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.
Fortunately a perfectly flaky Nutella croissant made up for the subpar eggs. My sister and I couldn’t get enough of this bad boy!
After breakfast, we hopped on the bus for a 3-hour drive to Venice.
Our drive took us through the Apennine Mountains which were lush and green and just gorgeous!
Once again we had a little too much fun exploring the odds and ends at the rest stop about halfway through our drive.
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.
Once back on the bus, my sister and I gave our mother her Mother’s Day card!
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.
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.
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.
The demonstration was really cool!
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.
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…
With the help of a very kind English-speaking concierge at a local hotel, we eventually found La Perla and practically jumped for joy!
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!
My sister’s lasagna was also a big hit.
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…
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…
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.
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!
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.
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.
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…
Yeah… Let’s just say my family and I had a lot of laughs over dinner. When 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!
Time for bed! We’re off to Switzerland in the morning!
P.S. The Fashion page was updated!