One week through Tuscany and Venice

10 November 2011

Day 34 - 40: Monday, July 5th - Saturday, July 10th
Heather headed back to Chicago this morning, and Holly and I whimpered a bit as we hugged her good-bye. The two of us boarded our train to Florence, and looked forward to yet another adventure in Tuscany.

Since we've already elaborated on our experience in Florence, we'll jump right into our findings in another Italian city we love: Venice. After a few more days in Florence, we traveled to Venice to get in the spirit of our upcoming vacation-from-our-vacation. A handful of days separated us from our long-awaited luxurious Norwegian cruise.

Our mom and aunt would be flying in to meet us soon, and we wanted to explore Venice for a bit before getting ready for our Mediterranean journey.

We arrived in Venice and we were immediately lost. After navigating the water-taxis, which are a bit pricey, we made our way to the correct dock.

Since the streets are so narrow and the buildings are so close to one another, it was a challenge to find out which piazza we were approaching, and which street we were following.

With time and patience, we arrived at Hotel Iris. We were sweating and tired; it was nearly 105 degrees! Unfortunately, the AC was out for the day and our thoughts of cool relaxation quickly dissolved. So we each took a shower to freshen up and got ready to uncover Venice.

The difficulty finding our way to and from the hotel became more of a game than a frustration after the first time. Venice is kind of a maze to travelers! If you get caught wandering the streets and piazzas, you might lose your bearings and wind up far from where you thought you were. But it made our days more exciting, and we ended up discovering things we never intended to see.

We loved the bridges, the low-cost pizza places and of course, the gelato. While in Italy, I would guess we we each had two servings of gelato a day. But with all of our walking, it didn't stay on our hips too long. And although we wanted to take a gondola ride during our three-day stay, it just wasn't in the budget. Regardless, we sat with our feet in the water and watched the gondolas wade by as the men sang opera to their gondola guests.

By no means did we want to waste away our days in Venice, but before we knew it the days had come and gone and we were on our way to the cruise ship dock to meet our family! We were ready for luxury.

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