Venice with a Touch of Florence

Venice with a Touch of Florence

Today, we began another day of adventure!

We woke up, got ready, and checked out of the hotel. We then made our way to the train station, put our bags in storage, and headed into the main city again.

After a night of rain and a particularly high tide, the streets were flooded! Luckily,pumping efforts were underway and raised platform walkways had been placed out. Unfortunately, San Marco's square was completely underwater by the time we got there, so we had to take a lunch break while the square was drained…

Luckily, a short while later, it was drained and all was well! We adventured through the square, saw gondolas and more glass shops, and even had some more gelato! (I can almost hear the gasps of surprise at that last one…)

Eventually, we made our way back to the train station, had some coffee at a nearby cafe, and boarded the train to Florence. In Florence, we set up base at the hotel, I ate some amazing gnocchi (with Gorgonzola cheese and pine nuts) and sausage pizza, we walked to the riverbank, and I even got a tiny cannoli to sweeten my taste buds.

 

Tomorrow is another day of adventure! Pictures below!

Starting the day

 

The flooded streets

 

 

 

Travel-buddies!

Caitlin on a bridge

 

Myself on a bridge!

 

Venice Canal. Beautiful.

 

Gimme PIZZA.

 

Gorgeous Glass

 

San Marco's Square

 

Me in the Square

 

Gondolas

 

Gondolas

Tracey on the Bridge

Gelato…

 

 

Gnocchi in Florence

 

More P.I.Z.Z.A.! Let's get carried away!

Cute Canoli

 

Florence Bridge

Florence at Night!

 

Italy- the Ad-Ven(ice)-Tures of our first day.

Italy- the Ad-Ven(ice)-Tures of our first day.

It has been a pretty crazy day.

We left the flat at two in the morning, hopped on a bus to Liverpool Street, hopped on another bus to Stansted Airport, made it through security and massive lines, and got on the flight.

 

A few hours later, we landed and walked off the plane into Venice. A short bus ride took us to a station near our hotel and we trekked over to the hotel. We checked in, and the owner gave us a ton of information on how to get into the main, most interesting parts of Venice. After checking in, we took a much needed nap.

 

Post-nap, we set out on our adventures in Venice. It was a drizzly day that devolved into a downpour, which was a bit of a letdown weather wise, but we had a great time anyway. We had some authentic (and amazing) Italian espresso, freshly brewed and with a bit of decadent frothed cream.

My Magnificent Caffè Macchiato

We continued to walks around, exploring Venice. We found countless amazing pieces of glasswork from Murano and other small amazing things. We scurried from shop to shop, flitting between the awnings as the rain poured down.

 

Eventually, we found a really reasonable and tasty restaurant to eat a late lunch/early dinner. I ordered some Gnocchi alla Bolognese and we also shared some pizza. Both were absolutely heavenly. The pizza was delicate, with thin crust, a subtle tomato sauce, and a crispy-but-not-burnt crust. The gnocchi were so freshly made and were complemented by the small amount of meat in the sauce. One thing that really struck us was the portion sizes and the style of cooking. The portions were just big enough and the flavoring was just enough to add a subtle note to each dish. Truly great cooking involves taking the simplest ingredients and letting them shine. I love the Italian style of cooking for its focus on this simplicity and on the love of food inherent in the culture.

 

P-I-Z-Z-A

 

Nom-Nom Gnocchi

 

Post- dinner, we were all hit by a sweet tooth craving and elected to find a gelato stand. Luckily, the Italians love their gelato and this stand looked pretty awesome. We tried a few flavors, I finally opted to get a small with chocolate chip as one flavor and tiramisu as the other. It was amazing.

Gelato Generates Good Feelings

 

After gelato, we continued to shop, it continued to rain, but we decided to enjoy it! We walked through the streets, and saw all sorts of amazing people along the way. Everything went off without a hitch. The adventure continues tomorrow. Half in Venice, and then moving onto Florence.

Stay tuned, and enjoy some pictures.

 

 

 

My Fellow Travelers: (L->R) Tracey, Caitlin, Kate