Our first stop in Italy was to be an over night stop in the iconic (and extremely expensive) Venice. After finding our parking spot in Piazzale Roma we then set off carrying our bags through the bustling streets to a little bed and breakfast in San Marco, not too far from the famous square. After a little picnic lunch looking over a quite section of a canal with the occasional gondola going by, we started wandering through the streets.
Making our way to the piazza San Marco we enjoyed the (very) occasional quite spot and admired the rustic buildings. However, arriving in the piazza we quickly remembered that we were travelling in Europe in summer as there were hundreds, if not, thousands of tourists crammed into the piazza. Not to mention the hundreds of dirty pidgons, that sent me ducking and weaving everytime they flew near me. Quickly diving off the main drag to escape the poeple and dirty birds we wandered the shops hoping the tour groups would leave and were rewarded by return to a short queue to see the Basilica di San Marco with it beautiful mosaics and marble work. We the moved onto enjoy the atmosphere of grand canal and found a little spot to dangle our legs over the water while watching the boats go by.
We spent the remainder of the afternoon walking out of the main areas to find some of the beautiful quite spots and enjoy capturing a few photos. We then headed to a little bar, Al Squero, over looking the gondola repair shop which was recommended by our friends Tara and Aaron. The bar had a small selection of wines ranging from 'rustic' (served in a water glass) to a few Ryan was keen to try after reading his trusty wine book (served in a proper wine glass). But perhaps the best bit was the tasty 1€ nibbles such as Gorgonzola, honey and walnut, mortadella and artichoke or olive, caper and capsicum, a perfect way to sit back and enjoy the evening in Venice. Finally, again on recommendation (after the first one was a raving success) we set off to find the 'amazing' fondente or dark chocolate ice cream, after scouring the gelato shops I admitted defeat and decided to walk into the next place we saw which to my delights had won prizes for their fondente ice cream. Worth the search, fondente ice cream is now my favourite flavor, possible only surpasses by finding extra fondente in Orvieto, but more on that later.
The next morning we had a little sleep in and were woken by a knock on the door, which was our breakfast arriving on a tray - our first actual breakfast in bed for the whole trip - pastries, juice, yogurt and a cappuccino (espresso for Ryan).