Hello, there ! !
This is Part 5 of my European Trip. ITALY ! Italy was definitely a major destination. So, far, we ‘ve stayed just 2 days in each country ( England, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, and one day in Belgium ) , but Italy was full 6 days. I don’t know what that implies….. not that Italy is more beautiful or better than the other countries we’ve already visited. . Not at all. The reason is obviously the richness of Italy’s history that we can still see and appreciate to this day, from the ancient Roman Forum and Coloseum to Medieval structures and breathtaking architecture of churches. Meanwhile……
The scenery from Switzerland to Italy was just as wonderful . We travelled into mountain ranges through numerous tunnels that opened into more breath-taking Alpine scenery as we descended from the cold mountains to sunny Italy. The change in topography was even more stunning, from undulating hills and high mountain ranges of Switzerland to beautiful valleys and green flatlands of Italy.
.I’m not sure but I think those are olive trees.
We arrived in Venice late afternoon, and checked in at Novotel Hotel, but to be honest, I’m not sure about the timeline anymore. I go by the dresses I wear in the pictures, but they don’t coincide with the timeline. Oh, well, it doesn’t matter, does it? I guess I wore the same dress in Venice and in Lugano/Florence. O_O ” Anyway, we joined the Optional Tour Venetian Night Out + Dinner the night we arrived in Venice. It was 65 Euro per person. ( $ 85 ). The Venice that we know of and are familiar with is comprised of several small islands ( about a hundred ), the most famous of which is where the famous Piazza San Marco is situated. Venice is the only car-less place in the world, and is also on the list of Living World Heritage.
.All dressed up and ready to go to dinner.
Now on terra firma. The guy in black pants and shirt was our tour director. ” Ruben, wait up ! ”
.That is Piazza San Marco ( St. Mark’s Square ). The buildings on the left are the Doge Palace, and the side entrance of St. Mark’s Basilica .
.That’s the building across from Doge Palace. We had coffee and pastries at the outdoor cafe the next day.
Basilica San Marco
Ugh ! I just noticed I have only one style of posing. Legs close together, one straight, and the other just a little bent at the knees. What the heck ! Hahaha ! ” What’s up with the pose, Ren? ” It’s too girly. Next time I pose for a picture, I’ll rearrange myself and pose like this……..
.That ‘s a really narrow street, isn’t it ? All the streets in Venice are that narrow. The pic above is the street of the restaurant where we had dinner.
That’s where we had dinner… Ristorante Antico Pignolu
.Moi, cousin, Thalin, and aunt… mom was taking the picture.
. Goat cheese
Steak that was a bit chewy
.Dessert was teramisu, then coffee after. The steak was a disapoointment, but over-all , dinner was good. There were 3 bottles of wine on the table , and guess what, we drank the wine like it was water…. My aunt just had half a glass, so that was pretty much like one bottle per person, lol. I was careful not to fall into the water as we boarded the ferry to take us back to the hotel. We were happily tipsy. Thumbs up, Venice !
.The following day was another tour of Venice for everyone. But, there was another Optional tour that we got…… GONDOLA SERENADE ! 40 Euro ( $52 ) By the way, I’ve been talking about Optional tours from the beginning, but have you ever wondered what the others who didn’t join were doing while the rest of us were on special tours? For this one, the rest just toured around on solid ground… maybe they enjoyed it more, I don’t know. Well, we experienced that too in Switzerland. While those who joined had fine typical Swiss dinner , we bought ours at the convenience store and hang out at the hotel’s outdoor cafe.
Anyways, I expected the gondolier to sing a familiar Italian song, * sings * “ O, Sole mio, la la la ….. ” , but he didn’t sing that. His booming voice echoed through the narrow canals, and I wonder what the residents are thinking everytime they hear a gondolier singing as he passes by… ” Damn tourists. ”
.Oh, hi there, Paolo ! * waves and makes a V sign *
After the fun gondola ride, we went to a glass factory to watch a demo on glass – blowing. . They also sell expensive glass stuff there. I bought a pair of earrings for 32 E, the least expensive item on display. Just like in Amsterdam at a diamond factory, I think we were brought there to shop. One of our group ( she’s from the Philippines too but lives in Australia ) bought an 800 Euro ( $ 1,025 ) glass jar, free shipping to Australia. She and my mom have become good buddies during the trip.
.To be honest, that was quite a boring activity. My father went to a glass blowing factory in Murano, which he says is the more famous site than the one in Venice. I don’t think so. I think Venitian glass is more well-known. He brought home a Murano glass unicorn, with the etched signature of the maker. My mother tells me I broke a lot of stuff when I was a kid, including that unicorn. ( ^_^)”
We had pizza for lunch, the first of so many pizzas that we consumed in Italy. Pizzarias were everywhere, and pastas too, so much , it made me wonder if these were the only foods Italians eat. It got me climbing the walls by third day and dreaming of barbecued baby back ribs, sushi and mushu pork.
.I did say I was going to compare American pizza and pasta with authentic Italian , didn’t I ? I hope my Italian readers won’t get offended .( I do have quite a few readers from Italy ), but , to be honest, the pizzas and pastas here in the US are so much better. Chicago deep dish pizza, anyone? Of course , each to his her own taste. But compare the pizza I’m eating in the photo to this ——->
“ Go to Wal-Mart , Ren, and check out the frozen pizzas section there. I assure you, they taste better. And I recommend DiGiorno. ” \(^__^)/
Awwww, my cousin is sooo cute !
.My outfit * smiles * ….. White hat with polka dot trimmings, wide sunglasses, long dress…. for some reason, it reminds me of what 1950’s Audrey Hepburn type ladies wore strolling on the scenic promenades of C’ote d’ Azur. I don’t know what I was thinking when I wore that. * whispers* By the way, one of my tourmates was actually nursing a broken heart when she joined the tour. Her boyfriend , who was supposed to go with her on this tour, dumped her 2 weeks before the scheduled departure. I don’t know which is more preferable, getting dumped before , or after. It would suck, either way. Aaaargh, as far as men go, deal with them tongue in cheek. Oh, but I digress.
.Above 2 photos are the entrances to the museum, I think.
Awesome architectural details…… It’s a pity we don’t do this stuff anymore. Modern sculpture is pure cr*p . What’s up with those pieces 0f iron welded together into an unrecognizable form and then call that art ? I don’t appreciate what I don’t understamd. And, there’s a reason why millions of people travel across the world to see Michaelangelo’s Pieta and David.
Do you know there’s no place in Venice where one can sit and rest, unless you go to a restaurant and order something to eat ?
Sorry if I bored you with the tons of photos I posted here. But I hope you’ll stay with me ’til the end of my tour. We ‘ve been to so many places in Italy. Florence, Assissi, Lugano, Rome, Verona, and The Vatican.
This is all for now. Good day and PEACE.