LA DOLCE VITA - Our italian road trip / Part 1 / MAGICAL VENICE

It's the second day of our road trip, Venice looms in the distance, and I am trembling and bouncing in my seat! This is my third time in Venice, I've been on organized excursions the first two times, and this is definitely not the way to really experience this city. Forget the tourist guide, take the first alley that you like and start wandering! :) There are so many beautiful corners, bridges and canals, you can't make a mistake which ever way you go.

Get in one of the water buses and take a ride through the Grand Canal, instead of spending a small fortune on a gondola ride. :) Also, public transport is very helpful if you are arriving by car, because you have to leave your car at one of the huge parking lots at the entrance of the city, throughout your whole visit. Given that our little flat was on the other side of town, we didn't have to haul suitcases all over Venice, instead we enjoyed the ride and the beautiful scenery of this irresistible and unusual city. :)

This was the first time I spent the night in Venice and had the opportunity to experience it at night. You could immediately feel that one-day tourists have left the city, everything is calm and quite dark. We wandered through who-knows-which residential street next to the canal, and in the silence, surrounded by old buildings and some lone gondola that passes, we can totally imagine how this city felt hundreds of years ago.

But, just around a corner we find groups of people sitting on the streets, bridges, boats and in restaurants by the canal.

Waking up in Venice - what an experience! You wake up in this lovely, Venetian apartment, you look at the high ceiling above, then you realize where you are and rush to the window, see the canal and fall unconscious! Ahhh ... Another day for our proven recipe - wandering without a plan. :) Spontaneous fun, far more enjoying than running around with a list and a map through the groups of tourists who are prepared to spend half of their visit to this city waiting in line to enter the Doge's Palace. Experience the city, not just it's monuments. :)

Then you come across a vintage patisserie shop, buy some coffee and pastries and make a picnic on the bridge. :) This is one of my favorite memories. The bridge was so small, literally a step away from the patisserie shop window full of huge colorful marshmallows. Below, on the steps of the bridge sat an English family, parents with two children around 10 years old, and they talked about how they would cherish this meal more than any they could have had in a restaurant. And they were totally right. :)

I was hoping we would get to visit islands Murano and Burano, but due to the lack of time, we had to leave it for some other occasion. Now, it's time to continue our road trip that takes us to Tuscany. :D One more photo and we are off to Florence! :)

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