Another bittersweet day. We were leaving Tuscany and heading to Venice this morning, our last stop on our Adventures by Disney Viva Italia vacation. Our bags were outside by 7:30am and we were off to breakfast before heading on our motor-coach that would bring us to the train station to board a train to Venice.
Mike and I LOVED Venice when we visited back in December 1998 on our honeymoon- it was by far our favorite stop during our 2 week trip that also included Rome plus stops in Egypt, Israel, Greece, and Turkey. The history is fascinating and the people are so incredibly warm and inviting.
We arrived at the train station, with time to spare- Mike and Marco were really great about not having us feel rushed at all and now we had time… to eat again. 😉 Believe it or not, most of us found our way to McDonalds!
Before we knew it, it was time to climb aboard the ITALO bullet train that features advanced technology and on-board conveniences including free Wi-Fi. Lunch was also provided, because apparently we weren’t being fed enough…
We quickly arrived in Venice and were so excited to arrive and take our gondola ride!
But first- we took some pictures… how could you not in this gorgeous city?!?!?
We finally made it to land and took a walking tour with our local guide, Marina, who was born and raised in Venice and just loved taking guests around her hometown. She was incredibly knowledgeable and kept everyone’s attention through the incredibly high temperatures we experienced.
She pointed out tings like this slanted tower- the city is always moving, as it is built on the water- and it is always sinking.
We walked to Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo and saw this amazing building with a gorgeous stairway that was built in the 14th and 15th centuries by Giovanni Candi. This might look familiar because it was used in 1952’s film, Othello.
As it turns our, Marco Polo decided to meet us here and explain his roots here in his birthplace.
Then we walked to Piazza San Marco and it’s stunning Basilica…
The Basilica is just gorgeous… our guides lead us inside- passed the incredibly long lines outside (where, again, it was really hot and there wasn’t much shade to be found).
After Marina’s tour of the Basilica we walked to our water taxi, passing the Bridge of Sighs, to our hotel the Hilton Molino Stucky. Which has a rich history of its own!
When we arrived, the Hilton had a simple welcome reception for us with drinks and light snacks as Marco and Mike gave us instructions for our stay in Venice. We had the rest of the day free to explore on our own, have dinner, and relax. Mike and I had decided to head to the Hard Rock for a quick dinner and we made plans to meet Scott and YaVonne (also Hard Rock fans) later in the lobby to head over on the taxi for dinner. We all were excited to see our rooms, and the Hilton did not disappoint!
Obviously, the view was what dreams are made of when you stay in Venice. We could not have been more pleased with our home for the next 2 nights!
Once we were settled we headed up to the rooftop bar and pool area to watch the sun set before meeting in the lobby for dinner…
The Hard Rock Cafe is just outside of Saint Mark’s Square…
After dinner Mike and I decided to head to the hotel we stayed in for our honeymoon for a quick drink, Hotel Metropole- which happened to be near our water taxi, so it worked out quite well.
After our after dinner drink, we headed on to the water taxi and “home” for the night.