Hello! Happy Wednesday!
I have had the travel bug lately. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been cooped up and on “light activity” since we found out we are having twins. Or maybe it’s because I know I won’t be traveling anytime soon? For good reason of course! But until we plan our next vacation, I’ll be reminiscing about some of my travels and Europe has been on my mind lately. I have been to Europe a few times: once in high school for Spring Break and I also studied abroad there for 6 weeks in college. My most recent trip was a business trip to Italy a few years ago and I was fortunate to spend some extra time in Venice!
Venice had been on my travel bucket list forever. I had always wanted to go there and in 2015 it finally happened! My employer at the time was owned by an Italian company and I was fortunate enough to take a business trip to their headquarters in Italy. We flew in and out of the Venice airport, but our meetings were about an hour outside of Venice. So, before I flew home, I requested an extra day to explore Venice and I am so glad I did!
I stayed at a hotel close to the airport because that’s where my company had made reservations. Getting to Venice “island” wasn’t hard though and I went over first thing in the morning. I had booked an all-day tour through Viator so I took the bus and followed the directions to our meeting point. I even had some extra time to explore before the tour started. Venice is beautiful!
The tour I booked was a 3-part tour. One part was a tour of Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica and the second part was a walking tour through Venice. This was all followed up by a boat tour through the Grand Canal and there were breaks throughout the day so we could all do our own thing. It was perfect! THIS is the tour I did if you’re interested.
We first toured Doge’s Palace, which is a palace built in Venetian Gothic architecture. It was the home of the Doge of Venice, who was basically the highest authority in Venice back in the day. Today it is a museum and a must-see when you’re in Venice.
Next we toured St. Mark’s Basilica. It is a famous church in Venice known for its combination of Italian and Byzantine architecture. It’s right next to the Doge’s Palace and is another must-see in the city.
After the first part of the tour, we broke for lunch. It was nice to be able to do my own thing for awhile and I really enjoyed having a pizza lunch next to the water. It was beautiful!
I met back up with the tour group after lunch for our walking tour through Venice. We crossed through small waterways and bridges throughout the city. It was so cool and beautiful and I had never seen anything like it. We saw the Rialto Bridge, Bridge of Sighs, the home of Marco Polo, the local hospital and many other sights in the city.
After we wrapped up that part of the tour, we split up again and did our own thing for awhile. I tracked down some gelato and went shopping.
When I met back up with the tour group for our boat ride through the Grand Canal, we were split into groups of 6 and each group got into their own boat. It was perfect because everyone could see and enjoy the scenery. This was my favorite part of my day in Venice!
By the time the tour wrapped up, it was starting to get dark, so I headed back to my hotel. I ate dinner there and went to bed. I had an early morning flight the next day, but it was hard to complain when this was my view at takeoff.
I am so glad I was able to spend a day in Venice before flying home. One day in Venice is enough time to see the high points I would say. Can you see everything? Definitely not, but you can see a lot! The tour I went on was perfect for a woman traveling alone in Venice. I was in a group the majority of the day so I felt safe, but I also had some downtime to explore on my own, which I really enjoyed. I highly recommend that tour!
I am looking forward to my next trip to Europe, whenever that may be. Some day in the next few years I hope!
Have you been to Venice? What did you do there?