It’s now been 4 months since we celebrated our 2nd anniversary in Venice, but it’s never too late to share a recap, right? Venice is one of the most interesting cities that I have ever visited. Besides the obvious that it is a city literally built on water, the architecture, narrow passageways, bustling streets, thousands of tourists, and excess of leather stores and souvenir shops make this city very unique.
I love learning random facts. I spend way too much time googling the most random things about history and why things are the way that are, especially while on vacation. Venice is made up of over 100 islands linked together by water canals. The city is literally built on a vertical wood structure- how in the world does it not rot? Apparently if wood stays under water, it will not rot, but rather almost petrify- Amazing!
We took the train from Salzburg to Venice. It is said to be one of the most beautiful train rides in Europe, because it takes you through the mountains. Arriving into Venice was a bit hectic. The vaporettos were a good bit different than the trains and subways we felt we had become pros at navigating. We did figure it out and luckily our hotel was pretty close to a stop- a big win!
We stayed at Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo. This was a hotel recommended by Rick Steves, and we loved it! There were only about 10 rooms in the hotel, so it was quaint. They also served a complimentary breakfast with the most delicious coffee!
After checking into the hotel, we did what we did on every stop and hit the ground running! We ate geltao, grabbed pizza, visited the sites, ate more gelato- you know, typical Venetian activities.
That night we had a delicious dinner at Taverna al Remer. Andrew found this hidden gem (emphasis on HIDDEN) by watching YouTube. (If you know him, the fact that he turns to YouTube for restaurant recommendations does not surprise you.) We loved the food, and we enjoyed drinks on the water after dinner. This place did not feel like a tourist trap, so we were pleased with our choice!
The next day was our anniversary! We spent the day with no real plans other than to enjoy each other's company and roam the streets. By this point in the trip, we had seen all the churches and museums that we could take, so wandering (and eating gelato and sipping Italian wine) is exactly what we did.
Per his request, I let Andrew take control of our anniversary night plans. I am a control freak and an over planner. Put those two things together, and we had one VERY detailed itinerary for this vacation. But on our actual anniversary night, I did let go of the reigns and let Andrew take this one. We took an overpriced, but necessary, gondola ride. While definitely not cheap, it was our wedding anniversary and we had flown halfway across the world, so we were getting on that gondola. I am so glad that we did- a bucket list item for sure!
After our ride through the canals, we arrived at our dinner location. Andrew had researched and researched to find the perfect spot on the water. When we arrived, the hostess politely asked Andrew if we were staying nearby and declined his entry to the restaurant because he was wearing shorts! It was 100 degrees and we were going to be sitting outside- dress code hadn't even crossed our minds! We were not staying nearby, and he was devastated. Andrew is a pretty sharp dresser and has never been one to be underdressed, so he couldn't believe himself. I was completely fine with letting our reservation go and finding an alternative. This was our last night on vacation, so we were not going to let a restaurant dress code code get us down. We started heading towards the Rialto Bridge, which is one of the biggest tourist traps I have ever seen, but also beautiful at the same time. There are plenty of tourist trap restaurants along the water by the Rialto, so I ran up to one of the hosts waving a menu at every by passer and asked if he had any tables on the water. 1 left. Perfect, we will take it! Andrew and I enjoyed probably my favorite dinner on the trip. Cheap, tourist trap, yet delicious Italian food and wine sitting underneath the Rialto bridge!
As I mentioned before, Venice is one of my unique cities I ever visited. We were surprised by the crowds and number of tourists. I would like to emphasize that Venice is VERY crowded. When researching, we saw pictures like this:
Once there, we saw something more along the lines of this:
Despite the crowds, you can still find quiet in Venice. The Rialto bridge area is flooded with crowds, but when wandering the narrow passageways, you can often feel that you are the only person around. It's a city that everyone should visit at least once!
Venice wrapped up our European adventure. We are already dreaming of our next trip across the pond! Where should we go next?