A Bucket List Trip

Under the pretense of celebrating my mum’s 70th birthday (she still had six months left in her sixties), we planned a mother-daughter trip to mum’s bucket-list destination: Venice. We landed at Venice Airport at 9pm in early September – it would have been spectacular to have landed in daylight to see Venice from the air! We took a public bus to the coach terminal, then pulled our cases over the cobbled stones and bridges of Venice, giddy with excitement!

A very excited almost-birthday girl!

Where We Stayed

We found our accommodation, Residence Palazzo Odoni, a former palace, and it definitely felt like one! We had a two-story apartment with a jacuzzi, a view of the canal, and a flight of stairs up which we had to carry our luggage! It was more space than we needed but it was a special occasion (!). The apartment would be great for a family with children, although probably not toddlers.

The beautiful courtyard of Palazzo Odoni
If only we’d traveled with less luggage!
Large living and dining areas
The Venetian mask above the bed

Getting Around

A great way to get a feel for the city is to take a vaporetto (waterbus) ride along the Grand Canal, taking in the sights of the beautiful buildings and watching the Venetians go about their business on the water. Deliveries, garbage collection, commuting to work – everything the Venetians do involves traveling on water. It was amazing to only have water traffic and no motor vehicle noise.

Wandering through the cobbled streets and alleyways of Venice was one of our favorite things to do (aside from eating yummy food and drinking wine). We saw the must-see sights but when the swarm of tourists got a little much, we meandered through narrow streets, soaking up the atmosphere. The canal views never got old and we loved strolling through the city with no plan.

St. Mark’s Square was busy!
A local lady hanging out her laundry
View from the Rialto Bridge

When in Venice….We just had to take a gondola ride!

Our gondoliere (who reminded us of George Clooney) texted and steered his way through the canals.

Where We Ate

La Palanca Restaurant in Giudecca

We took the vaporetto to Giudecca to La Palanca Restaurant and had amazing pasta (my dish was squid in its ink). Unfortunately, it was raining so we couldn’t sit outside and take in the amazing view.

View from La Palanca Restaurant

We’d heard about a great little pasta shop, Dal Moro’s, and we set out to find it. As we got closer, it wasn’t hard to spot with its line of customers snaking through the narrow streets.

You pick your pasta type, sauce, and toppings, Delicious!
This was 2014, when the pasta shop was only 2 years old. It has changed a little since we were there!
Mum, delighted that I took a photo of her mid-mouthful, enjoying her pasta by the canals.

We went to Caffe Saraceno by the Rialto Bridge a couple of times and sat outside with a coffee and/or gelato. We don’t usually frequent such touristy places but the atmosphere along the Grand Canal is just so unique that we made an exception!

Great memories!

Arrivederci, Venezia

We struggled with our cases (again!) to the Santa Lucia train station. The huge bridges leading to it all had around 30 steps and no ramps. We saw many porters lugging cases on dollies to and from the station. The station was easy to navigate and we soon boarded our train to Rome. The journey was relaxing with beautiful scenery along the way.

Mum reading up on Rome
In Florence, a friendly nun boarded and we chatted a little (in my very broken and half-Spanish Italian)

Venice is a unique city and even though you’ve seen many photos, experiencing it in person is still quite surreal. I’m glad it was on mum’s bucket list!


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