Next stop on our trip: Venice!!
We had decided early on that Venice was a must see during our time in Italy. Its quite a ways from Naples however so a flight was necessary. No problem however because flights throughout Europe are typically pretty cheap. We flew roundtrip for under $100 for the both of us! We arrived in Venice at around 10am and after a little bit of confusion about how to actually get to the Venetian Islands we finally arrived and I. was. in. LOVE.
The colors, the textures, the architecture, the water...it was all just so overwhelming. Paul and I both commented at different times about how it almost feels "fake". It feels like you are at a theme park in a way, its all just so "over the top." I couldn't get past the fact that people actively live and work here. While the tourists are certainly taking over the city almost 70,000 people still live in Venice. We saw children playing ball in the street, we saw some ladies doing an outdoor yoga class at one point...its still a place that people call home and it was just astounding to me.
The main form of transportation in Venice is the Vaporetto (water bus) that literally acts just like a bus. You get a public transportation ticket and there are stops all along the Grand Canal and other areas close to the islands. You go to the "bus stop" wait for it to arrive, hop on the boat and travel to your desired stop and then walk to where you need to go. No cars anywhere and the streets and alleys are a never-ending maze of storefronts, cafe's, hotels bridges, and museums. There is a large university on Venice as well as thousands of vendors selling selfie sticks and other trinkets galore. We found ourselves just having the best time hoping on and off the Vaporetto, wandering the streets, stopping for cappuccino and gelato and parting ways with our money for gifts and memorabilia.
Don't we look so Italian? =)
I was obsessed with all of the amazing doors throughout Venice. I loove a good textured door and there is no lack of exactly this type of door throughout all of Venice.
Another thing we LOVED about Venice was all the dogs. We noticed it pretty much as soon as we got into town. People everywhere had dogs with them. Mostly on the smaller side, but still an unusual amount of people with dogs, especially in such a touristy place. We started counting them, but we got to well over 100 in our first day there so we stopped. One little guy in particular stood out to us because he just wandered behind his human mom following her wherever she went. She was headed the same direction as us, so we watching him follow her for quite a while. Such a cutie.
The area down by St. Marks square and basilica was one of our favorites. We listened to a couple of Rick Steves audio tours while we were there and found the history fascinating. We went up the Campanile as well to check out the view from up high and that did not disappoint.
This square actually floods because of rising tides (and the city is apparently sinking as well) about ONE HUNDRED times a year! Can you believe that!! They have these stacks of what look like tables all over the place to put up when the waters rise so people can walk on those instead. We saw some over in an area near our hotel and couldn't figure out what they actually were at the time. They had some interesting things stamped on them as well, so when we finally figured out what they were it all made sense.
If you are planning a trip to Venice make sure to read this next paragraph, it is hands down my BEST piece of advice from our entire time there. Public bathrooms are HARD TO FIND. They are very few and far between and almost all of them require a fee to use them. Anywhere between .50-1.50 Euro. We figured out a great trick though! Stop at a coffee bar!! Almost all of them have bathrooms and as long as you buy something you can use the bathroom. Espresso/Cappuccino was typically 1.50 eruo so we would go in, get a coffee and then use the bathroom. Perfecto! Also, they feel its very important to let you know their stuff is not made in China! ha!
We stayed two nights in Venice and on Tuesday we headed back to Naples for the remainder of our trip. We celebrated with a lunch at a non-touristy restaurant and TWO scoops of gelato!