Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Italy: Venice

Our last stop in Italy was in Venice.  None of us had been before, so we didn't know quite what to expect.  Wow: it's gorgeous.  I see why it's a "must" for everyone to come at some point in their lives.  Unfortunately, it's incredibly touristy.  Both Cameron and I commented on how incredible it would have been to visit 100 years ago, when it was likely untouched by the tourist industry.  Lucky for us, the apartment we rented was completely out of the tourist area, so we felt like we got a really authentic experience and got to see the real beauty of Venice.  Our apartment even had a little balcony over a canal!  Before we came, we were a little worried it was too far away from all the main areas--it was about a 20 minute walk from San Marco Square.  But honestly, it's the one city I would want to stay far away from all that anyway.  The beauty of Venice is in just getting lost on random streets.  There aren't many main tourist stops anyway.  We spent most our time walking, walking, and more walking.  It was interesting to see how different the canals are from the Amsterdam canals.  It is definitely the least stroller-friendly city I've ever visited.  Poor Cameron and Brendan carried Andy over a bridge every five minutes.  We got gelato twice a day.  We ate a gross dinner one night and then an amazing dinner the next night for Brendan's birthday.  Brendan, Cameron, and I went out one night to explore the city.  The next night, Cam and I went out on our own while the others kindly kept an eye on sleeping Andy.  We all spent a couple hours one day doing a walking tour we'd found online.  It was beautiful.  One morning, Cameron, Andy, and I wandered around our part of the island (the north east).  Cameron, Andy, and I went inside St. Mark's Basilica, which was very ornate and...Venetian.  I think the highlight of Venice for me was when Cameron, Andy, and I took a water taxi from San Marcos Square back to where we stayed.  We lucked out and had incredible seats.  The weather was great, and the view was breathtaking.  

Here are lots of pictures, again in no particular order:  

That thing gets pretty heavy!  Many thanks to Cam and Brendan for the hours they spent lifting it in Venice.
Andy did remarkably well on our dreaded 6 hour train rides from  Cinque Terre to Venice.  He spent a large majority of the time running between cars, entertaining everyone.

The Grand Canal
On our water taxi ride.
On the way to our apartment.  I told you we stayed in the perfect area! 
The famous Rialto Bridge over the Grand Canal, as seen from our water taxi.

These next five are from the morning walk just the three of us went out on:

We never forked out the money for a gondola ride. 
The Lee Men 

St. Mark's Basilica
I really like this picture of Greg.
Despite the look on my face, I loved this fancy fish dinner.  Happy Birthday Brendan! 

Love him.


  1. I love that last picture of Andy! What a cutie! Glad you guys are having such a great time. I can't believe you get back so soon! I bet that's so bitter sweet!

  2. I too love that picture of Andy! His smile is the best! Even though Venice is soooo touristy it's a definite must see! I didn't even think how unfriendly it would be to have a stroller, glad you had those manly men! My favorite part of Venice was just exploring and feeling like you were in total maze. I am glad you got to experience it! What a fun trip.

  3. These pictures are beautiful!!! I can't believe how much character venice has. Also I'm dying at andy's outfit on your morning walk. Looks like so much fun

  4. Wow, what a great experience. The pictures are great!

  5. Gorgeous! I'm glad you guys got out at nights and also a walk with just you three, even in the cold. Andy is such a trooper, 6 hour train ride, good for him!

  6. Okay Andy is just too cute. His hat! I love the pictures of him holding Cameron's hand. Venice looks amazing! It sounds like such a neat part of your trip!