of the beautiful wooden beam structures which added to its charm, had a full kitchen and dining room. 

Photo taken from Al Redentore di Venezia website

Photo taken from Al Redentore di Venezia website

We booked the suite on the top floor with a view of the canals weren’t at all disappointed. 

View from our room window at night
Since we had arrived quite late to our hotel we decided to have diner nearby at the Hilton, they had a beautiful restaurant on the rooftop where we took in the wonderful view of Venice’ magnificent shore.

The next day we explored Venice for sunrise to sunset, wandering around, getting lost in the many roads, alleys and canals. Italian food is one of my favorite, so it was very difficult to decide which restaurant to stop at for lunch since there were so many to choose from! We stopped at Al Chianti restaurant and the food was heaven.

After a good meal it was time to get serious and down to business, as for most woman shopping is one of the most important things when traveling. It was a shopper’ paradise, offering everything from high en boutiques to local brands. Leather goods were particularly good.

And of course they had many shops specializing in Venetian Carnival masks, but I preferred this hat.

No visit is complete without going to Piazza San Marco, the main square of the city which is also home to the famous Doge’ Palace and Saint Mark Basilica. 

Even the pigeons were friendly!

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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