Hi friends! Long time, no talk. It feels very good to be back on the blog today! It’s been awhile. After an incredible trip celebrating our anniversary, Emmett & I came home only to get sick- I’m pretty sure we picked up you know what on our flight home. We’re finally on the up & up, and are easing back into our routine, although later than intended. While I know everyone is focused on all things fall at the moment, I did want to share our last summer adventure and a quick recap of our Italian getaway. I’ve got three rapid fire posts lined up for you (today, tomorrow, and Friday), where I’ll be sharing the three legs of our journey in a photo journal type format. I also tried to share some snippets in real time on my IG stories… if you missed them and want to see, I saved them to this highlight. Let’s dive in and catch up, shall we? Click through for a fun travel post! We began our trip in Venice, so that’s up first…
Despite everything we crammed into this trip, it was fast. Too fast. We were gone for a solid week, seven days, but that included our travel days & flights. Really we only had five days to enjoy. Having lived in Italy for a bit (I attended art school there), I’ve been fortunate to travel all over the beautiful country. This was Emmett’s first time and there were so many places I wanted to share with him, that we simply didn’t have the time for… which is why we’ll definitely be back! We crammed in three cities with good variety this time around: Venice, Florence, and the Amalfi Coast. We packed light- we each took only a carry-on, and had such a wonderful time moving city-to-city with ease. One bag is the way to do it- especially with all the luggage that is being lost lately. We snagged inexpensive flights in and out of Venice (check out this post on how to score deals), so we bookended our trip there… one day at the beginning and one day at the end.
Once we landed in Venice, we took a private water taxi from the airport to our first hotel of the trip… Palazzo Experimental, pictured in the gallery below. This place was stunning! I truly wish we had more time there. It’s what modern design dreams are made of, and no detail was spared. The thoughtful staff caught word of our anniversary and left a bottle of champagne in our room upon arrival. What a fun surprise!
We had less than 24 hours in Venice to make the most of, before catching a train to our next destination. We also happened to be in Venice during the film festival (which we didn’t realize overlapped with our time there), so it was a complete surprise to spot some celebrities and gawk at their mega yachts. Despite being totally jet lagged, we grabbed some gelato, a spritz, and began wandering around. The city was absolutely packed thanks to the festival, but we managed to find some pastries off the beaten path and duck into a few local shops. Of course, being Emmett’s first time in Venice, he also wanted to see the notable St Marks Basilica / Piazza San Marco. Throughout the duration of the week, he said he was most impressed or taken aback with the architecture throughout Italy. I can’t argue with that!
Wandering around Venice at night is arguably better than the daytime. It’s cool, not at all crowded, and the lights cast romantic reflections on the water. After all, it is the City of Bridges… like something out of a movie set. We ended the evening with dinner along the water, but the highlight of the night was cocktails at the award-winning bar at our hotel. We began sipping at a bistro table overlooking the water and ended up inside (per the recommendation of our waiter), after being eaten alive by mosquitos. He told us the bar atmosphere was worth sitting inside and proved to be correct. We made friends with the local bartender, who served up some seriously delicious drinks. The cocktails kept us from crashing and we stayed out until 11 or so before turning in for the evening… a great accomplishment for weary travelers.
My Italian professor once told me the key to beating jet lag is to immediately adopt the local time… eat when the locals eats, drink when the locals drink, and sleep when the locals sleep- and no napping! I also never check the time back at home. Whatever time zone I’m currently in, that’s the one I go by.
The next morning, we grabbed a quick delicious breakfast with incredible cappuccinos from the hotel restaurant before snagging another water taxi (not to be confused with the traditional gondoliers pictured above)– this time to the train station. The rail system in Europe is my favorite- it’s the easiest way to travel. We hopped on a high-speed train to Florence, and were there within a few hours, but that’s for tomorrow’s blog post! Instead of getting ahead of myself, let’s fast forward to the end of our trip… when we arrived back in Venice for the last leg of our journey.
