Aug 14, 2014

European Tour, Day 8 & 9, From Ljubljana to Venice

Continuing our Europe Trip from 2013, 
Check out the previous adventures below: 

The previous night, we arrived in Venice from Bratislava and Ljubljana! We had a walking tour and came back to our Hotel Centrale. We were pretty revved up about finally being in Italy, and a group of us from the tour went downstairs to this little side bar the hotel had, and had a couple of drinks! At this point, you are fairly certain of who your new friends are, and are just having fun experiencing all of the locations and getting to know the other members of the group!

After our walking tour of Venice, we headed to the hotel to rest. The next morning, we wake up bright and early in "the new downtown" of Venice! We quickly had our breakfast and headed out to downtown. This is what Expat had to say about the free day in Venice, "The day is yours to explore! The best way to discover Venice is just to get lost in the streets, piazzas and alleyways of the city. Don’t worry, it is easy to find your way back. The day time brings with it opportunity to experience the
 artistic side of Venice. Handmade Venetian masks adorn the windows of the local gift shops, along with lace and stunning glass creations - Want to see how they make them? Head to the islands of Murano and Burano for demonstrations of how these traditional art forms are still made today. St Marks Square is incredible during the day, and a water tour of the Grand Canal is a must do - especially for those wanting those classic Venetian photos! If it is a warm day, why not head for a dip with the locals at the ever popular, Lido Beach? Venice is also well known for wining and dining. There are hundreds of little cafes alongside the canals, offering a unique view of the waterways and a variety of food and wine options. (The pizza is particularly good here!) So if you prefer to sit back and watch the world go by, then Venice is the perfect place for you. Once the sun starts to sink, the piazzas fill with hundreds of people, looking to relax at the end of their day. Live music guides you through the streets and over the canals, and if you didn't try it last night, a gondola ride is surely to be next on tonight’s agenda. Enjoy!"

Venice did not disappoint! We had so much fun winding around all of the alleys and even took the water taxi to the end of the line just to see everything from the water! We also tried to get a gondola ride, but for 4 people they wanted somewhere around $80 per person! That was insane! Especially when they tell you not to touch the water because the sewers lead to it and it's so polluted! Plus, there are speed boats and big water taxis in the water. Now, you are in a gondola, powered by a man, and about 5 inches from the lip of the gondola to that gross water. What if a wake from a boat was just a little too much? I didn't care to grow a third arm, so we said no thanks and walked away!  And, all I could think about was one of my favorite go to movies, The Italian Job! 

It was Carnival while we were visiting, so everywhere there were people dressed up in their Carnival get ups! Some even stopped so we could take pictures! 

We did all of the sites there, St. Marco's square was more beautiful at night than during the day. There were your usual peddlers of blinking toys that seemed to swarm you in 5 second intervals. But it was still one of the greatest things you will ever see. The main draw besides just the greatness of the square, is Saint Mark's Basilica. It was overwhelming how beautiful and majestic this cathedral was! There was an extra charge to visit the treasure room, I forget what they actually call it. Save yourself a few dollars and look at the pictures online.

Now, let's get into every one's dream, the authentic Italian food. We were so excited to try this. In the first day or so of the tour, our tour leader had everyone get in the front of the bus, on the PA system, and introduce themselves. He also had everyone say what they were most excited for. Mine was, of course, Italy and eating as much Italian food as possible. So, on the first free day in Italy, we searched Venice for somewhere that looked good to eat! The closer to all of the action in Venice, the higher the prices. We assumed all places would be good, so on our walk back out of the downtown area, we found this little cafe. Now get this, owned by a Chinese family! The dad was outside soliciting customers, and we fell for it. I'm going to stop here and say, out of all of the places we visited in Italy, this was the best spaghetti we had. All Italian food we consumed needed seasoning! I hate to burst your bubbles, but it was all bland! I wish, so much, that I would've brought little packets of seasoning with me on this trip! 

After our day out and about, I believe we just came back to the hotel, maybe grabbed snacks, and hung out at the bar again swapping stories with our new friends.  It was off to bed semi-early as we were leaving the next morning for ROMA! 

Expat Explore Ultimate Europe Trip


  1. Wow! The architecture there is just stunning. These photos are beautiful!

  2. Ugh I am so jealous of your trip! These pics are amazing!

  3. Venice has always seemed like such a beautiful city, but your pictures have solidified it - I have to go to Venice one day!
    ~Amanda from His and Her Hobbies

  4. Looks amazing! Have you visited Scandinavia? I think no one ever comes here :D

    I challenge you to share your favorite post here:

  5. Love all your European trip posts! Such beautiful pics! xoxo


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