Our final day and night in Italy we spent it just the 3 of us in Venice, the city of water. Learn from us... do Venice first, not last! There is a lot of walking, lots of bridges, navigating, etc... you need fresh feet and a fresh mind.... things we didn't have. What we did have was a VERY sick kiddo and a getting sick Momma. I think Bram slept 80% of the time we were in Venice, and if he wasn't asleep...he was not happy. We tried to see what we could, but we definitely missed out on a lot of sights and experiences
I was always told "Venice is amazing because Venice itself is the attraction" no need to plan or book anything... just show up. So I thought it would be easy... and I guess that statement is true.. but it was far from easy! Just getting to Venice seems like a journey... but maybe that's because we were so sick and tired by this point.
We found this AirBnB that had great reviews, seemed central and had a great price. All of that was true, the problem was finding it! I decided to walk from the train station which wasn't so bad early in the AM, but when our phone said we arrived we were confused, it looked nothing like what the picture online was.... so we reentered the address manually on our phone and it said we were on the opposite end of the island! uggh.. so we turned around and trekked back... then we were even more confused when we got there... so finally I went into a hotel and asked the front desk, they confirmed the first place we were at was right and gave us a paper map to follow with a quicker route. We called the AirBB host, but we couldn't communicate/understand each other well so we went to text instead... she was pretty upset with us for not following her initial instructions and was a bit rude, saying she wouldn't be able to meet up now since she was running late for her next check in. Eventually she said she would send her son to meet us at a nearby McDonalds (on the Strada Nova, main street). He was very nice and with the help of his girlfriend they showed us to the apartment, showed us a map with popular destinations and helped us figure out where to eat.
We took the train from Vicenza to the final stop in Venice and walked from the station to our AirBnB.. I would recommend taking the Vaparetto or hiring a person to carry your luggage for you. We had 1 large suitcase, 2 backpacks and a toddler in a carrier, so it was manageable, but not easy.
We left our Venice AirBB at 6:30am the following morning to head to the airport. We walked 10 minutes through the silent alley ways with our luggage click-clacking behind us..sorry residents!!! We boarded a new type of water taxi that goes to the airport (Alilaguna—don’t bother buying tickets online, just pay cash at the dock… we bought online late the night before, and the ticket office wasn’t open that early in the morning so it was null. The captain said it happens all the time, just email them for a refund, which we did, easy enough) and were at the airport by 7:15am.
Sights to See:
We saw most of the Strada Nova, the main street of Venice during our morning adventure trying to find our accommodations. We had saved enough cash during the trip to take a Gondala once in Venice... but ended up not doing it because we knew Bram wouldn't tolerate it.
Jewish Quarter- Took us a few wrong turns to find, but finally found the square where there the museum and Chabad. There are also several Jewish gift shops we wandered through, they had beautiful items. I really wanted to buy something, but didn't find anything I connected with and found worth spending that amount of money on (it was all expensive!). We found the museum and were a few steps away from the entrance when they put a rope up saying it was full and there would be a wait now... so we let Bram run around in that square while we enjoyed some shade and nearby artwork and stonework.
Ponte di Rialto- There are signs everywhere directing you to the bridge, its very easy to find. The views are great. There are 2 sides to the bridge, so cross over one side, then take the other side back to see both views!
(oy I look exhausted don't I??)
St. Mark's Square - We walked to St Mark's Square in the late afternoon, my hope was Bram would sleep and we could enjoy a somewhat fancy dinner outside on the square with an orchestra... that was quickly foiled by insane prices and a crying toddler. So we let him run around with the pigeons for a few minutes while enjoying the music from afar. There are street hackers that practically force you to take bird seed in your hands to attract the pigeons hoping you would pay them, you have to be stern with them and refuse if you don't want the attention.
Spirits & Good eats:
Bar Sofia - We ate here for lunch. I got pizza... which being a dumb american I didn't realize Italians don't pre-cut their pizza!! And I was nursing Bram the entire time, so Lee had to cut it for me while attempting to eat his own food. Pretty good food, and price wasn't too bad, especially being right on the Strada Nova. It was just a few minutes from our room, and right at the Ca'D'Oro Vaparetto & Gondala stop too.
Dal Moro's - Since our fancy dinner plans got foiled we tried to find food... any food... to take back to the room...which is near impossible in Italy! Lee finally found this place that had amazing reviews! They told him the food had to be eaten IMMEDIATELY, or they wouldn't sell it to him. But we walked about 10 minutes back to our room first, then ate...and it was HORRIBLE! ugh. no flavor, I hated it. I was so upset I wanted to cry. Our last meal in Italy, and we're eating it out of take out containers and it's horrible. Lee immediately jumped up and headed out saying he'd be back ASAP with something else, he'd figure it out. He was hoping a cafe would still be open and get sandwiches or something, but it was 7:00pm, a strange void of time in Italy. He came back after 10 minutes sweating and out of breath with a huge cone of Queen's fries. He said it was the only thing open, he had literally run several blocks each way on the main street and that was it. so we enjoyed it with our wine, while Bram had easy mac and ibuprofen.
Bar GioGio - We stopped here the day for spritz and it was a HORRIBLE experience. Aside from the spritz being subpar, the waiter was very rude. There was a huge sign out front that said free wifi, when I asked what the password was the waiter said gruffly, no wifi. Bram was nursing or had his hand down my shirt and every time the waiter walked by he would scuff and roll his eyes, we felt very uncomfortable and left quickly.
So clearly our Venice experience was not what we hoped or planned for. But we did try to make the most of it, and with babywearing we were able to experience much more than we could have expected with Bram being so sick. He literally slept almost all day, so I through him in the carrier and we kept on sight seeing. I have no longing desire to go back to Venice even though we didn't get the "true experience" but if we ever end up over that way again it would be nice to have a romantic dinner in Saint Mark's Square... sanz toddler.
Other Posts in this Series:
Now that our triangle family is complete, follow along as we live our "life after infertility." Our travels, our joys, our laughter & our sorrows of parenting.
Chrissy is a...
full time corporate world working somewhat crunchy mom, a loving wife, an MRKH Warrior, Infertility Advocate, support group leader & a bad ass breastfeeder. In her fleeting spare time she enjoys hiking, traveling, walking her pooch, sewing and watching funny or sappy TV shows.