Anecdotes

On Traveling to Venice, Italy (Part 3): Exploration

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What can I say about Venice that hasn’t been said so many times before? Yes, it’s true that it’s incredibly beautiful. It’s so beautiful it’s almost surreal. In fact, you can find beauty and old-world charm in just about every corner of the city. It doesn’t really matter where you go…you’ll find beauty. Yes, there are iconic, amazing landmarks that you absolutely must see. But there are also amazing places around random corners.

I spent three days in Venice doing nothing but exploring the city on foot. I walked until my feet couldn’t carry me any further, and then I would find a beautiful little cafe to rest at, and then I would walk some more. It was three amazing, incredible days spent in just pure exploration. It was wonderful.

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Two things you should know about Venice, however, is that it’s expensive, and it’s easy to get lost.

Paradise doesn’t come cheap, and since a day spent in Venice is like a day spent in a fairy tale wonderland, it does come at a price. Since we were young honeymooners at the time, fresh out of college, we didn’t have a ton of money to spend. Since it was our honeymoon, however, we did splurge on select things. Mainly food.

Since Venice was the first stop on a three city Italian tour, we had more money at the beginning of the trip. This probably worked out for the best, because things were getting a little tight by the time we made it to Rome, but that’s a blog for another day.

In Venice, we ate. And we ate well. I spent three days sampling all the culinary delights this beautiful Italian city had to offer, and I can say with a smile and a full stomach that they did not disappoint.

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In Italy, multiple course meals are a delight you should definitely experience. My favorite activity in Venice was to spend the entire day walking and exploring the city on foot…just looking at things and soaking it all in. Around lunchtime, I would grab some pasta or pizza or something along those lines, and then I would walk some more. I would walk until my feet fell like they were going to fall off and I had worked up a ravenous appetite.

Then, it was time for a multiple course dinner. When I say multiple courses, I do mean the full Italian meal. First was the aperitivo, which is a small appetizer. Usually this was something like olives, cheese, and a little bit of wine. Then came the antipasto, which was typically something like salame, prosciutto, vegetables, perhaps some prawns or cold salmon.  After that came Primo, which is the first course. This was usually pasta for me. I had a particular love for a big plate of gnocchi, but could also be tempted by other pastas. After the pasta came Secondo, which is the Italian second course. Usually this was some sort of meat or fish. Norwood and I made sure to order different items so we could sample each other’s meals. This course also came with a contorno, which is a side dish. Usually this was some sort of vegetable. We couldn’t forget the insalata, of course. What would a meal be without a salad? And one can’t have dinner in Italy without the formaggi e frutta course. An entire course is dedicated to local cheeses and fresh seasonal fruit is something I don’t want to miss out on. Then, of course…dolce, or dessert. This could be tiramisu, panna cotta, or perhaps a gelato.

Keep in mind I was also drinking wine throughout this whole meal, and a lot of it.

After dinner we ended with a caffe, or strong coffee. It’s the Italian way!

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After dinners I would peel myself from the table at the restaurant du jour, stagger back to my hotel room in a state of drunken happiness, and crash for the evening.

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I mean, yeah, we did things like go on a gondola ride, visit the San Marco Basilica, and the grand canal, but mostly we walked and ate. And it was perfect.

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