I was feeling really beat after spring break, and I was super excited to take the coming weekend off, but then Annie suggested we go to Venice, and I just couldn’t say no.
We got there midday Friday and we needed to catch a traghetto (water bus) in order to get to our hostel. It was only later that afternoon, when we were walking through town, that I realized we had needed to take a water bus because there aren’t real roads in Venice. There are streets, but they were made for walking, and the main method of transportation is by boat. I love the water, so this was my kind of place!
We spent the evening walking around St. Mark’s square and climbed to the top of the campanile (bell tower). Well, it wasn’t really climbing; there was an elevator – but in any case, we got up there, and it was awesome to be able to look out over the islands that make up Venice (more on this later).
So then we went to dinner at a restaurant along the a canal that we saw had a great meal-deal; 4 courses for only €15! I ended up getting spaghetti with cuttlefish ink sauce (which made the spaghetti black), sea bass in “crazy sauce” (which just seemed like a butter and garlic sauce), roasted potatoes as a contorni (Annie got salad, which was literally a bowl of lettuce), and this desert that was like an un-toasted crème brûlée. Overall, one of my better meals.
Our second day got started early with an exploration of The Doge’s Palace, a climb to the top of St. Mark’s Basilica, and a walk through the Correr Museum and the National Archeological Museum of Venice. Then, after lunch, we went on a gondola ride through the “streets” of Venice and went on a guided walking tour of the town. Following a walk along the Rialto Bridge, we went to this mom-and-pop-like mask store near our hostel, where I got a ceramic Carnevale mask as a souvenir, and then off to a little restaurant for dinner before returning to our hostel for the night. Venice shuts down around 7, and with the tiny, poorly lit streets, we were forced to turn in early. But in doing so, we got plenty of sleep for our next day of travelling!
We packed up our things and brought them with us as we took the water taxi to the island of Murano, which is famous worldwide for its handblown glass. We wanted to see the glass museum, which actually consisted of only three smallish rooms, but we got there so early, we got to spend some time sitting outside at a cafe and playing card games. Murano is small and simple, so after the museum, we got back on the water taxi because then it was off to Burano.
When I first heard about Burano, its description was simply, “that place with the colorful houses.” Research then told me that it was known for its lace production, and so we spent the rest of our free time here. The little town is so cute and quaint! The houses really are colorful, and it makes the island that much prettier. We went to the lace museum, which was interesting, but, like Murano, small, and so we spent the rest of our time just walking around among the colored buildings before we had to catch another boat back to the train station to return to Perugia.