|my favorite photo of the trip so far. no edits/adjustments needed|
On our final morning in Rome, Bethany and I packed up our bags and bid farewell to our large home in Old Rome. We grabbed all of our gear and backpacked to the train station for morning coffee and a delicious hazelnut pastry. We boarded our train headed towards Venice.
When we arrived in Venice, our first stop was to get a Rolling Venice card, a tourism program aimed at young people. For 4 euro, you receive discounts to various shops, museums, and restaurants but the cost of your 72-hour public transit pass cuts down almost 15 euros, automatically saving money. We hopped on our first vaporetto, the water taxis in Venice and surrounding islands, and headed towards our home. I found the bed and breakfast in Giardini on AirBNB and am already quite satisfied.It is tucked into a quiet garden-like area in Venice, away from the tourists. Right outside of our door is one of the many water roads leading into the sea, with beautiful bridges all around. To walk towards the main attractions, we will pass through a large garden each day. After being in the middle of all of the action in both Florence and Venice, this is a great change-of-pace for the both of us. After settling in, we found a nearby restaurant and grabbed a panini and frites. To explore Venice, we had a new approach; put the maps away, and walk around to get lost. It wasn’t a hard task in Venice as the roads wind in a seemingly unorganized manner. We ended up in the shadows of tall buildings and would appear in large squares filled with vendors, music, art, and plenty of people. We ended up walking nearly 1/3 of the way around the island and decided to hop on another vaporetto to see the rest of the island. It was beautiful. I had no idea that public transportation could be so enjoyable.
We soon realized that we were well on our way towards Lido, a small island only 10km is length and just a few blocks wide. We stayed on and checked it out. Lido was extremely quiet, filled with large mansions and beautiful boats instead of cars. It had a small-town vibe that felt almost home-like and as we walked around the neighborhood it felt like vacation had hit a new high point. We walked towards the beach but realized most of the beach was not in public view. The island is known for its fancy hotels surrounding the beach, with private land that isn’t open for everyone. We managed to find an open area near a restaurant and walked out towards the shore to see a completely empty coast, with the exception of a few kids playing while their parents ate nearby. This was probably illegal for us, however no one seemed to mind as we took some photos on the large rocks along the pier, searched for Murano sea glass, and walked along the coast as the sun set. The pictures that we took came out amazing, some of my favorites from the trip. The photos at the pier look as if we were photoshopped into the photo, thanks to wonderful lighting behind us and the clearest water imaginable.
We headed back to Venice from Lido and walked along the coast to check out shops and restaurants. Bethany found a local leather shop run by a man who makes anything and everything by hand and small tools. There were some of the neatest notebooks I’ve seen in my life, and I fighting the urge to splurge a bit on some items. We found a restaurant with a fancy and decent menu, sat inside, and quickly noticed something different. There was a large Italian man standing in the back singing beautifully but loud. Within minutes, it was revealed that they were hosting a karaoke night at this fancy restaurant, so we ate our meal and watched as locals sang their hearts out to unknown songs. Bethany won the plate award with a delicious vegetable and pasta dish, however I tucked away the anchovies and squid under my remaining grits and admitted a poor choice in selection.