Venice, Italy

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The winding streets, the Grand Canal, San Marco's piazza, the gondola's....yeah, it doesn't get much more romantic than beautiful Venezia. 

I was fortunate enough to have visited this lovely city once before with the hubby on our one year anniversary.  We had heard mixed reviews about it and we weren't sure what to expect.  Well, we loved it.  Only three days, but it was just right.
Therefore, I wasn't hesitant to return when I knew my mom and stepdad would be in Italy with us.  With the help of the amazing owner of my house in Mennagio, we were able to book our train travel to Venice from Como.  Through Hotels.com I found a nice room for the night.  We were set to go.
Up early, walked down to the ferry landing.  Took the ferry across to Varenna and walked to the train station.  Caught a train to Milan, then from Milan to Venice.  The train ride was nice, the girls played on my iPad and mom, stepdad and I played Scrabble on mom's iPad. 
We arrived mid afternoon.  Not sure where the hotel was located, my stepdad decided to just hire a water taxi.  The man was very friendly, called the hotel, got directions...and off we went.  The ride was so fun...if we'd been on the Strip in Vegas, we would have been those goofy tourists with their heads sticking out of the top of the limo.  Snapping pictures along the way....and just 10 minutes later we were at our hotel.  

The girl who worked the front desk was so nice and upgraded our room.  We walked into a mini palace.  It was something!  Black walls, red and white Murano glass chandeliers, red covered bed...lets just say it kept us talking for a few hours!  We were in a nice location close to San Marco's piazza. 
Dropped off our bags and headed out! 
Found a nice restaurant to eat lunch...but ended up costing us $200 Euro...okay, so THAT was not a fun bit.  We headed to the piazza and since my stepdad had a bum knee, mom, me and the girls headed to the clock tower.  Well, stepdad could have gone with us...the stairs to climb up were closed, so everyone had to take the lift.  The girls were so disappointed (so were me and mom!).  Ah, but the view was incredible...just breathtaking.  Such a small city, but so unique.

The kids and stepdad went back to the hotel later that day and mom and I went for a quick drink so we could see Venice at night.  So pretty.

The next day mom and stepdad headed off for some couple time and I took off with the girls.  We took a gondola ride...which they totally loved.  The got the giggles every time the guy had to duck under a bridge...so, yeah, they were laughing every minute along the way.
Then we took the ferry along the Grand Canal.  Found the same restaurant where Matt and I had dinner one day and sat down for a nice lunch.  

The up side...it was tons of fun sharing this with my family and the girls.  The down side...it was really crowded...and hot.  I totally recommend going when it's not peak season.  But would I go back again...you bet.  :)

What is your favorite thing about Venice?



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