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venezia // magic, inspired, crowded, canals, needtogoback

… the italian adventure started in venice, which in my view is the perfect way to start any story. it’s full of mystery and beauty and around every corner is something even more amazing. i read somewhere that while you go to most major cities with specific sites in mind (rome = colosseum, paris = eiffel tower, you get the idea), the major thing to see in venice is … venice. so true. it’s the perfect city to just wander and get lost. up and over the hundreds of little bridges which carry you over the hundreds of little canals. gondolas floating by, amazing canal houses with their peeling paint and centuries of stories hidden behind every door. piazza san marco filled with hundreds of perfectly aligned yellow chairs. perfection.

we stayed on the neighboring island of lido (at the same charming hotel where kellie and i stayed on our venice adventure last summer), which for me is the perfect way to experience venice. it’s just a 10 minute ferry ride away from st. marks square, but may as well be an entirely different world. there’s a beautiful calm to lido. it’s flip flops and gelato shops and charming little cafes. it’s crumbling old mansions and beaches along the adriatic sea.

in spite of the crowds and the insane prices (90 euro for dinner the first night at a little cafe near st. marks square. one pizza, one salad, one plate of spaghetti = 90 euros. total rookie move to eat near there – gah!), venice really is magical. there’s something so beautiful, intriguing about this centuries old city built upon these sinking little islands.

we had no real agenda. just wandered, ate more gelato than should be legal, ran around st. marks square, relaxed at the beaches on lido. the highlight was the gondola ride down the grand canal – super touristy, sure, but amazing nonetheless. i did pause for a moment and wonder if the girls have any sense of how blessed they are to see such things at such a young age. if nothing else, i hope all of this traveling gives them their own sense of wonder and adventure. i hope they realize the world is huge and beautiful and filled with the most amazing things.

ciao, venice. next stop … florence!

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