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I'm Maura! Welcome to my little area of the internet. Hope you stay a while.

Italy Trip Summer 2017: Venice

Italy Trip Summer 2017: Venice

Venice Italy Trip at MauraKeeley.com

Last September, Anthony went on our first trip to Italy together! Anthony had never been and the last time I went I was in high school with our Art & Latin teachers (a very different kind of trip.) Italy has so many areas we want to visit and we had the hardest time narrowing down where to go! After A LOT of discussions, we decided we'd tackle the boot from top to bottom and start our adventures up in northern Italy. Our first stop was Venice... 

Venice Italy Trip at MauraKeeley.com

Venice: 2 days

To be honest, I was not entirely sure what to expect from Venice. From the many opinions I heard, it could be kind of a mixed bag.  Some people loved it, some people...meh. Well...I fell in LOVE with Venice. In planning our trip, we allotted 2 days to explore the city and the surrounding islands. We've learned from our other trips together, we always do better when we kind of ease our way into the touristy parts so our first day we took it easy. One travel pet peeve of mine is running around to each and every touristy site and feeling rushed. My absolute favorite part was wandering the city, almost aimlessly, jumping in and out of cafes, exploring churches and museums without much of a plan. 

Venice Italy Trip at MauraKeeley.com

Highlights:

~ My number #1 highlight without a doubt was our gondola ride. Yes, it is pricy but it is so worth it. Our only strategy in Venice was to take our gondola ride at sunset and I am so glad we did! The ride was magical to say the least (see the photo above.) I'll never forget going down the Grand Canal with this sunset (!!!) feeling on top of the world. 

Venice Italy Trip at MauraKeeley.com | Venice Grand Canal

 ~ Our first night, we were wandering around trying to decide where to go for dinner {there are SO many options!} We had finally decided to eat outside at a small restaurant near our AirBnB when the wind started to pick up. We saw the storm clouds rolling in. and had about 0.5 seconds to clear off the table and run inside before the skies opened up. We settled in to this quaint family spot restaurant with the owners grandson sitting at one of the tables doing his homework. Neighbors and friends poured in shortly after we sat down. We had to be moved around a couple times to accommodate other patrons but we didn't even care! The wine was flowing and for a few minutes we were part of a large Venetian family! 

Venice Italy Trip at MauraKeeley.com

~ My first {ever} Aperol spritz. Enough said. 

Venice Italy Trip at MauraKeeley.com

~ The art. I'm not typically a huge fan of contemporary art but I really enjoyed the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. Juxtaposed against some of the most beautiful art and architecture in the world, this little museum brings out the best of the art worlds by blending the new in with the old. We ran in with an hour to spare before closing and it was a great amount of time to check out the couple of exhibits. I couldn't tell you the artists they featured but the courtyard is not to be missed! 

Venice Italy Trip at MauraKeeley.com

~ Cafe culture. I know, I know. It's not just Venice, it's all of Europe. But there is something special wandering throughout the city, stopping at small little cafes/restaurants where the patrons spill out into the sidewalk. Friends and families meet after work at the local spots discussing the day (at least thatโ€™s what I imagine they're talking about.) Coming from New England where we often feel like we're on the gerbil wheel, it was nice to settle into this slower paced life and really appreciate each moment of our trip.

Venice Italy Trip at MauraKeeley.com

When we go back:

~ I was really disappointed we missed the islands of Burano & Murano as it really was at the top of my list. Can't fit in everything right? Murano is famous for its glass making tradition and Burano is home to the most brightly colored architecture. Burano actually kind of reminds me of an Italian Rainbow Row like in Charleston, SC (go with it...).  Next time, we're definitely taking the public water taxis over to spend a day.

~ Harry's Bar. The famous haunt of Ernest Hemingway, credited for developing the Bellini and Carpaccio. We tried to get in but the line was LONG and we weren't dressed quite properly. Note to self, plan to wear proper footware in the evening!  

~ As far as I'm concerned, a private charter boat from the airport to the hotel/AirBNB is a non-negotiable next trip. Why not channel our inner Amal and George & arrive in style?! 

Okay, now it's your turn! Have you every been to Venice? What were your favorite spots? If you can't tell, I am hoping we'll get back there sooner rather than later. 

Next Up: Bologna

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