02.21.2013

the blair honeymoon adventures: chapter 11 – Venice, Italy

Setting sail from Dubrovnik meant that we were on our way to our final destination. Although I was sad that our journey was coming to end, I couldn’t help but be excited to visit the one place I have wanted to explore for years!

Sailing into Venice The distance between Dubrovnik and Venice was a little greater than our previous journeys, therefore when we woke, we were still sailing. We spent the morning eating a yummy breakfast at the bow of the ship and watched as Venice slowly crept up on the horizon. Sailing into this city was magical. It was like no other place I had ever seen. I immediately picked out the Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) with the St. Mark’s Campanile (bell tower) towering over St. Marks Basilica and Doge’s Palace. It felt so amazing to finally see the real-life version of this famous square!

Sailing into Venice Our ship travelled up the Canale di San Marco, the Canale della Giudecca and the Canal di Fusine before landing in port on the western tip of Venice. We arrived in the early afternoon, and set out to explore immediately. We had one more night to spend on the ship (docked in Venice overnight) and then we had to disembark early the next morning. We planned one more overnight stay in Venice before we had to head to the airport, therefore we weren’t too concerned about cramming Venice into half a day – because we had the entire next day as well!

Star Princess Every travel guide I read about Venice said a few things. 1. Venice has a unique (stinky?) smell  2. Most restaurants will charge you to just sit down and  3. The best way to see Venice is to ditch the map and get lost! I didn’t notice a stench in the air, however, we were not there mid-summer! We did see restaurants that charged seating, however there were many more that didn’t, and the tour guides were right – the best way to see Venice was to tour down the empty side streets! We spent the entire day finding our way from west to east and then east to west, crossing so many unique bridges, listening to the gondoliers singing, and seeing beautiful buildings rise out of the water.

Canal The most unique thing that I found so interesting was how the Venetians have adapted their entire life to traveling on the water. They have water taxis, water buses (Vaporetto), gondolas, and retired gondolas (used to cross the canal between bridges). They have garbage boats, mail boats, and even “transport” shipping boats. Everything we do on land, they do on water! Our first half day was spent getting used to this change and stumbling upon famous sites like the Rialto Bridge, the Grand Canal and the Bridge of Sighs.

Rialto Bridge We arrived back to the ship shortly before the sun set. We spent the evening packing our room and saying goodbye to our favourite hangouts!

The next morning we disembarked the ship, and headed straight for our hotel – The Hotel Pesaro Palace – located right on the Grand Canal. What an absolutely beautiful place! I don’t think I have ever stayed in a more “swanky” hotel! We quickly checked in, scoped out the room and headed straight for the Vaporetto stop outside our hotel. We opted to tour the Grand Canal on the public “bus” rather than spending 100 euros on a gondola ride. Sure, when in Venice we should have stepped foot in a gondola, however we did it the cheater way a year early in Las Vegas haha! We spent most of the morning on the Vaporetto traveling the entire canal.

Pesaro Palace When the Vaporetto made its circuit we decided to hop on the next one to take us to the island of Murano – the island known for its amazing glass sculptures. Murano was a beauty. I loved how the streets were less crowded with tourists however it still had the Venice feel. The sidewalks were uniquely decorated with glass sculptures at every corner. We ate lunch in a pasta bar before heading back to Piazza San Marco. The end of the afternoon was spent on an elevator ride to the top of the Campanile and a tour around St. Mark’s Basilica.

Murano

Campanile

campile Venice was such a treat. I had heard so many mixed reviews about visiting this city, however, I know I would return in a heart beat!

Gondolas Scott and I had an amazing honeymoon. We saw so many sites and enjoyed each others company every single minute. We were so lucky to have been able to go on such an amazing trip with each other, and I cannot wait until we set sail again!

Venice from the air

Peace, Love and Honeymoon Travels,
-Stacy

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