VENICE, ITALY

VENICE, ITALY
Claudio 

Claudio 

gondolier 

gondolier 

San Marco Basillica

San Marco Basillica

Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco

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-Ciao Ragazzi-

I have visitors! I love having company, especially when it's family. My Aunt Ingrid, who is an amazing photographer/journalist (check her page here), and her friend Trish came out to explore Italy. I have been able to show them around beautiful Verona; a whimsical town called Soave (home to the most amazing castle); and my favorite, VENICE! Unfortunately, Tay wasn't able to tag-along for Venice because of practice, but being out and about in this beautiful country with family was so great! 

This wasn't my first visit to Venice, but it felt like it was. I was so giddy on the way there, like Disneyland giddy. The beauty of this city never ceases to amaze, so I was excited to take it all in again. Right when you step out of the train station it's as if you've been dropped in the scene of a painting! The colorful buildings follow the same vibrant palette throughout the city and the blue-green water couldn't be a more perfect accent. Every corner you turn and every bridge you cross is more charming than the next. As we began wandering the narrow alleys, we stumbled upon a gentleman named Claudio. Sitting in his quaint little upholstery store, Claudio was HAND-STITCHING a set of beautiful yellow chairs. Nothing makes my heart happier than seeing someone genuinely enjoying themselves while doing their craft. 

After we waved goodbye to Claudio, our stomachs were howling at us. A good travel tip that has never failed me (or my stomach) is to get far away from the tourist attractions; that's where you'll find the good, authentic eats. As we ventured deeper into the city, we came across a charming little restaurant called, Antica Besseta. If you ever find yourself in Venice, GO HERE! The staff, Fabio and Giacomo, were seriously so gracious and treated us like long time friends. Nonetheless, the food was delicious and looked like it came straight out of a magazine, so that was definitely a bonus.

Aside from the food being wonderful and the people being so kind, the sights were beautiful! My best advice for conquering this city is to just get lost. You never know what you are going to find around each corner. Whether it be the most perfect aged brick wall crawling with ivy, or an ornate cathedral, it is all so dreamy. You can't take a bad photo here, I swear! There are a million hidden treasures scattered across Venice, but of course there are also the more popular attractions. A gondola ride is a must. We hopped onto one right under Ponte di Rialto (the biggest bridge stretching across the Grand Canal), and coasted through the narrow canals. Our little gondolier was decked out – wearing the typical striped shirt with a straw hat – storybook I tell you!  

After making our way back to land, we strolled over to Piazza San Marco. Scattered with well-fed pigeons and vendors trying to sell you fake designer bags (this is where you can work on your bargaining skills haha), the most breathtaking Basilica sits on the edge of this giant square. GO INSIDE of the churches when you're in Italy. You will not be sorry. I'm not one to obsess over architecture, but these structures are INCREDIBLE! The detail is out of this world and will seriously leave you in awe. San Marco Basilica is decorated with just about every color of marble imaginable and the intricate tile work will blow your mind! 

Everything about Venice has my heart. I could wander the maze-like alleys all day and be happy. It's the simplest of things that hold the most beauty. Thankfully, Mom and Dad McQuivey are coming to visit next week so I will get to return to this little wonderland sooner than later! 

I have so many fun trips planned so stay-tuned and never forget to leave something good behind!

-Rach