On a Mission for Pizza

It’s hard to believe that in only one day we went from Florence to Venice where we explored the canals and wandering streets and had an amazing time! 

Of course we needed some quality food in our bellies to get us started, so breakfast at the hotel included a bowl of yogurt, muesli, chocolate crisps cereal and pineapple and a side of runny and totally tasteless eggs and tomatoes.

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Fortunately a perfectly flaky Nutella croissant made up for the subpar eggs. My sister and I couldn’t get enough of this bad boy!

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After breakfast, we hopped on the bus for a 3-hour drive to Venice.

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Our drive took us through the Apennine Mountains which were lush and green and just gorgeous!

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Once again we had a little too much fun exploring the odds and ends at the rest stop about halfway through our drive.

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Can you imagine how long it would take to get to the center of that tootsie roll lollipop?

Of course we found the Italian version of American movies highly entertaining yet again.

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Once back on the bus, my sister and I gave our mother her Mother’s Day card!

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We all said how happy we were to be able to spend this special day together as a family. It was such a treat!


The drive to Venice went very quickly and before we knew it, we were hopping on a ferry across the lagoon to the heart of Venice.

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My whole family and I ooh-ed and ahh-ed as we puttered through the water and took in the sights. The buildings coming right out of the water and the ornate churches looked like they were out of a painting.

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After debarking the ferry, we walked with our group through the teeny streets until we arrived at a local shop to watch a glass blowing demonstration.

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The demonstration was really cool!

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It was really neat to see the process unfold and watch the glass come out of an extremely hot furnace and be molded into a gorgeous pitcher with uniquely crafted handles.

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And good news! It can be yours for the small price of one million euros! Okay, not really, but this stuff is expensive. My mom bought a tiny glass bead and we called it a day.


After the glass blowing demonstration, my family and I were about to eat our hands, so lunch was the next activity on the agenda.

Last night I jotted down brief walking directions to La Perla, a pizza restaurant a few of you told me we had to try! We walked and tried to follow my directions and consulted a map to try to get there, but we got lost about a thousand times. Everyone says you will get lost in Venice and they’re right… but that was part of the fun! At one point we said we felt like we were on some kind of a scavenger hunt!

You definitely can’t complain about getting lost when you find yourselves on top of bridges that overlook canals like these…

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With the help of a very kind English-speaking concierge at a local hotel, we eventually found La Perla and practically jumped for joy!

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We headed inside and immediately had a good feeling about the place. The only people eating there spoke Italian and it didn’t have that touristy feel. We wanted authentic Italian food from a hole-in-the-wall kinda place and this was it!

We all placed separate orders but shared everything. My contribution to the ordering was a veggie pizza that was fantastic!

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My sister’s lasagna was also a big hit.

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It was really cheesy and creamy. Her pick may have been my favorite!

It felt great to enjoy a real Italian meal at a slow pace with my family. We had a wonderful time just chatting away and sampling each other’s dishes.

On our way out of La Perla, as we were walking down a random little street, my mom spotted the tiny entrance to a hidden church. When we walked inside, this breathtaking view was before us…

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There were candles flickering everywhere and the ambiance was still and intimate. My sister and I placed a euro in a box to light a candle and say a prayer while we were inside. It really was a neat moment.

Here’s the name of the church just in case any of you make your way to Venice and want to check it out…

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Gelato + Bellinis

A little sweet treat was on our minds next and when we stumbled upon a gelateria, my mom ordered a meringue mousse gelato for all of us to share.

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It tasted like cold, creamy marshmallow fluff! We were in love. My sister and I agree that the mousse-type gelatos are our favorite. They’re harder to find and aren’t located in every gelateria, but they’re worth the hunt!

Up next on our to-do list was a quick stop to Harry’s Bar for peach bellinis!

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The bellinis were sweet, sparkly and so, so good!

They were served with a little bowl of olives that I dominated. I am a huge olive-lover and these olives were some of the best I’ve ever had. If the bellinis weren’t so pricy, I would’ve gladly stayed there and ordered another one (or eight) with another side of olives.

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No Pope

On our way back to meet up with our group, we had to make our way through some heavy crowds because the Pope was arriving at 5 p.m. We were really hoping to catch a glimpse of him, but he’s a sneaky little fellow and stayed safe in his glass dome away from all of us.

Our tour group boarded the ferry back to the mainland as all the Pope commotion really started to pick up. Fortunately we managed to miss a lot of the chaos and made it back quickly and without much trouble.

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Once back at our hotel, we relaxed until it was time for another group dinner.

I’m just gonna let this picture of my entrée do the talking on this one…

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Yeah… Let’s just say my family and I had a lot of laughs over dinner. SmileWhen my sister thought the zucchini was pickles and I thought the chicken was fish, we knew we were in for a treat.

At least the tiramisu was good!

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Time for bed! We’re off to Switzerland in the morning!

P.S. The Fashion page was updated!


  1. says

    I love the amounts of gelato you’ve been eating on this trip- absolutely the way to do it 🙂 I’ve never seen a Nutella croissant before and I am so intrigued. Chocolate croissants are heavenly, so I can’t imagine how incredible the creaminess of Nutella is!


  2. Holly @ The Runny Egg says

    I’ve seen a glass blower in action before — it is super cool to watch!

    All of that food looks incredible!


  3. says

    AHH I WENT and saw a glass blowing demonstration when I was in Venice.. A WHILE AGO! I was probably 5 at the time… I wonder if we went to the same place- !!! DANG that croissant looks amazing!! and those lollipops are HUGE! if only they were filled with peanut butter! 😀 oh but candy + pb = yuck.. so scratch that!


