Around 8pm on Wednesday we arrived in the Venice area. Unfortunately, EF College Break once again placed our hotel outside of the city center. This time though there was no possible way to take a train or subway to Venice on our own dime because of course, Venice is an island. We were kind of disappointed because the itinerary said we had 2 days in Venice and there was so wary of leaving the little beach town of Jesolo where our hotel was located. We grabbed an Italian dinner of mussels with some gelato with some people on our trip then headed to bed early.
The next morning we were out of the hotel by 8am to go tour Venice. We first went to a glass blowing factory which was really cool to see. They made a horse out of glass in all of 2 minutes, it was incredible! Although it was cool to see I didn’t love any of the glass jewelry and certainly couldn’t afford any large glass statues to bring home. Following the factory we went on a walking tour of Venice with another EF College Break group. It was great to get a history of the some of the major sites around Venice.
After the tour we split off from the group and eat at the famous Florian restaurant that was established in 1720. There was an orchestra playing and it was right in the middle of the plaza of San Marco. It was lovely to have tea and lattes and enjoy the true Venetian atmosphere. Of course after lunch we had to take a famous gondola ride. Our group all went together so Roxy and I shared a gondola with 4 other group members and our trip leader surprised us with a bottle of champagne. The gondola ride was really fun but our gondola driver didn’t sing and the water in Venice is pretty disgusting. It was not exactly what I had pictured.
The rest of the afternoon we just “got lost” around Venice as our tour director had recommended. It was amazing to just take turns around the small streets and across the bridges to explore the city without direction. A lot of the stores were either very high end designer stores, glass shops, shops with lots of masks and souvenir stores. I did buy a cheap watch that is really good because I left my Michele watch at home and had been looking for a cool, inexpensive watch for the trip. That was my thrilling Venetian purchase! Before dinner, Roxy, this boy on our trip Casey and I grabbed a bottle of Pinot Grigio for a whopping 5 euros at a supermarket and sat in this lovely garden we found. It was really relaxing and we really found a great part of town that was separated from the tourists and was pretty residential.
I had a great idea for dinner and decided that in order to find a great place, we should go into a really nice looking hotel, pretend we are guests and ask for a recommendation. This was a great move because we were recommended Ristorante Ribot. They had true Venetian food that wasn’t just pizza and pasta but amazing fish dishes for a reasonable price. Roxy and I split a gnocchi dish with prawns and pumpkin, grilled salmon with vegetables and a cuttlefish with black ink and polenta. It sounds like a ton, which it was, but they had a great deal and it ended up being 35 euros per person with a bottle of wine too! It was probably the best meal we have had so far, although the Kata restaurant in Berlin is a close second.
Afterwards we headed back on the last ferry back to Punta Sabbioni then took a cab back to our hotel. We then went to bed because the next morning we left bright and early for Florence! More to come…