So as most of you guys have already seen from my Instagram I recently traveled to Italy with my Mum and Dad and then because of how much I fell in love with it I decided to go back again the following week with my amazing fiancé!
My first trip we started with Venice for two days, followed by Cinque Terre, Florence and then ended it with Roma.
I had never been to Venice previously so I was very excited to visit this magical city built on water.
We arrived nice and early thanks to Our lovely Emirates Airline and then caught a boat from the airport to the city Centre of Venice, St Marks Square.
As soon as we arrived we were greeted by a lovely street market full of colorful souvenirs and clothing.
The store owners greeted everyone with a cheeky smile and warm laugh and instantly made you feel comfortable.
My first impression of Venice was that it was such a perfectly designed city. The prominent buildings and the white detailed bridges that laid over the canal really gave you a feeling of the marvelous beauty this city had to offer.
We quickly checked in to our hotel room and walked around St Marks Square and found a lovely spot on the side of the street to enjoy our first meal in Italia.
As I was just finishing up on my spaghetti bolognese I looked over to the other Italian restaurant opposite us and saw the waiters pouring big pails of water out onto the street. Filled with confusion I turned to my Dad to ask him if he knew what they were doing only to see him staring at a bunch of teenagers who were wearing bright blue bags on their feet.
We had no idea what this was about and I laughed and made fun of them because they honestly looked hilarious and I just didn’t get it.
Anyways, around half an hour later we finally realized that the water was literally rising from underneath us, hence why everyone was wearing these bags on their feet … And yes you guessed it! We all bought a pair!
We learnt from the local Italians that the water rises only a few times per year and so we were extremely lucky to be able to experience this our first day of arriving.
Honestly I had no idea that this could happen and the water rose all the way up to my knee so that was pretty exciting.
Everyone gathered around St Marks Square and played and jumped around the water. My mother turned into a little girl again as she played in the water and posed for photos, it was very beautiful to watch.
The next morning I expected to walk out into the streets and find the pavements still wet from the water the night before but to my surprise it was completely dry!
We decided that because we were completely rested we would ‘get lost in Venice’, and literally that’s what we did. Surprisingly we found ourselves back to where the gondolas main station was and Mum really wanted to ride in one,so her wish was our command.
We chose the one hour ride which was 120 euros, yes very pricey but hey, we live in Australia which is extremely far away, so Mum and Dad probably wouldn’t make the exhausting flight all the way to Europe again. So we went for it!
It honestly was just as romantic as you read in the books, and the gondolier was just as expected. He wore black pants, the classic striped shirt and some dark shades to complete the look.
Full of twisted canals and dark alleyways filled with secret hole in the wall hotels and restaurants, the gondola is the only way to see the real Venice. I really would recommend doing some research on the history of Venice itself and the gondolas before experiencing it yourself as it will be so much more interesting and exciting if you know some information firsthand.
I myself was fascinated to learn that gondolas have been used for centuries in Venice and that their structure was deliberately made to suit the lagoons that they have to navigate. We enjoyed the ride, listening to the odd gondolier singing as he passed us by with another boat packed of European tourists.
The timid, rocking motion you feel as your gondolier pushes his paddle back and forth is extremely soothing and the summer sun just begs you to close your eyes for a short while. We didn’t talk besides the odd selfie here and there, we didn’t need to. We all just stared out in awe and the magic of this city on water.
After our Gondola ride we felt a bit nibbly, so of course that meant icecream! I found an extremely run down little place that only had maybe fifteen icecream flavored and none of those weird flavors, just the original ones.
I went for pistachio as I always do. Quick little fact about me, once I find something that I like you will have a hard time getting me to change from it. Ever. And as expected it was just divine. It was full of actual pistachio nuts and flakes and oh so creamy. I would honestly go to Italy just for their icecream.
The sun was having its effect on Mum and Dad so we decided to give Doges Palace a quick visit. This beautiful building was built in Venetian Gothic style and is a very famous landmark in Northern Italy filled with spectacular Renaissance foundations and decorations. Truly marvelous to see.
Make sure to go up to the Loggiato, which is the high point where the ruler of The Serene Public would stand during public events and outings. From this spot you can see the whole of St Marks area with all the different buildings and monuments on display. Following the path out of the palace is a small alleyway that has shaped holes in the wall that peak out over The Grand Canal. This is a sight not to be missed.
By this time it was 7pm so we ventured out for some Italian coffee and seafood for dinner. I indulged in spaghetti vongole, Mum went for seafood marina and Dad has fresh pasta with lobster. Needless to say we were stuffed after this and went straight back to our hotel for a good nights sleep as we were saying goodbye to Venice the next morning and traveling on to Cinque Terre.
Rising and shining, bright and early we dragged our suitcases along the cobblestone of the paths of Venice and caught the boat to the main train station. Looking back on the city as we sat on the boat was truly beautiful and I know that one day I will visit again to explore more of the underwater world.