  4. janet says

    Those meals they serve you look strangely NON Italian … hope you have the chance to have an amazing fondue in Chiurgia (Switzerland”s official name … my mom is from there!)

    Happy Mother’s Day to your mom (and you … Sadie counts!!!)


  5. says

    Looks like you guys are having a fabulous time! I would have to agree with you, I loved the fluffy gelato when I was in Italy. Sadly, I didn’t get to go to Venice, although your pictures looks BEAUTIFUL! I am loving the big veggie slices on your pizza. The Italians know what’s up!


  6. says

    I love the photos. The second “canal” pictures is actually a picture of the hotel I stayed at with my family in Venice! It brings back such good memories. Hope ya’ll are having a wonderful time!


  7. Amy says

    The gelato looks soooo good!

    Glad you were able to find a hole-in-the-wall type place! Sounds like your family had a fun time finding the place 😉


  8. says

    I am LOVING the vicarious touring I’m doing through your trip 🙂 Definitely can’t wait to make it to Italy, still a little bummed I didn’t make it there when I was living in France.


  9. says

    I am loving these recaps! I have never been out of the country but your experience is sure kickin my bum to go
    That kind of gelato sounds exactly like something I would enjoy too. I used to (err still!) eat Fluff right out the jar with a spoon 😀


  10. says

    I loved getting lost when I was in Zurich. That really is all part of the adventure!

    And I love how there are whole, grilled pieces of veggies on that pizza. It looks delicious! 🙂


  11. says

    Nutella croissant and muesli…oh how i miss Europe!

    I think you are going to the town I used to live in tomorrow. Lugano!? So excited to see posts of Lugano since I haven’t been back there in 5 years. Take lots of pics for me please. 🙂


  12. says

    Looks amazing! When I was in Italy… I had some personal issues that were nagging me. I lit a candle at a beautiful church in Rome and prayed my little heart out. My mom snapped a photo of my back while I was praying and when we got it developed (this was 8yrs ago) there was this amazing ray of light on me. It brought tears to our eyes! And you know what.. my prayers were answered 🙂 It’s a magical place. Enjoy!


  13. says

    Your blog has been making me so hungry these last few days (In a good way :))! I Have been craving good pizza! To bad I live in the wrong country (Japan…) The pictures you took are amazing! Looks like a blast! 🙂


  14. says

    oh.my.goodness. Venice looks INCREDIBLE!!!! I *must* visit there! And that’s such a bummer that the tourbus meals aren’t that great.. i mean seeeerisouly, y’all are in Italy! They should be serving amazing meals! Glad you were able to branch away and find a yummy hole in the wall, and of course, gelato!!


  15. Sylvia @ Frolic Through Life says

    What is with all the jumbo size products at the rest stops. Haha I’ve never seen a lolipop that big. You’d need like 4 people to finish it.


  16. mary says

    I have loooooved reading about your trip to Italy! I’m going in June to visit my cousin who is studying abroad in Rome so it’s fun to read about all the places that we should go! Have a great time. I’ve heard that Switzerland is gorgeous!


  17. Celina says

    Im swiss and let me just say Switzerland will BLOW YOUR MIND! Loving the recaps and lots of pictures:)
    Enjoy tomorrow!!!!


  18. Tori (Fresh Fruition) says

    Beautiful photos. That pizza looks amazing! I just had traditional Italian pizza for the first time last night (Neapolitan to be exact). I definitely prefer it over American pizza! So flavorful and fresh.


  19. says

    Venice looks just as amazing as I’ve always pictured it. I love the canals at that church! Enjoy the rest of your trip, it looks like a fabulous time.


  20. says

    Beautiful pictures!! I really want to try gelato! It looks so delicious! I can’t wait to follow along with the rest of your trip! I’m glad you are having a wonderful time! 🙂


  21. says

    Wow! It’s so great you’ve been able to blog from Italy. It’s so nice of you to let your readers “experience” Italy with you! If I were in Italy, I’d be just like you at those rest stops. I swear, American rest stops have nothing on those babies ;-). Looks like the pizza was worth the wait!


  22. says

    I’m so glad you found somewhere delicious to eat lunch! I’m sorry I didn’t check my twitter at all this weekend. Fail! It looks like y’all have had beautiful weather and are really enjoying your trip! It is so fun to see your pictures and read about your adventures. I look forward to reading about the rest of your trip! I hope it continues to be just as awesome as it seems to have been so far! :]


  23. Kate @ NaturaStride says

    I am so enjoying these posts from abroad! I went to Venice about 10 years ago and also feel in love with the food, gelato, and the quaint little streets. Love the pictures! Keep them coming and enjoy!


  24. Amber K says

    The gelato looks amazing yet again! While I won’t be in Venice, I can’t wait until I go to Vegas again. I can go to the Venitian and pretend I’m in Italy, lol.


  25. Vivianne says

    Your pictures look like they were taken straight out of a magazine. I’m so jealous of your trip! It looks like you are having an amazing time and seeing some amazing places.

    I’m really enjoying reading about your adventure!


  26. says

    Waw Venice is beautiful! A fantastic trip! I can’t believe you’re already leaving for Switzerland, so much to come! The pics are lovely, you for a great family ^^


  27. says

    Hello from Singapore! I really enjoyed reading your Europe posts. I’l be gg for the same tour with my parents and sister in a mth’s time.. Really looking forward to it! how long we’re u guys given in Venice to be on your own?


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