So the first day in Venice I had probably the least amount of time to do my usual exploring.
My mother was anxious for the boat not to leave us while I was anxious to let my eyes reabsorb as much of this beautiful city as I possibly had time to see.
What I hadn't expected though that ended up to be a wonderful surprise was the fact that our room was upgraded to a room with a balcony. So as we set sail for our journey, we were treated to a STUNNING view of Venice as we sailed away.
Our first day ashore was in Bari, but my main interest was to venture to another city not too far called Polignano a Mare.
Walking down under this bridge will lead you to quite the stunner.
This has to be one of the most gorgeous beaches I've ever seen in my life (though ones in Ireland would quickly rival it.)
My favorite part was stumbling onto this secret little cave and coming out to find a fantastic view of the city.
But besides the beach, the old town above it was also delightful. The square was beautiful and the first gelato shop I saw called my name.
After that, we still ended up with time leftover to see the city of Bari...so we opted for a rickshaw tour!
The information provided on this tour by our beyond charming and movie star handsome host gave my mom the culture and history lesson she craved. I only wish I'd gotten a picture of that gentleman!
His descriptions of the old city and its culture were fascinating from the mopping of the outside floors that the people deemed their living rooms, to the shelling of pasta in the street... Bari certainly had its own story to tell.
So then after our many stops at all the other ports (to be detailed in future posts...) we wound up once again in Venice once the cruise was over. Since we had so much time, we opted to take a few trips to the nearby islands off of Venice: Burano, Murano, and Torcello.
The first island was Murano, where Venetian glass is made. We got to see an awesome demonstration of it, followed by a stroll through their glass art gallery. Unfortunately no pictures were allowed in the gallery, and I didn't think I had a good enough angle to get any pictures or video of the glass blowing demonstration... still it was awesome. This wasn't the prettiest of the islands since it was so industrial, but it was still way cool to visit.
The second island was the most colorful...literally haha.
The island of Burano (famous for Venetian lace,) was my favorite because of how bold the colors were.
The third island, Torcello is home to an abandoned monastery.
Minus some tourists...there was something about this one that seemed like the Sunday afternoon picnic spot for Italians and their speedboats... a little-known paradise.
These little sculpture gardens in Torcello only added to the charm.
After returning back to Venice from our little island excursion, we ended the night in Venice the only way one could end a night in Venice: on a gondola.
There's something so calming and peaceful about a gondola ride because it gets you away from the hustle and bustle caused by the tourists
Italy was beyond gorgeous...but I wasn't too sorrowful to say goodbye to some of the impatient locals who constantly had to deal with us incompetent visitors. That's it for this edition. If you missed my London recap you can find it HERE. Up next: Greece!