Let’s see… where was I? (If you missed Venice in a Day (Part 1!) — check it out first!)
Ah, yes. Piazza San Marco.
Our first order of business: going up the Campanile!
The Campanile is a beautiful bell tower right in the square — you can (pay to) take an elevator up to the top for a gorgeous view of the city.
It was weird being here in winter when there isn’t as much tourism — when I was here before in May there were HUGE lines to get up the Campanile! This time — we walked right in and up we went!
It’s quite the view from the top:
Random tidbit — even though there are literally hundreds of canals in the city, the streets are all so small and narrow that you can’t see a single one of them from the Campanile! Crazy, huh? (Don’t worry, the first time I was here my friend Kris and I spent some serious time trying to spot one — it’s true! You can’t!)
The bell itself! Not ringing when we were up there, though (it was last time I was up here and man was it loud!):
After seeing the sights outdoors, we headed indoors for more! First, we toured Saint Mark’s Basilica (Basilica di San Marco).
It was absolutely stunning inside the church — the ceiling and walls are all mosaics made of a beautiful shimmery gold color. No pictures were allowed, though, so you’ll have to come see it for yourself! 🙂
Then, we headed next door to tour the beautiful Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale), including the Bridge of Sighs.
The Palazzo Ducale is a beautiful gothic palace, constructed in the 1300s, that served as the residence of the Doge of Venice, who was the chief magistrate and leader of Venice. Doges of Venice were elected for life by the city-state’s aristocracy.
Again — no pictures allowed, except for outside and in their courtyard.
By the time we came out of the palace, night had fallen! I love this square at night — so magical.
Look — snowflakes were being projected on the Campanile! Hehe
We headed back into the tiny streets in search of dinner. There was this awesome cute little old Italian man outside one of the restaurants trying to convince people to come in — he sold us, and we quickly became BFF’s, heh. He even said “CHEEEEEESE!” when we took this photo, lol!
In to the restaurant we went — finally, black squid ink sauce pasta would be mine once again!
Oh, yes. Looks so gross, tastes so delicious. And turns your mouth black, which is always fun. Squid ink sauce is literally the ink from a squid (or cuttlefish, in this case). It’s a little fishy tasting and very delicious.
I also had a veggie soup to start:
My brother had the seafood pasta (and an unpictured salad):
My brother was in the mood for dessert and ordered tiramisu, so I ordered something called “mixed berries,” thinking it would be a nice bowl full of fresh berries.
This arrived instead:
Fail/win? Haha. It was certainly very yummy 🙂
My brother’s tiramisu:
I also had a glass and a half of Chianti — I love me some Italian red wine.
With our bellies full, we made our way back to the train station. It was very cold and drizzling, and about a 45 minute walk, but I love this city at night, regardless. All the tiny little streets and beautiful canals were practically deserted, which made it even cooler!
The beautiful Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge):
Just gorgeous. What a fun day! I hope you all enjoyed traveling there with me 🙂
Until next time, Venice…
We’ll miss you!
My brother and I have spent today here in Vicenza doing a little sightseeing — it’s rainy and freezing again but still fun to wander about. I’ll be back later this afternoon/early evening with a recap, so stay tuned! 🙂 I leave tomorrow morning to head back to the U.S. — boo!!