This trip was a long time coming. We had said, on our wedding day, that we would spend our 5 year anniversary in Italy. Then my dad got sick and eventually passed away the December before our anniversary in July. I immediately assumed that there was no way we could go this year with all the changes my family was going through. One late night at my mom's house we were talking. She talked about all the things she and my dad had planned when he finally retired, which was not even a year away. All the trips and adventures they will never take. She told me not to wait on our trips and adventures. Do them as soon as we can before it's too late. It really struck me. It has been difficult dealing with my dad being gone, but I realized there was something to learn here. I talked with my husband and we agreed we just had to do it. We started planning in April. We left July 3rd.
We flew out early morning from LAX with US Airways. I recommend early flights because we landed the next morning in Italy. Our first flight, to Philadelphia was horrible. I had to write a strongly worded letter to US Airways for our overall experience on their airlines. More on that later. After our layover in Philadelphia and once we got onto the plane we took Advil PM. We slept most of the time over the Atlantic, about 8 hrs. We arrived in Italy, mostly refreshed and ready to go!
We flew into the Venice Airport, Marco Polo. There was literally no customs for us to go through, which was a pleasant surprise. As soon as we got our luggage, we walked out and stayed to our left and followed the long walk way to the vaporettos.
|Vaporette Station at Marco Polo|
NH Manin Hotel, which was convient since it was just steps away from the vaporetto stop and on the Grand Canal. We had read online several complaints of the vaporetto being noisy at night, but really we didn't think there was anything so loud to complain about it. This hotel was ideal. It was fairly updated (as far as Italian hotels go), free wifi, great breakfast included, and very friendly. It was far away from the bustling busy part of Venice but literally we could walk anywhere we wanted to get to and be there in 15 minutes. Very good location in my opinion. Huge reminder, if you don't like to walk, don't go to Venice. You will walk A LOT in Venice. But the walks are just beautiful. Everywhere you turn, it's a postcard/pinterest picture.
One can truly get lost in Venice. It's tranquil and there's just so much to take in. Whether you prefer to spend time looking at the basilica and the major tourist attractions or getting lost in the little canals like we did, you're going to experience a type of Italy that's only available in Venice.
This is really the one of the only photos we took for the famous St. Mark's Square. It was really cool to be there and see it in person, however it was over crowded, very touristy, very expensive, and just not worth more time than a quick look around in our opinion.
There's more Venice than one post can hold, so check back again for part 2!