It has taken me awhile to get to blogging the Venice portion of our trip. We were only there one day, so I don’t know why I haven’t written about it sooner, but I am known to be a bit of a procrastinator. You can read about the Rome portion here and the Florence portion here.
We only stayed in Venice for one night because we had heard it was a bit overrated and kind of dirty. I will say that it was not super clean, the water was stagnant and there were a lot of smelly areas. However, it was beautiful and really cool! We arrived in Venice by train, and upon exiting the station, our Hotel Antiche Figure, was right across the river! That was super convenient. It was a quick walk over a bridge. Jake carried all of the luggage, while I carried Crew and a backpack. Unfortunately for Jake, we couldn’t use the stroller because it’s all steps. Its hard to know what to expect regarding hotels in Italy based soley of outside appearance because the buildings are so old. But when we entered our Hotel in Venice, it was such a charming boutique hotel! The front desk was very kind and helpful. They provided us with tickets for two free drinks, which we used to purchase cappuccinos at their in house coffee bar. We left our bags in the room and quickly left to explore the city since we only had one day to do it.
Lots of people told us not to take a stroller because there are so many steps, stairways and bridges with steps. So, when we left to go exploring, we didn’t take it. We should have. There really weren’t that many steps once you get on one side of the river. Granted, there are a few bridges, but nothing like we expected and our backs were hurting something fierce from carrying Crewbie everywhere. She also decided that she only wanted ME to carry her and so I got very little relief from jake. Haha, I survived…just barely!;) We walked to St. Mark’s Square which is the main attraction in Venice. It’s a large plaza area surrounded by the Basilica, St. Mark’s campanile, and lots of restaurants and shops.
Live music was playing and there were HUNDREDS of pigeons. Crew about lost her mind trying to chase, grab and talk to each pigeon she saw. It was ADORABLE. The church that was located on one end of the square was such an amazing sight. That was the case with all the cities we visited. They all had amazingly built churches at their center. We were in awe of the construction and the amount of time those churches would have taken to be built.
One complaint we had regarding our visit to the square was the unwanted contact with locals trying sell you birdseed and roses. I don’t have problem with them selling it, my problem was how persistent they were in trying to get you to take whatever they were selling. For example, they had guys walking around with handfuls of birdseed for the pigeons. One guy took Jake’s hand and filled it with bird seed. Jake said “no thanks.” But he kept trying to make Jake take it and feed the birds. Its a ploy to get you to give them money in exchange for more seed. Immediately pigeons started flocking to him and so Jake just tossed the seed back to the guy and said, “no” more firmly. That was the start of about 7 guys coming up and trying to do the same thing. I almost smacked the bottom of their hand to cause the seed to go flying, it was ticking me off so bad. Another guy stuck a rose in Crew’s hand, AFTER I had already said no….and she’s now thinking it’s her rose. I gave it back to him and said I did not want it, with my eyes starting to twitch from frustration (I’m kidding, but internally they were wanting to twitch). Not that I should care so much, because they’re just trying to make money. But I did care! I don’t like being forced to do something after I said negative.
You’ll notice Jake is wearing Capri’s, which I had SO much fun mocking. I talked him into getting them, because I really do like how they look. But I still had to tease him a little…or maybe a lot! I Told him that he was wearing the same pants as Crew…asked him if he wanted a ‘Capri-sun?’ I was really proud of that one. Man, I had too much fun with those jeans…and he hasn’t worn them again since we’ve been back in the states. I think it’s because he knows I’ve been building an arsenal of jokes solely for the day he walks out in them!
After St. Marks Square, we walked around for a couple hours, and finally found a place to sit down and eat pizza. Imagine that, I ate pizza again. 🙂 After pizza, it was close to 6 or 7pm and we noticed that it wasn’t near as busy as it had been. Shops closed up early, people disappeared to wherever they were staying for the night and it was a much different city compared to the others that we had visited. And of course, I’m sure you will not be surprised, but we stopped to get gelato on our way back to the hotel…which, if you’ve read my other Italy posts…you know is the norm for me. And finally, I should be embarrassed (but I’m not)…..because around nine o’clock….I felt hungry! I do not understand how or why I was hungry again, but I’m going to blame it on the walking. Jake found a restaurant that served food to-go and I got spaghetti. Not all restaurants will serve food to-go which was so odd to me! Especially because I love my leftovers! I’m not above wrapping my stuff in napkins and shoving it in my purse like a desperate woman. Haha. We finally made it back to the hotel and crawled into bed and crashed out.
The next day we got up to go look around a little bit more before we went to the train station to head to Milan! We weren’t disappointed that we only stayed one night in Venice. It was a really cool and unique experience, but we felt we had done all we would have wanted to do while we were there. Well Except for a gondola ride. We would’ve liked to do that, but only if the weather were warmer. It wasn’t cold, but on the water it probably would have been chilly. I would also suggest taking a stroller if you have a child. Any steps you happen upon…you can both grab a side and walk the stroller over them without any problems.
Jake wanted me to mention that the best cappuccino he thinks he enjoyed in Italy, was in Venice and he captured it in the pic of him drinking the cappuccino above. He went back twice the morning we left Venice to get seconds. He loved it and it was a really cool coffee shop. Very unique! And Jake loved the Italian trend of standing and drinking his coffee at their counter. He also wanted me to point out that Venice was the most touristy place we visited. Gobs of tourists all over the city. We had to walk across the city to get to St. Marks square and we were able to get there without a map by just following the loads of tourists headed in that direction.
Alright! This is the Venice portion of our Italy trip! Let me know if you have any questions!