Venice is in the running for my favorite place on earth. On our boat ride from the airport into the island I was in awe. To be honest, until right then I didn’t even know that there were no cars in the city. What I really loved about Venice though is that sometimes it felt like our little secret. I’m not sure how or why but at night or even during the day we would be the only ones walking through the small streets or over the beautiful bridges. Just my family in this Italian dream. This post will surely be an ode to Venice.
We didn’t have any reservations on our first night of the trip. After a short chat with the concierge, we were making the first of many enchanting walks to dinner. This was a real hole in the wall Italian place. Fresh and delicious and the Cacio e Pepe was the best I’ve ever had.
A Beccafico was a small place with the best pasta. I was sceptical of some dishes at first but the flavor combinations were perfect. My favorite pasta I had on the trip was here, conchiglie shells filled with ricotta with the best tomato sauce.
Pizza, Pizza, Pizza! I was stuffed after this meal. The best appetizers and made to order pizzas. Clearly, mine was cheese, pesto, and eggplant, but honestly, I’d eat a Conca d’oro pizza with anything on it.
Walking through Venice is enough of a site but there are so many beautiful things the City has to offer.
St. Mark’s Square
Walking into St. Marks Square on my first night with the lights illuminating it was magical. Saint Mark’s Basilica was enough to make my heart stop for a moment. On Christmas eve we attended an open Mass at the Cathedral and it was no small production. Walking through the piazza at any hour was so beautiful it almost made me forget about my terrible fear of the pigeons that swarmed the area.
The oldest and most gorgeous of the four bridges that span the grand canal. It ties beautiful pictures like this one together and provides the most spectacular views of Venice. While taking this painting-like picture I almost lost my balance on the small dock I was on the edge of and was about to fall into the Grand Canal. Thankfully, I did not.
An island known for its spectacular hand-blown glass making. After watching a demonstration of artists at work we explored the most beautiful gallery, filled with chandeliers, mirrors, glassware, and other spectacular items. We learned how families perfect certain techniques and styles for generations and breed their children to do the same. After our tour, we sat down to design and order our own sets of handmade glasses. Seeing them displayed in our bar reminds me of this magical day.
Following our trip to Murano, we stopped in Burano. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy and cold day but the colorful houses and beautiful streets of Burano put a smile on our faces.
The small gelato shop next to Saint Mark’s Basilica became an after-dinner must visit for us. Eating our delicious treat with the stunning views of the square was more than surreal. My go-to flavor pairing quickly became Dark Chocolate and Stracciatella.
Did you really go to Venice if you didn’t ride a gondola? It is remarkable how many of these there are in the tiny canals of Venice. It’s definitely a little nerve-racking but the gondoliers seem to have it down to a science.
Christmas lights in Venice is reason enough to brave the cold and come during the holidays. Illuminating even the smallest of streets at night made everywhere you walked out of a movie. The hanging lights made the Island soar and made its beauty visible to everyone at all hours.
I miss Venice every day and long to be walking its streets. My entire trip to Italy was magical and made me gain an appreciation for history and architecture that holds true today. Io amo l’Italia.