Friday, November 1, 2013

Venice and Florence and Rome, oh my!

This past week was our mid-term break where we were free to travel however we pleased. ALONE. This was the first trip I had ever actually planned without any parental advice (and now wishing I had had some...) a total of 4 of us planned on seeing Italy. We decided to stop in Venice first for 3 days and then Florence for 3 and Rome for 4.  We left on Thursday night on a Ryan Air flight (who are famous for their awful landings) where I ended up sitting next to 2 guys who just happened to go to Notre Dame and were on their break. They were even going to the exact same cities as us! However, what were the chances we'd run into each other? well.... they kept talking about their friend Taylor who was on a different flight to venice.  When we met up with some St. Thomas students in Venice it just happened to be that they were sitting next to this infamous Taylor! What are the odds!? Anyway, we arrived on the island and walked about 15 minutes to our hostel - Venice Luxury Hostel.  Luxury might have been a stretch but we did have a huge room with only 4 beds so we weren't with any strangers and a kitchen that we were allowed to use where we made breakfast each day and dinner one night.  We basically knocked out all the touristy things in Venice the first day so we spent the rest of the time walking around, eating real pizza and pasta, "island hopping", relaxing on gondolas, and napping.

On the first day we went to San Marco Piazza and walked to the top of the bell tower to get the best views of the entire city, had some friendly pigeons come and say hi back in the piazza, had our first taste of cookie of gelato and pizza, sat by the grand canal, and walked all along and found a pretty nice garden.

guard dog?

The next day we found a boat tour that took you to 3 different islands.  The first island was Murano that's famous for glass blowing.  We even got to see a demonstration of glass blowing!

The next island was Torcello which was really quaint and a nice place to just take a walk for awhile.

they're everywhere........

The last island was by far my favorite: Burano. It's famous for its colorful homes.  Each color signifies the different fishing families.  We got to see a lace demonstration in one of the shops on the island. There was even a store named after me there!

This house is probably somewhere I could find my mom one day - it is her favorite color.

I even found something with my sister's name on it... sort of. 

After this boat tour we got on another boat... a different kind of boat... a gondola! The one must-do thing in Venice.  Our gondolier was fantastic and was a great source of knowledge for what else to do with our time in Venice.  We couldn't believe we were actually on a gondola in Venice - that's something that most people never get a chance to do in a lifetime.

The next day we were off to Florence!

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