Our final stop during our first trip to Italy was the magical city of Venice. We were mesmerized by the vaporettos (waterbuses) transporting people along the Grand Canal, the gondoliers propelling their watercraft through the maze of canals, and the assorted bridges linking the 117 small islands in the lagoon. The city buzzed with tourists and boats throughout the day, but at night, a calm fell upon the city waters, making it one of the most romantic and unique places we have visited.

As usual, our time in Venice was short. We spent our time here taking in the architecture, attempting to navigate our way through the maze of streets and bridges, sipping bellinis, and checking out the morning seafood catch in the Rialto Market. We toured St. Mark's Basilica, climbed the Campanile, and took the mandatory selfie on the Rialto Brige overlooking the Grand Canal. We had the best lasagne of our lives here and discovered arancini di riso. It was a memorable experience to say the least.

Traveled: Spring 2011, 2 days (recommend 2 days)

Accommodation: Hotel Pausania (in the Dorsoduro district)

Adventures: Riding the Vaporetto (water bus), Navigating the Canals and Bridges, Grand Canal, St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Basilica, Campanile, Bridge of Sighs, Rialto Bridge, Rialto Market

Memorable Moment: Checking out the goods at the Rialto fish market. The seafood was so fresh that it was still moving!

Restaurant Picks:
Pane Vino e San Daniele (try the lasagne!)
Campo dell-Angelo Raffaele, Dorsoduro, 1722


Majer Venezia (try the arancini di riso!)
S. Margherita, Dorsoduro, 3108/D (other locations available)


Campo San Barnaba, Dorsoduro (other locations available)

1) Purchase a detailed map of the city in advance of your trip. The complimentary hotel map just doesn't cut it. Expect to still get lost at least once.
2) The ACTV public transportation is less expensive than the private water taxis or gondolas. Take advantage of the vaporettos and city buses upon arrival and departure.
3) Don't miss the Grand Canal, St. Mark’s Square, Rialto Bridge, and the Rialto Market.
4) Climb to the top of the Campanile for an excellent view of the city.
5) Be prepared to carry your luggage up and down those pedestrian bridges. One of our suitcases didn't survive it.


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