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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Really Romantic Honeymoon Destination

Last weekend I visited Venice with my family (my daughter and son-in-law were visiting from Australia). It's about 6 hours drive from where we live in Switzerland. They call Paris the city of love - and you'll see later in the month from my son-in-law how romantic Paris is - but to me, Venice is just as romantic, and not just because of all those canals and gondolas (see pics).

I love the snaking little alleyways, the stories of Marco Polo (and seeing his house, and his family business building, still standing). Casanova's house (see second pic from left) is still there. The lion is the protector of the city, and they have little lion heads on almost all buildings. There are also knights, as we saw from our gondola, at Casanova's house (again, see pic) to protect the people from invasion. We were lucky to come on regatta weekend, after the Venice Film Festival (I believe there were loads of famous people still there, but we didn't see any). The regatta was wonderful - it's a series of gondola races rather than sailing boats. Each team dresses in the colours of their gondola, and pushes the gondola to victory.

As to sights, the Piazza San Marco (see third picture from left) was amazing, and really filled with thousands of pigeons (my son got covered in them, ick); the Doge's Palace was really exquisite, the clock amazing. There is a leaning tower just a few blocks from San Marco - we didn't know about it until we saw it (see photo of my son "pushing" it). On San Michele the is the famed Murano glass blowing, and you get a free trip out and tour with most hotel stays. It's amazing stuff - they display a lot in the stores and they do massive paint brushes to tiny ants, all blown glass.

There are tiny restaurants everywhere as well as the big, expensive tourist ones, with terrific pizza, risotto, pasta or western dishes, and a ton of fresh seafood (we found a fantastic courtyard restaurant when we got lost in an alley - terrific food!); there are tons of handbag sellers, gelato stores (indescribably excellent - I thought Swiss ice cream was great!), and stores for their famous masks (see inset, again with my son). We found a blues festival, markets in unexpected places, got lost in a delicious way, finding exquisite little houses and ancient churches, one with the best acoustics I've ever heard - St Maria something (sorry!).

We only spent two days there, and I could have spent many more. I'd thoroughly recommend it for a honeymoon destination - and not far away is the city of Romeo and Juliet, Verona; Florence is only a few hours away with all its exquisite artwork and museums; because it's an island, the ocean is right there as well as those canals. We got quite a good deal on a 4 star hotel online, and the rooms were very comfortable and the food for breakfast, very good.

On the way home, we drove through the stunning scenery of the Italian Tyrol Alps. (See last picture on right.) Well worth the 11 hours it took to get home, just seeing all this beauty. We've decided to return next summer for a few days of exploring!



Blogger Shirley Jump said...

I love it! It's gorgeous!! DH and I were talking about how we'd love to go to Europe. We're thinking of going in a few years, so we can take the kids. And have them remember it :-) I'd hate to spend all that money and have them forget the trip! :-)


October 29, 2008 at 6:44 AM  
Blogger Brandy said...

My hubs and I would love to visit Europe. It sounds fabulous! Thanks for sharing!

October 29, 2008 at 6:40 PM  

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