Saturday, 3 February 2018

One summer Mum called me and said 'We're going to Venice. Just the three girls.' 10 days later, we woke up at the crack of dawn to go to Venice. I had no idea what to expect, other than Venice was a floating city and one of my friends said that it smelled like fish. This turned out to be completely untrue (the smell that is, it's still a floating city!) and, unsurprisingly, I completely fell in love.

Where did you stay?
We stayed outside the city itself, on the Lido. Venice Lido is actually a sandbar, essentially a little island, just across from the city. It was the perfect place to stay for us. We had the best of both worlds, the beach or a short water taxi and we were in the centre of Venice. Our hotel was called Hotel Villa MabapaSitting in the hotel's courtyard, overlooking Venice at sunset, felt timeless. 

How long did you stay?
Four nights

What did you do?
We split our time between the Lido and Venice.

On the Lido, we spent our afternoons reading on the beach. There is a much slower pace of life compared with the Venice itself so it was wonderful to relax.

One morning a boat picked us up from the hotel and we sped across to Murano  aka 'the glass island'. (Yes, being collected by a private boat and speeding towards Venice, made me feel like I was in James Bond!) Murano is famous for it's tradition of glass making. Whilst we were there we had a tour of a glass blowing studio. It's such an intricate art and they make such beautiful products (be warned, most are verrrry pricy!)

Part of the charm of Venice is simply walking around. It's a maze of canals, cobbled streets and bridges. My Mother decided that 'it was impossible to get lost in Venice.' She was wrong, it is very easy to get lost in Venice, but you don't mind because with each corner you turn there is just another picture perfect scene. Like this:

And this...

We took a water taxi all the way down the Grand Canal. If you get a chance, do it. It's a wonderful to see Venice, and you get a great view of the Rialto Bridge. 

We visited Basilica San Marco and afterwards walked around Piazza San Marco. We were really lucky because on one of the days that we were in Venice we were hit by a rain storm. Everybody had fled to find shelter and just after it stopped we happened to be in St. Mark's Square. As we walked across it, it was almost empty, so we were lucky to see it free from crowds.

My favourite, favourite, favourite memory about Venice, and possibly one of my favourite ever, was walking through St. Mark's Square one evening. It was a warm summer night and I was eating ice cream. Somebody at a nearby restaurant was playing music and old couples had got up and were dancing with one another. It was the sweetest thing...and so Italian.

What did you eat/drink?
It was Italy, so I made the most of it by ordering Pasta or Pizza at every chance I got. However, for the life of me, I cannot remember the names of the restaurants we went to. If it helps, they were all wonderful...!

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