We arrived via train into Venice early in the afternoon, sad that our much awaited vacation was quickly coming to an end. They always go too fast! Typically I’m ready to come home, but that’s never the case with Italy. Maybe that’s a sign we should consider a home there someday? Who knows what the future holds.
We snagged another private water taxi, from the train station this time, that took us to our last hotel in Venice… Baglioni Hotel Luna. This hotel was actually one we were really looking forward to (we got a free stay in an upgraded suite, thanks to points), which is why I booked it for the end of our trip- a real treat before the long trek home. I have to say, it ended up being our least favorite accommodation. Our suite looked nothing like the gorgeous images we had seen online, and despite the popularity and luxury vibe of the hotel, the appearance felt tired, worn, and bit pretentious. I did enjoy marble bathroom though, pictured below. We weren’t going to let the lackluster room ruin our last night. Maybe I would have had different feelings if we had paid for it. We weren’t planning to spend time at the hotel anyway, just a quick sleep before our departure… we dropped our bags and left for drinks & treats.
We found the most amazing local (off the beaten path) pastry shop, Panifici Crosera, and after quickly devouring some deletable baked goods, Emmett somehow stumbled upon the only “brewery” in Venice that sells craft beer. Ha! Leave it to him. How very American of us. After that we headed to our tattoo appointment at Inkae, with visiting artist, Tobia from Milan. We learned that he used to be a shoe designer for Dolce & Gabbana before breaking into the more rebellious art form of tattooing. I’ve shared this before, but we have a tradition of collecting little travel tats… usually something quick & easy on the last day of our trip. For inquiring minds, this was mine and Emmett’s first matching tattoo- we both got a roman numeral 10, I designed beforehand.
After getting some fresh ink to take home with us, we meandered to dinner. We spontaneously found a busy local joint, and while the wait was long, the food was good and our waiter offered us free homemade limoncello on the house for being so patient… an offer we couldn’t refuse. After dinner, we stopped by Gelatoteca Suso for one last gelato as our trip was coming to a close. We took one last night walk around sleepy Venice back to our hotel, before heading out via water taxi the next morning to catch our early morning flight.
It was a fun-filled and super fast trip… I always like to plan more time for international travel, but we crammed in as much as we could. We had a splendid time, indulged in all the good food, and made memories to last a lifetime, all while celebrating our 10-year anniversary. It was certainly one for the books, despite contracting C on our flight home. Our plan was to get right back to work, but since sickness came home with us, we tried to rest, take it easy, and stayed put at home this past week. Monday was my first official day back to work and I’m feeling all sorts of behind, but if there is any lesson I bought home with me from Italy- it’s to give the important things more space. I certainly wish the pace here in America moved more slowly, but I’m learning to be more intentional with my time, stress less, and focus on what’s truly important. All of that to say, thanks for showing up to read & connect when I share, and for giving me grace when things don’t quite go as planned.
I hope you enjoyed a peek into our Venice travels! Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing a similar post of our time spent in Florence, followed by the Amalfi Coast on Friday. I received so many messages from many of you planning your own trips to Italy. It’s a beautiful country and one we’ll continue to visit. Our last big trip of the year is coming up rather quickly… we’re headed to Bali for our annual diving trip in October! Emmett & I have been joking this is our Eat Pray Love year, but sadly we have no vacation time or budget left to visit India during the calendar year. Ha! Maybe I missed my calling to be a travel blogger? A girl can dream. As always, if you have any questions- leave them for me in the comment section below. I’ll happily share additional information or elaborate. As for blog things… I’ve got plenty of fall, hosting, and holiday posts lined up for next week and the months ahead. We left for Italy with 100+ degree temperatures here in Salt Lake and came home to 60-70 degree weather (and snow in the mountains!)… fall has made its arrival, indeed. Check back tomorrow for Florence- it’s one you won’t want to miss! Emmett & I both agreed it was our favorite days of the trip. Cheers to being back! I hope you’re having a good week.