After a little train mix-up on our way out of Sirmione that caused us a 2.5 hours wait at the train station*, we were finally on our way to Venice!
(*E and I decided to purchase EURail passes ahead of time in hopes that it would save us a little money and plenty of time from waiting in line, but we quickly learned our lesson. Even though each of our passes were good for one full day of traveling, there was limited seating for the EURail passes, and you were still required to pay for seat reservations. It didn't save us much time and any money. AND, twice, we were given seats that appeared to be next to each other, (Like 23A and 24A) but were an aisle or a row apart. REALLY annoying!)
We arrived in Venice around 9pm pretty exhausted from the day. It was pouring rain as we hopped off the train and walked off the platform....right up to the edge of a canal!
We reeled at the cost of the taxi boat, but it was dark and raining cats and dogs and we weren't about to try to find our way around in the dark (If you've been to Venice you know how difficult it can be to find your way around in the daylight with a map!)
We board the water bus (called Vaporettos) and followed Rick Steve's instructions to our hotel.
We stayed at Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo, which we found to be totally charming and was owned by two friendly and helpful brothers.
The next morning we woke up and headed down for breakfast...I was blown away! It was set in a tiny, quaint courtyard with birds flitting around and a gentle breeze. Sorry to wax poetic, but really it was the most relaxing surreal setting I could have imagined. This was Italy!
We enjoyed a cappuccino every single morning, along with fruit and a crescent or two.
Also I was obsessed with Nutella. My aunt used to bring it back from Germany and I thought it was the best treat ever. There wasn't a day on our trip I went without!
After breakfast, we couldn't wait to get out and explore!
We thought Venice was just magical...I don't even want to bore you with all the stories of our adventures (ok, they weren't that exciting), but still, I'll just let the pictures do the work for me:
Hubby was an expert map-reader and tour guide and led us through the streets of Venice (though some were so narrow, I'm not sure how they could be counted as roads)
This water looks appetizing, no?
Italy wouldn't be a complete without a nude statue of a boy holding a dead frog:
Sitting on the steps listening to a classical guitarist:
We may have voted this place best gelateria in Italy:
We had a dinner on the vines covered terrace of this lovely restaurant:
and ended the night at the Rialto Bridge, where it all begin.
Up next, St. Mark's Basilica and a gondola ride!