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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Venice, Italy: On the islands

Venice was built on a group of more than 100 tiny islands inside the Venetian Lagoon. The historic part of Venice has no roads or cars. Rather, the canals act as streets and boats replace cars (many homes' front doors open to canals and can be accessed only by boat!), and the land can only be traveled by foot. There's something magical about a city full of rich history that hasn't been overrun by technology and traffic. Venice is so unique and beautiful.

It's enchanting, to say the least.
The water taxi dropped us off just steps from our hotel. Matt and I checked in and spent a few minutes resting in our luxurious, air conditioned room and enjoying the view before we headed back out into the July heat.
Though Venice is an expensive city, somehow it feels so worth it. Hotel Paganelli definitely didn't disappoint. This was the view of the lagoon from our room--taken through our window (later on in the day). Gorgeous, isn't it?
Okay, enough with the hotel. We didn't want to waste too much daylight inside since we were covering an entire city in one day, so it wasn't long before we headed out the door and walked one block over to Piazza San Marco (Saint Mark's Square). The piazza's beautiful architecture and rich history make it one of Venice's major attractions.
You know you're in a big city when you're surrounded by pigeons!
After checking out the piazza, we began exploring the footpaths and bridges through the city. It definitely wouldn't hurt to get lost in a city like this!
Along the way, we grabbed the first of many--and I mean many--gelatos during our time in Italy.
While we were commenting on how the Venetians didn't let one foot of land go to waste (see how the buildings were built just right up next to each other in the picture below), a very persistent purse salesman approached us. He wanted me to buy a fake (I think) white Prada for thirty Euro. I told him no thanks and the man wouldn't let it go. This wasn't all bad, since I actually really liked the purse. Three minutes later, I walked away with it for just 5 Euro, which is roughly $7. Not too shabby for any purse, really.
Other mentionable items on our stroll were the countless ornate Venetian masks in window shops around the city. 
As mentioned in the previous post, our walk around Venice led us to the Rialto Bridge, where we went on a romantic gondola ride through the canals.
The Grand Canal, as seen from the top of the Rialto Bridge:
After our gondola ride, we ate dinner at a pretty little restaurant along the Grand Canal with the Rialto as our backdrop. It was lovely.
I'll avoid the long story detailing the picture below and just give you the moral of the story: don't feed the birds.
After dinner, we meandered along the canal a bit more before heading back through the footpaths to Piazza San Marco and the lagoon.
And we bought a beautiful oil painting from an artist by the Rialto Bridge. It will hang in our living room probably forever.
The piazza was impressive during the day but it was even more beautiful when it was all lit up at dusk.
The lagoon and canals were equally magical as the sunlight faded away.
Matt and I made it back to the hotel but weren't quite ready to say goodnight to Venice. Two minutes later, we were back outside taking a final leisurely stroll along the lagoon.
Once it was good and dark, we finally retired to our room, where we enjoyed the best night's sleep of our entire vacation.
The next morning, Matt and I were on our way to Rome!


  1. seriously, you guys must have a photographer that follows you around on your adventures taking your photos! Or it would seem that way because everytime I ask a random stranger to take our photo- it is a disaster. Does no one (except the people YOU ask) know how to take a decent photograph!?! what is your secret?!!?

  2. I was just thinking the same thing as the above poster! Y'all have the BEST photos!! ohh and love the bag :)

  3. Wow it is beautiful! I would love to go to Italy someday!

  4. oh my gosh i'm so envious of your trips!! i got prego (unexpectedly) only 3 months we got married, so my hubby and i never had a chance to really go travel just the two of us!! now i'm looking forward to when the kids get older and older and we can go by ourselves or with the kids to amazing places like Italy!!
    you two are beautiful couple!


  5. Looking at your photos makes me want to go back to Venice. The hubs has never been. Since I went to a German school, my senior trip we traveled to Tuscany, Italy and one of the stops we made was Venice! We spent the entire day there as well.
    Thankfully, you didn't have to experience the plaza being flooded. It's quite gross.

  6. Hey this is Madison again. I commented on one of your post a while back about e-mailing me but I think maybe I scared you or something. So I decided to just go ahead and explain to you what I was going to in an e-mail. Sorry this is so random and out of place but I wasn't sure if you go back and look at all your comments on all your post or how the blog thing works. I don't actually have one myself. Anyway I am getting married in July and one of my bridesmaids wears garments. And her and I are IN LOVE with that green dress your mother made for you. So I was wondering if she does that for a living (also I believe she lives in Utah as do I) Or if she would be willing for me to hire her to make another one like that or something close to it. I just have been looking everywhere for a long dress with sleeve that is fashionable and not like a yucky prom dress. Anyway thats what I was going to e-mail you about. If you could get back to me one way or another that would be awesome. Thank you so much!

  7. I approve of the numerous gelatos you ate. You have to make hay while the sun shines. Or is that gelato?

  8. That first picture is amazing! All of the pictures are great actually. I want to visit Italy so much and even moreso now that I've seen your pictures.

  9. Oh my goodness: GORGEOUS! I agree with your pictures: where do you find strangers who know how to take good ones? Some of the worst pictures of my husband and I are ones people took for us, haha!

    AMAZING recap ofwhat must have been a magical day! Officially jealous of aesome travel. Perhaps I need to get onboard with this passport thing!

  10. seriously ash is there anywhere you guys haven't been? I'm just curious...where to next? the moon perhaps?


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