Saturday, September 1, 2012

Three Days in Venice

            Venice was the last stop of our two-week trip before heading home to Philadelphia. After a confortable ride on train from Lake Como, by way of Milan, we arrived at the train station and headed for the exit. The first thing we saw when we got outside was the Grand Canal. Venice really is the city of water and bridges. My sister led the way to our hotel while I slowly followed behind with my heavy – and now broken – suitcase. We probably should have taken a water taxi but opted to walk to save money. We stayed at Hotel Mignon in the Cannaregio east section of the city, not far from the famous Rialto Bridge. The hotel was small and quaint, decorated in the tradition Venetian style.
The Grand Canal 
Gondolas going down the Canal
            After being in Italy for almost fifty days I was feeling a little homesick and exhausted from so much planning. This contributed to our lack of plans set for our days in Venice, however, every travel book and website said that this was perfectly okay. Other than seeing the top attractions, including Piazza San Marco and the Basilica, most references said to spend a day wondering the city. We ended up spending two days wondering the city, and it was fabulous. We put away our map and cell phones and started walking. We went over bridges, down alleys, and away from the crowd. Venice was the most crowded of any city we went to. Finding an area not packed with tourist was difficult but could be done. Numerous times we ended up walking into a dead end or finding our way to the edge of the water and then turning around. Along the way we found so many great stores. Venice is famous for glass, especially on the island of Murano. Most of the stores we went into sold beautiful glass jewelry, drinking glasses, and little trinkets. Many stores sold beautiful handmade Venetian carnival masks as well. Further away from the tourist attractions we found a few antique stores with great treasures. I ended up buying an amazing print of the city and my sister found an antique necklace.
Piazza San Marco

Beautiful home alone the Canal
            Getting lost in Venice was a great way to spend our last three days. I arrived back in Philadelphia feeling excited to be home, however I knew I would miss Italy. There was so much more to do and see that I could not fit into my trip. I know I will return to Italy in the future to continue the adventure. 
My last gelato in Italy.