United Kingdom, Italy · 4 Days · 42 Moments · March 2018

10 Year Anniversary in Venice

26 March 2018

We kept discovering new places on our walk back to the station meaning the hour we’d set aside for the walk went by far too quickly and we ran over the bridge, out of Venice and into a very unpleasant transfer bus.
Final wander and Cicchetti.
The museum and the horses. Probably the best place in the world to sit and people watch!
The only place we were desperate to get inside was St. Mark’s. It’s definitely worth timing it for when the inside is illuminated (between 10.30 and 12.30). We joined the long yet fast moving queue. Luckily we didn’t have bags with us otherwise we would have needed to deposit them first. The ornate golden mosaics are breathtaking! Once inside, we waited a long time to enter the gold palace but it’s a good place to queue! Next time once inside we’d just head straight for the museum, skipping the queue. The signs said no photos inside. As you can see, people weren’t exactly adhering to the rules!
A final wander towards st. mark’s via Venice’s own mini Taj Mahal and the most beautiful hospital in the world!
Our last ride on the vaporetto and a wander around Accademia before breakfast.

25 March 2018

A night time stroll to the other side of Rialto Bridge.
Love the Murano glass! We purchased 1 Euro glass souvenirs and sat by the canal with Cicchetti, spritz and the tastiest olive ever! A superb day of island hopping
We just couldn’t stop taking photos!
Exploring the colourful island
We didn’t really want to leave! The vaporetto across to Murano was a bit of a squash! Bill was convinced I was going to fall into the water due to my great balance!
The weather got even better as the day progressed. So did the crowds!
In need of an energy boost after so much wandering and ‘wowing,’ we found a beautiful place for lunch. We’d probably sat ourselves down at the most high-end place in Burano but it was extremely special and worth every penny of Bill’s money! We’d already spent 5 euros on bottled water and 3 euros on bread before we’d even really ordered anything! I ordered scallop and zucchini gnocchi and Bill ordered fried calamari. Both were delicious. This was the perfect setting for Bill to give me my eternity ring: the colours in the ring matching the colours surrounding us 💖🥂
Picture perfect!
Palm Sunday celebrations and procession.
Our first few hours in Burano. We had the place pretty much to ourselves and were delighted at just how beautiful it is. Definitely one of the prettiest places we’ve ever been. It goes to the top of our list!
Day two = Bill’s planned day. He planned island hopping. A very special day 💖First we caught the vaporetto in the direction of Murano and Burano. We got off one stop prematurely or Burano but it actually made a very pleasant short walk. Bill had chosen Burano for all its colours. It was a very good choice.

