European Travel

One of the best things you can give yourself is the gift of travel.  Why?  Because traveling opens your world to new experiences, cultures, sights, sounds, tastes, relationships, and lessons.   And when you add Venice, Italy as a destination, you will see what I mean!

Venice is well-known for it’s old world architecture.  The structures are in beautiful shades of rust and gold tones with facades that transport you into another era.  You could easily forget that you’re in the 21st century were it not for the electronic devices or occasional pair of ear buds in sight.

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Because Venice is situated among numerous islands that are separated by canals, getting from one part of the city to another requires navigating a maze of streets and crossing bridges.  If you use a good paper map, you will need a great sense of direction — but today’s GPS systems will make it a breeze.  However, I recommend you give yourself time, wander around, get lost…then wander some more.  If you are up for the challenge, you could find yourself enjoying cafe in a plaza, exploring a palace, or souvenir shopping on the bridge of the Grand Canal.

Taylor001Palazzo Ducale

The locals are friendly and more than happy to recommend restaurants that are not so touristy.  Risotto and fish are food staples for Venetians, but you can find Italian favorites like pasta.  The Italian pizzas have a flat crust and it’s very different that what is served in America (there is no such thing as “deep dish”).  Alle Testiere is still widely popular for dining (check out the reviews on TripAdvisor).  No matter where you go, you will find the dishes colorful, appetizing, and delicious!

Here are my top 5 things to do while in Venice:

  1. Visit Cà del Sol at Campo S. Maria Formosa. This store has the most amazing masks!  Wear them to a costume party or make your way back for Carnevale – the celebration usually held in February).
  2. Take a boat ride to the island of Murano and visit the glass factory.  You can tour the factory and view artists as they craft some of the most beautiful glass art in the world.
  3. Visit the Piazzetta de San Marco to channel Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice”.  The waterfront is grandeur and so beautiful that it inspires a great admiration of creation.
  4. A Gondola ride.  OK, it sounds touristy but you can’t visit and leave without one!  I recommend going at night.  Gliding through the dark canals and hearing the crashing sounds of water heightened my senses and made the journey unforgettable!
  5. Bridge Exploring because there are lots of them!  The Bridge of Sighs is most popular.  It connects the Pallazzo Ducale with the prisons across the canal.  Legend says that when prisoners crossed the bridge, they would let out a sigh as they saw their last view of freedom.

Taylor006Cà del Sol

Which European destinations are you eager to visit?  Comment, like, and share…

Ciao!

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