On our way to Venice we stopped at two beautiful cities Pisa and Verona. We only stopped in Pisa for 20 minutes which was enough to take pictures in front of the tower just like all the tourists were doing. There wasn’t really much else to do here except get some delicious gelato. One thing I loved was when we got on the coach we had a contest of who had the most creative picture in front of the tower. Although I didn’t win, it was all for the fun of it.
Our next stop was Verona which is where Juliet had lived from Romeo and Juliet. It was very quaint little town. First we went to Juliet’s wall and Juliet’s balcony and I put a note in the wall. Supposedly if you write a note with your address someone will write back to you with advice from Juliet. My friend Kelsey and I also put a heart shaped lock on one of the doors near Juliet’s balcony as well. There was also a statue of Juliet and the legend says if you rub her right breast it gives you good luck especially in love so no matter how awkward it was, I needed all the luck I could get. We had quite a few hours here which was more than enough. We spent most the time shopping even though most of the stores were pretty expensive I got a really cute dress from Mango clothing at a store called Coin for €11. Before we left we sat down with our trip manager for a refreshing Aperol spritz.
We headed to the town outside of Venice in Mestre where we stayed at the Hotel Michelangelo. When we got to the hotel it was definitely different, there were carpets on the walls and they had keys attach to a medallion for our rooms. One thing I did not like about the hotel was that there was only one single bed and one cot for my friend and I. Usually I wouldn’t mind except there was barely any room to walk. There was also no air so it was very hot, we tried opening our window but it did nothing but let the mosquitoes in. After we settled in some of us went to the bar before heading off to bed.
Our first and only day in Venice started off with a half hour boat ride to the city. Venice is made of a bunch of little islands that are connected by bridges so we did a lot of walking. When we got there, we had a short walking tour of the city including St Mark’s Square. After the walking tour we all went to the Murano Glass shop where we saw a glass blowing demonstration. The man made a horse that stands up on its hind legs and it was one of the coolest things I’ve seen. After spending an undisclosed amount of money here, a bunch of us went with our trip manager to get another spritz from a place she recommended from Naranzaria. This restaurant was in a great location right next to the canal. It wasn’t very noisy which I was surprised because of its location.
After drinks, we all were still hungry so our trip manager took us down the block called Cantina Do Spade. Apparently this place is always busy but we lucked out with getting a table large enough to seat about 10 of us. It was a mix between Italian and Mediterranean food. We all chose some tapas that we wanted to try such as fried meats, cheeses and vegetables.
After we ate and our bellies were full of happiness, we took pictures of the sculpture holding up one of the buildings on the Grand Canal. The sculpture was created for the 2017 Venice Biennale. The monumental sculpture was just finished not long before I got there and was built by a man named Lorenze Quinn. The sculpture is titles “Support” which represents the climate change and rising sea levels in Venice. This was a breath taking moment for me. I think this sculpture really captured the effects of global warming. Plus I was excited to be able to see it in person after seeing so many posts about it on facebook.
A ton of shopping later, we got to take a gondola ride throughout the canals. In my opinion, if you visit Venice, you have to take a gondola ride once. Although be careful where you pick one up because they can scam you into paying more money.
Our last stop before heading back to Mestre was for dinner in Burano. Burano is unlike any town you’ve ever seen, covered in colorful houses. The pictures do not do this place any justice. We didn’t have much time here before dinner so we all took tons of pictures of the photogenic houses and I stopped at a local shop to buy my mom a lace scarf since Burano is known for their lace.
For our last dinner all together, we ate at Al Rapso De Ua. Before we got there we chose between chicken, beef or seafood. Depending on what we ordered as the main course, determined what else you would be offered. Although I chose beef, they are known for their amazing seafood. We started off with a glass of white or red wine and a plate of cheese and tomatoes. Next up we got a bowl of some kind of ziti. After a couple other offerings, we finally got the main course. I got my slice of steak which was so tender it melted in my mouth. The steak was serviced with a side of french fries which I thought was quite strange since fries didn’t seem to go with the theme of the restaurant. There was so much food, I was not at all prepared. Even though I was stuffed to capacity, you always have to make room for dessert. Dessert was a bowl of assorted fruits and an Italian dessert. The to wash everything down, our whole tour group did a shot of amaretto. Of course this became my new favorite so I asked the waiter if I could have another one and she came back with a handful for me. Best customer service.
It was a long boat ride back to Mestra, so we decided to have some fun and sing karaoke and do some line dancing to pass the time. Once we finally got back, a bunch of us decided to go out one last time to a bar called Napa Lounge Cafe. The place was small but had decently priced drinks. The vibe was also pretty laid back. There wasn’t a lot of seating but there was enough room to stand and dance around a little. It was so hard saying good bye to some pretty incredible human beings. I met so many awesome people that I know I’ll remember the memories forever. I wouldn’t have changed anything about this trip.