Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Travel :: Venice, Italy Part II

Typing this post, I can't help but feel a little wistful.  Even though we returned from Italy over a month ago, being able to slowly dig through my thousands and thousands of photos and compile them into blog posts has allowed me to prolong the vacation that much longer.  But today, I am going to share with you the photos from our last day in Italy that we spent in Venice.

I woke up early on Saturday morning, eager to enjoy every last drop of our trip.  I always feel a bit frantic when I know my vacation is nearing an end, almost desperate to make every single moment count.  We grabbed a quick bite for breakfast and headed out the door straight to St. Mark's Square, hoping to beat the cruise ship crowds that always flood the island from 10AM-6PM.  Upon arriving to the stunning square {it really is even more impressive than the photos} we were pleasantly surprised that the crowds were quite manageable.  The inside of St. Mark's Basillica, a symbol of Venetian wealth and power, was filled with opulent gold mosaics that shimmered and glimmered in the light.  We weren't supposed to take photos inside, but I did manage to snap one for posterity.  We climbed up to the terrace for beautiful views of the square and Doge's Palace, then road the elevator {a welcome treat after two weeks of climbing thousands of steps} to the top of the Campanile for a stunning view of the Venetian lagoon and surrounding islands.  The grey, foggy weather just added to the moodiness of the city.

Ready to take a break from the crowds, we ditched the map and decided to get completely lost in the quaint Castello sestieri of Venice where the majority of locals reside.  Gondolas and water taxis were replaced by tiny row boats and fishing boats.  Colorful houses with doors that opened right onto the canals and window boxes that overflowed with pink flowers lined the canals.  Often times we would just walk and walk until we hit a dead end, then turn around and try another route.  It was quiet and magical, with some of the most ethereal light I have ever seen.  And to top it off, there was a house with green ombre french doors that opened up to a balcony overlooking the canal.  I mean, what more could you ask for?!  To finish up our afternoon we walked once more through the Dorsoduro neighborhood to sit on the scenic tip and watch the boats float by down the Grand Canal.

Our last night in Venice was one of the more special of my life.  It couldn't have been more romantic.  We started by taking a gondola ride at dusk.  Our gondolier, Fabio, was absolutely perfect.  He has been doing it for over twenty five years, and surprised us by singing classic Italian fishing songs the whole time {typically if you want music you have to pay for a trained singer to join you on the boat, an expense which can add another 100+ Euros to your forty minute ride}.  We went down quiet canals, under tiny bridges {some so low we literally had to lean to the left to tilt the boat so Fabio didn't hit his head}, and down the Grand Canal.  The light cast a soft pink glow on the water, the weather was mild and breezy, and my heart felt like it was going to explode with happiness.

After a hug Fabio dropped us off at our destination for the evening - the famed Gritti Palace.  We had decided to go out with a bang, so we made reservations at their Club del Dodge restaurant nearly two months ahead of time to ensure we had a table with a view.  And as high as our expectations were, the Gritti managed to exceed them in every way.  We started with cocktails at their Bar Longhi, first enjoying a Bellini inside the romantic bar then going outside for another drink along the water.  Afterwards we headed to the Club del Dodge and were excited to see we had one of the best tables in the restaurant - on the terrace right along the Grand Canal with an unobstructed view of the iconic church of Santa Maria della Salute.  The entire experience was elegant in every way.  Tables and waiters were clothed in white.  A pianist played classic Italian music on a Grand Piano.  Our food was perfectly prepared - my sole with lemons and almonds absolutely melted in my mouth.  We lingered over our food and drinks, enjoying each other's company and the stunning views while watching the gondolas float by alongside our table.  To finish the evening we walked to St. Mark's Square to once more hear the famous dueling orchestras and take in our last taste of Venice.  It was truly a spectacular night in a spectacular city, one that will remain in my heart forever.  

18 comments:

  1. Oh gosh this place is like a dream! I hope one day I'll be able to visit Italy!!
    xo TJ

    http://www.hislittlelady.com

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  2. Short and Sweet BlogNovember 13, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Oh goodness. You and Kirby both have me dreaming of Venice today. We went in 2007...it was such a dream, a gorgeous city!

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  3. Ahhh!! Absolutely STUNNING photos. That is such a fun part of returning home---editing all the photos...and getting to re-live every.single. moment. :)

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  4. again, bringing back memories of the best year of my life so far. your photos are gorgeous and i really loved every bit of Venice. :)

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  5. I absolutely adore Italy, been a few times and these photos remind me I need to make it back soon! Beautiful photos!

    ~Bev

    http://bevedlybev.blogspot.com/

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  6. Oh wow do I ever love Venice! Hubby and I were there earlier this summer and these pictures make me totally nostalgic for our trip!
    xx Lexi, Glitter, Inc.

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  7. Seriously. Every time I stop over here, you make me want to leave the country asap!! Gorg pics girl! And your little boat man is just presh!

    http://streetlily.blogspot.com

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  8. wow beautiful photos! I want to go to Venice so badly now!

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  9. OMG this post is beyond GORGEOUS:) Your blog is on my fav. list and now

    Check out my blog today...hot modern kitchen inspiration:)

    Have a lovely day dear

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis - Swedish decor, food, and fashion

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  10. Molly {Dreams in HD}November 18, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    thank you polly! it was absolutely amazing, i would recommend it to anyone :)

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  11. Molly {Dreams in HD}November 18, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    thank you so much julie!
    i know, fabio the gondalier was absolutely adorable :)

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  12. Molly {Dreams in HD}November 18, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    that sounds absolutely amazing lexi!
    it is such a romantic city :)

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  13. Molly {Dreams in HD}November 18, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    thank you bev!

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  14. Molly {Dreams in HD}November 18, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    thank you daisy! i loved looking through some of your photos of your time in italy, seriously jealous you were able to call that amazing country your home :)

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  15. Molly {Dreams in HD}November 18, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    i couldn't agree with you more erika! even after you have gone through them all, it is nice sometimes to just sit down with a cup of coffee and pull them up on your computer and mentally take a little vacation :)

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  16. Molly {Dreams in HD}November 18, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    i couldn't agree with you more! and i absolutely loved seeing kirby's pictures, i couldn't imagine a more beautiful and romantic place for a honeymoon :)

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  17. Molly {Dreams in HD}November 18, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    it was absolutely spectacular!

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  18. Venice looks heartbreakingly beautiful. And Molly you have taken the photography to the next level. Nice work!

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