We drove from Noce to the airport in Venice, where we dropped off our rental car, and boarded a vaparetto (water taxi) to get to our next apartment.
I loved the look of Venice, right away. The architecture and surroundings felt so historical.
We met our host close to our stop and were relieved to find she spoke Spanish! My husband and I are much more comfortable speaking Spanish, instead of bumbling through Italian, which is what we had been doing, up to that point.
We unpacked, and set out to explore. Venice felt like a maze, it was easy to get lost and just when we thought we knew where we were going, we would run into a water dead end. We still had fun though, while being lost, it’s then that you see the best parts of a city.
Our guru Rick Steve’s warned us that the restaurants right near the water were mostly tourist traps, with poor, overpriced food. When we were ready for dinner, we found a restaurant that was not close to the water, but in a busy piazza.
Unfortunately, this was our first disappointing meal of the whole trip. The grilled vegetables and salad were OK, but I ordered gnocchi in tomato sauce that was way overcooked and mushy. Everyone else had similar feedback about their food.
After dinner, we continued to explore and decided to bring one of our bottles of wine that we purchased the previous night in Castellina to Piazza San Marco. This piazza was bustling and lively and we sat on the steps of Basilica San Marco, slowly drank wine and people watched. The piazza was absolutely beautiful at night, and I am so glad I got to see it in the at glory because the next day, I was not as impressed.
Eventually, we made our way back to our apartment and settled in for the evening. We slept in the next morning and slowly eased into the day. My husband and friends left to the train station to make our travel arrangements to France. I stayed behind in the apartment to get some yoga in. I tried to fit yoga in where I could. I brought my travel mat along, but space was limited in some of our places, so it did not always happen as often as I wanted. Finding these moments alone was also important for my vacation time, as well. I am a natural introvert and absolutely need my time alone. This was not always easy when travelling with others, but I tried to find small ways to still take care of myself, so I was not worn out and grouchy. (I did a class from YogaGlo. My laptop is literally, glowing.)
Lunch was another disappointing meal, unfortunately, that doesn’t deserve much more of a description than that. Unfortunately, Venice was so compact and touristy that it was hard to find restaurants without a tourist vibe.
We then made our way back to Piazza San Marco. It was too late in the day to tour the Basilica, the crowds were pretty out of control, and honestly, we were a little cathedral-ed out. However, we were able to observe some bizarre behavior in the piazza.
I had heard the piazza was famous for it’s pigeons, but I was still appalled to see people encouraging pigeons to land on them, so they could take a picture. I was also equally appalled to find people playing and splashing around in the water in the piazza, which was coming from overflown sewers. It was all very concerning behavior, to me, and I am glad I have the memory of the piazza from the previous night, which is how I prefer to remember it.
We people watched some more and watched more bizarre things that tourists do. Eventually, our hunger and determination to find good food moved us along. We explored around more carefully, and found a restaurant near our piazza that (finally!) had good food. We had incredible luck with restaurants near our apartments, and we should have remembered that, in our searches.
For our last meal in Italy, I ordered pesto pasta and my husband had a pizza marinara, with pesto drizzled on. It was a great meal!
The next morning we were up super early for a massive day of travel. We were going to be making our way to Annecy, France through vaparetto, 2 trains and a bus. We said Ciao to Venice and Italy and were ready for a new adventure and country.