Thursday, December 15, 2011


Early Friday morning, Nicole and I flew from Malta to Venice. Once we got to the airport, we had to figure out how to get to the actual city of Venice. While you can take land transportation, the most efficient ways are Water Taxis or Water Buses. The taxi would have been 150 Euro, so we opted for the 15 Euro Water Bus. As the bus approached the city, we passed through a cloud of mist, making our entrance feel magical. Luckily, there was a stop right by our hotel. Unluckily, Nicole could not find her passport while we were on the bus. We handled it very calmly. Once we checked in to the hotel, they asked for our passports, which only I was able to produce. When we told them about the problem, the concierge called the police, explaining the situation to them in rapid Italian. 

View from the hotel:

We left the hotel staff to deal with passport issue and ventured out into the city. From everything we heard about Venice before arriving, getting lost was inevitable. So we decided to let ourselves get lost. First, we went to a small cafe in Piazza San Marco. We had amazing and fresh sandwiches (the best part was the cheese) followed by perfectly bitter espresso. 

Our first tourist destination was San Marco's Church. While you could pay to enter certain portions, the main area was free. 

Next, we went to the Accademia. While Venice is full of breathtaking museums, we wanted to see a building full of ancient masterpieces. After the art museum, we were ready for some gelato. We decided to head to the ghetto and pick some up on the way. Unfortunately, we had trouble finding any at first. We were wandering the Venice alleys, hoping to find a store serving ice cream in December. At one point, we mollified ourselves with mulled wine from a crepe stand. Finally, we found the gelato. There weren't many Italians eating it because they thought the weather was bad (we were loving it when compared to Russia and Scotland). 

After another hour or so, we had wandered through nearly the entire city. We did our best to get back to the hotel for naps before dinner, a necessity since we had woken at 3am for our flight. The concierge had gotten the passport back from the Water Bus company, so all was good. Nicole took me out for a delicious birthday dinner at Trattoria Do Forni. We had very traditional Italian meals involving caprese, prosciutto, pasta bolognese, lobster, and red wine. Unbeknownst to me, Nicole had ordered a chocolate cake. It was hilarious and touching to see the Italian waiters attempt to sing to me in English.

Dinner didn't end until nearly midnight, so we just went back to the hotel. At the hotel bar, we had limoncella and champagne at midnight. 

Spending the day in Venice with Nicole was a great birthday present!

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