When we purchased our tickets for the waterbus at Marco Polo Airport, the man at the ticket window gave us maps of the city. This, with the help of Rick Steve’s and Lonely Planet, was the foundation for our first (and only) full day in Venice. Pen in hand a route was drawn on the map that would allow us to see all of the main sites in Venice (minus the various islands outside of Venice). Ultimately we would spend time throughout the day in Castello, Cannaregio, Santa Croce, San Polo, and San Marco. For those of you not familiar with Venice (as was the case for me before this trip), that’s pretty much every area in the city. What’s neat about Venice is that no matter where you go or what part of town you visit, the scenery is incredible. There’s just something so unique about a city that operates on a different set of rules…no cars allowed, just boats and walking.
Not only was the day filled with picturesque scenery, we also happened to find the best gelato shop in all of Italy. Well, I can’t confirm in all of Italy, but it had to be the best place in Venice. The chocolate mousse gelato was probably one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. I’m not exaggerating…it was just that good!
Around lunchtime we made our way to what was once the ghetto in Venice. Tired and thirsty, we stopped at a little restaurant in Campo Del Ghetto Nuovo to rest and reenergize before the long trek back to our hotel. Stomachs full we hit the streets working our way back towards Ponte di Rialto, one of the most famous sites in Venice. Just before getting to the famous bridge we decided to take some time to relax on the Grand Canal taking in the scenery, gondolas passing by, and watching the city buzz.
Shortly after crossing the bridge, which was insanely crowded, we decided to jump on a waterbus down the Grand Canal back to Piazza San Marco. It’s one thing to see the city walking from place to place. It’s an entirely different experience doing so by boat.
We were hoping to go inside Basilica di San Marco, but unfortunately by the time we arrived it was already closed for the day. So we reverted to Plan B, which involved soaking in the sun near San Marco and enjoying the fact that we were in Venice.
In hopes of getting one more taste of that incredible gelato we headed back towards Campo Giovanni E Paolo. As we approached the shop it became clear that they were closed and we would be unable to. So we did the next best thing…found a place to eat dinner in hopes that for dessert we could have a healthy serving of Tiramisu. While dinner was wonderful, as was the wine, the news about dessert was not so good. They were out! We paid our bill and headed to the next restaurant over to order our sought after dessert. They were quick to serve and we dug right in. However, it didn’t quite meet our expectations.
In an effort to not let our last night in Venice end on a sour note, we went on a search to find some authentic Italian Tiramisu. Weaving in and out of the streets we went searching for the perfect place to indulge. It must not have been our night, as we were unable to find the perfect place…well without spending an arm and a leg. So we settled for one final serving of gelato and called it a night.
If you ever have the chance to visit Venice, it’s a must see. Be prepared to do some walking and take time to soak it all in. I’m looking forward to going back in a couple of weeks when my Mom comes to visit. I guess I just can’t get enough of it!