I know, I know…I gave a sneak peak and now I have left you hanging for more than a week. In many ways, blogging about Italy is overwhelming. There is SO much to tell. My friend, Gina, asked me who had heard about the entire trip and so far only Jesse’s mom has lasted through the LONG version. I know my family will, but we wanted to wait until we had pictures in front of us…it makes it so much better.
Our first stop in Italy was the city of Venice. There are no cars in Venice…only a hundred islands joined by four hundred bridges. To get from the airport to the island, you have to take a water bus and water buses are the only public transportation available in the city.
We began with a prosciutto pizza lunch eaten on the edge of a canal.
We continued to explore by taking a water bus to the island of San Giorgio Maggiore where we climbed the bell tower for sprawling views of the city. Upon returning to Venice, we were beginning to feel tired, so we sat at a cafe on St. Mark’s Square and enjoyed our first cappuccino (even Jesse drank coffee). It became the first of many. We finished the evening by taking a trip down the Grand Canal and learning about many of the buildings along this famous canal.
We began the next morning at St. Mark’s Basilica. The entire interior was decorated with mosaics (tiny tiles combined to create elaborate scenes).
In the afternoon we traveled to nearby Murano island famous for its blown glass factories. We enjoyed seeing the artists at work and getting to browse through all of the shops. One tradition Jesse and I have is to come home with a Christmas ornament from each of our adventures. This way once a year we get to revisit our fun memories. We found a glass ornament and a decorative plate to remind us of our time in Italy.
We took our siesta at the hotel before heading out to dinner (around 8 pm). We decided to eat as Italians and enjoy an antipasto, pasta, and secondo courses. Dinners often take many hours. We were surprised by the “freshness” of our seafood (the crab still had eyes…and legs).
We finished our time in Venice the next morning by racing to the train station. The water bus was running late, and we raced into the train station, validated our ticket, jumped on the train, and it left the station 30 seconds later headed to…Florence.