24 March 2018

Bill made sure to take some photos of his own, just in case we never heard from Sam again! Seeing somebody else take photos (and get money for it) reignited Bill’s love of professional photography! It’s one extreme or the other. He then spent the rest of the holiday taking thousands of photos from every angle possible! 📷 Super Sam had already postponed a family gathering to honour our appointment. He was now running very late in getting the postponed flight so had to rush. He sent us in the direction of some quality cheap Cicchetti 🍷
Sam took us to a gondola in Accademia. Here the canals are less famous but considerably less crowded so maintain the romance. Our gondola man was happy and helpful. Sam let us have some romantic time on our own, snapping shots from bridges then jumped aboard. A truly magical time a a definite relationship goal achieved!
What we’d been looking forward to the most - a ride in a gondola 💕
Even managed a dance in St. Mark’s!
Made our way to St. Mark’s for some iconic photos amidst the crowds. You wouldn’t think so from the photos. Bill was touchingly concerned that I may step and fall into the canal! I was very chuffed that I could swing from a lamppost! There is no attempt to cordon off or protect from falling into the canals. If you’re not looking where you’re going, you could easily step into a canal without realising! Thankfully we had no small children to worry about!
A unique bookstore prone to flooding! All the books are stored in gondolas or bath tubs! Sam’s favourite place. Just reminded me of Bill’s office so ironically quite symbolic of our life - especially my choice of book! 📚
One of the oldest buildings in Venice. Titanic pose!
Just like us, Sam was up for a walk and a wander. We started off behind our hotel then chatted and walked all over Venice. No idea which way we went: we were too busy chatting, posing and spotting perfect lighting! Sam and his ‘excuse my spaghetti English’ was excellent company giving us lots of interesting facts, impromptu quizzes and even put up with Bill’s questions on real estate.
Sam, our photographer, met us in the alleyway exactly on time and was more than willing to take photos of us on our beautiful hotel balcony. Somewhat put our photos to shame! We were so lucky with the weather. I was concerned we were going to freeze in our specially chosen photo shoot clothes (not wearing them was NOT an option!) but the sun was out and kept us warm. Sam carried my coat around like a true gentleman. Bill appeared to prefer to carry his jumper around his neck like some kind of male model! Any opportunity to pose!
Back at the hotel getting ready for our photo shoot!
We tried to visit some of the churches around Strada Nova but when we arrived at Gesuiti discovered it was closed until 3pm. Instead, we went to find the Jewish ghetto. Up to this point, bill had done a pretty good job of obeying my itinerary but now he was on a mission... I found myself 20 paces behind, stuck among lots of school kids leaving for lunch, worried about time and unable to stop to look at anything in case I lost sight of my husband for ever! This part of the day was done at super speed but at least we found the world’s most beautiful supermarket!
Fabulous carvings, gondola spotting (80 euros a ride!) and a lunchtime calzone on the way back to the hotel.
Destination San Giorgio for the ‘secret’ best view of Venice. It was a short hop across the lagoon from St.Mark’s but definitely away from the throngs of crowds. We were pretty much the only ones there, taking the lift up by ourselves then enjoying the view with just the odd other person. Watch out for the bells that chime every half an hour right above your heads - we jumped out of our skins! The constant serenade of Church bells in Venice was a real treat and added to the timeless atmosphere.
Today was my day to plan. First stop, canal hopping along The Grand Canal. We purchased 2 day vaporetto passes for 30 euros each. A good investment. The ride wasn’t always comfortable and quite often packed to the brim like a game of sardines but definitely very convenient when walking anywhere required at least an hour’s leeway for ‘getting lost!’
Breakfast served in our room. Venice definitely isn’t an early rising city! The earliest we could have breakfast was 8am which when you’re used to being woken up at 5am and can’t function without a cup of tea, seemed like a long wait!

23 March 2018

A few places that would become important landmarks - chocolate shop (Limoncello chocolates are yum!) pirate sweet shop - familiar places that we could hold onto in the maze of alleyways and canals and the ever present Calle Pestrin!
First night explorations down the Strada Nova to St. Mark’s Square via Rialto Bridge. Famous sights overload!! We’d actually timed it just right seeing these places for the first time at night as they were less crowded and maintained much more of their ‘magic’ and charm than if we’d first encountered them alongside most of China in the daytime. Listened to the Florian orchestra play in St. Mark’s. Ordered our first Cicchetti, proper Italian hot chocolate and prosecco (by the carafe) then headed off into the alleyways and canals. Getting back was interesting. All the guide books advise ‘get lost in Venice.’ Little did we realise just how easy it is to do exactly that!
Some more shots of the hotel!
Arrived to our hotel - Ca Da Vale. Superbly located, very quiet and a room fit for royalty. We loved the typical Venetian marble mosaic floor, the Murano glass chandelier and the balcony looking out onto the canal. Not so sure about the cherubims above our bed but they did remind us of Isaac and Lewis!! 😇
The coach transfer from Treviso (which seems to be very much out of the way) was slow but comfortable. The bridge connecting the main land to Venice empathised Just how separated it is. All non water based transport options stop at Piazza Roma and the step back in time begins. Blissful! We jumped on the first Vaporetto, getting off at Ca D’Oro, just a few minutes from our B and B. Blessed with beautiful weather, Venice was exactly how we’d always imagined it. It possesses a constant and unchanged charm. With no modern buildings or traffic, very little change can occur which makes it a truly unique and timeless destination. I almost regret not having visited before but then a visit to Venice can only be truly appreciated when accompanied by romance and this holiday I actually got it! ❤️
Our first glimpse of Venice and everything we’d pictured it being! Picture perfect 👌
Breathtaking views over The Alps. Getting very excited about what Venice has in store; we have both dreamed of it for a long time.
Stansted looks so much better these days. Disappointingly we were banished to the dark and dingy ‘Escape Longe.’ £25 per head wasted on lambrini and plain sandwiches. Generous G and Ts however did make for a quick and pleasant fight and helped numb my sadness after we discovered Bill’s wedding ring (that he hasn’t worn for 9 years) no longer fits! Was also a nice feeling knowing the screaming child wasn’t anything to do with us!