Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Beautiful Venice

Ah, Venice. We woke up refreshed and ready for a day of exploration in beautiful Venice. And the beauty begins with our hotel, Palazzo Paruto.



When we arrived last night, we weren't able to see the interior of the boutique hotel, so we were pleasantly surprised that it did looked like the home of a wealthy Venetian.


Our breakfast was great, as banana flambees were cooked on the spot. There was also a champagne bar. We went back to our room to pack, as we were told that we needed to change rooms because our current room was only for 2 people. They counted our 9-year old as an adult.


But to our surprise again, we were actually upgraded, to a junior suite with a view of the canal! It was a huge room with a chandelier dropping from a high ceiling.


I really felt we were in a movie, and all at the same cost for a deluxe room. We were lucky. It was a good thing it was winter, so the canal didn't smell bad as people said it did during the hotter seasons.


We began to explore Venice all on foot. We actually went around San Marco first, passing by several restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops.


At last, we arrived at Plaza San Marco.


We entered the Basilica de San Marco, and marveled at the gold mosaic ceilings. It was forbidden to take pictures inside, so I only took one from the lobby of the basilica.


We really didn't plan in going places. We just took our time, walking leisurely along the harbor area. Venice was amazing. Gondolas and antique lamp posts lined up the edge of the harbor and sunlight hits the slightly wet cobble stone pavements. All this on a backdrop of majestic and ancient buildings from the surrounding islands. The scenery truly inspires.


We moved along and found our way to the Rialto Bridge. We had lunch on the way, and shopped for more souvenirs. Venice was bustling with a lot of tourists, all seeming to have a very relaxing time.


It was already late int he afternoon when we arrived at the Rialto Bridge. The bridge was lit by the rays of the setting sun. The famed marbled bridge glowed in grandeur.


Since it was nearing sunset, we decided to take a gondola ride. We paid 70 Euros for a short ride through some of the canals.


We found the ride to be uneventful, and cold as well. Nevertheless, a trip to Venice wouldn't be complete without the gondola ride. 


After the ride, we did more shopping. We were surprised ourselves to find so many interesting shops. We made our way to the other island, hoping to find more adventure. However, it was already getting dark, so we decided to head back to San Marco for dinner.


We dined in a Michelin star restaurant, Do Forni. It was a huge restaurant with a small facade. We were lucky to get seats, as it filled up quickly when we were ordering.


We ordered a lot of dishes, from a basic carbonara and vongole pasta, to lamb ribs, stuffed duck breasts and a unique squid ink pasta. What a perfect way to end a perfect day in Venice.


We were to leave Venice the next day, and wished we could extend. We never knew it would be this beautiful. The last day follows next...

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