Today we headed to Venice! This was top of mom’s list to see. Originally we were going to day trip from Rome via flight – but they had canceled it a while back. At the last minute I swapped around a couple things and added it back in via bullet train.
We decided to take the 1120 train so we could enjoy your room as long as possible (really the only downside to the room was the fact we got eaten alive by mosquitos). Mom has been carrying my Nike backpack and her pink purse and I have been carrying both big backpacks. It has been working for us! I would much rather carry a backpack any day than help move a suitcase. Anyway, its a nice 10 minute walk over to the train station from our room so we headed out a little early since I had to buy tickets.
We havent been planning anything other than our hotels in advance and we ran into an issue of having to sit across the aisle from each other on this train, but that still wasnt a big deal because we were still at least close. This train to Venice was busy, probably because it was a Saturday. After two hours we had made it to Venice, the city of water!
We had a quick walk, over the grand canal to our hotel. Thankfully we keep getting lucky and getting rooms only one flight up so we arent stuck lugging our bags up lots of stairs. We got a corner room with THREE windows (one of them was in our shower). The front of the building is being redone so one of the windows didnt open, but the other two did and we had a view of a couple bridges and the grand canal. It is awesome!
We unloaded our stuff and headed out on foot to St. Marks Square so we could go to the basilica and see the wavy floors. After about 15 minutes we stopped at what ended up being our favorite meal so far on the trip – by far! We started with bruschetta, mom had lasagna and I had 4 cheese gnocchi. It was just wonderful.
After lunch we headed on our way to St Marks square. We crossed over so many little bridges, saw so many narrow passage ways. Its just so cool wandering through Venice. When we made it, we took a little break next to the church. I got up to try and figure out where to buy tickets because online it said you had to buy them off site on Saturdays and Sundays. (it should be noted, this was a lie.) I got online and there were no tickets left for the day so I thought for sure we couldnt get in. I was so bummed. We had given up and were walking away towards the water when I saw a long line. I realized this line was for the tickets you could buy IN THE CHURCH!!
So, we waited. We had 45 minutes until they stopped letting people in, I thought it would be close, we may not make it. But luckily WE DID!! While we were in line there, we bought tickets to the bell tower, because they have a lift you can take to the top (the only way I can get mom to go up anything now).
We got into the church after a vaccine check and a temp check. The floors werent as wavy as I remember – but it was still cool to see. I also forgot how beautiful the ceilings were decorated. In November of 2019 – they had a major flood that did some damage to the floors so they raised money to have them worked on. Shockingly – the work has already started. Not shockingly, its not even close to being done. Italians are known for taking FOREVER to get anything done.
After St Marks we walked around the square until it was our turn to go up in the bell tower. The sights from the top were just amazing. It was a clear day and we could see forever.
After the bell tower we went to take the boat/bus back to the hotel. We went on the outside of the islands. Basically the boat just bounces from shoreline to shoreline stopping at each stop like a bus would.
We got off a stop earlier than we intended because I saw a grocery store and we have been on the lookout for these Nutella biscuit things. And guess what – we FOUND them!! Then we had to figure out how to check out haha. That took longer than finding them!! Once we checked out we walked back towards our hotel, but by then I was hungry so we sat down at a pizza place and had some of the best pizza!! It was Naples style but it was so good!! Four cheese of course!
After pizza we had a really long 10 steps back to the hotel for bed. The room is like 1950s style. Fabric padded walls, old beds, really old comforter (the views and bathroom made up for it). We were nervous we werent going to sleep. We ended up sleeping fine. But of course, we left the windows open so we had more bugs come in and bite us.
Tomorrow we head back to Rome! And we are staying at a Hilton, so hopefully we have screens on our windows?