We travelled from Florence to Venice by train. It was so easy to hop off the train, catch the No. 1 Vaporetto up the Grande Canale to the Rialto stop, and take the short walk to our apartment.

Venice was busy. People wandering the laneways pulling suitcases was a common sight. Streets and even bridges were lined with shops. Beautiful shops. Just like stores line the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, they line the Ponte Di Rialto too. Italians love to shop. Wearing their fur coats. I’ve said it before now here’s some proof!

We took a gondola ride and sat up like kings and queens.  There was much talk about whether it would be worth it. Well it was a perfect end to our fleeting visit to Venice. We all agreed.


It was fun going under the bridges as well as over them. It gave us an opportunity to see how high the water can actually rise here. Tide marks were etched on buildings and I couldn’t help but think I wouldn’t want to live on the ground floor.

I had been told to bring my gumboots but the weather behaved for us. Among the photos of people feeding pigeons in St Marks Square was one of a couple knee deep in water who weren’t so lucky. Although they didn’t seem to mind!

It was great seeing store and restaurant frontage from the canal side. And the colour, textures and imperfect facades of all the buildings both delighted and intrigued me. In NZ we often prize things shiny and new. In Italy, old and worn, lived in and loved seems to rule. I love it.

We made it to Cafe Florian – our last stop. It was a quick visit. Just time for an espresso each at the counter. Andy declared it the most expensive espresso in Italy. Next time I’ll stay longer, sit a while and have a sweet treat as well.

We’re now in Colfosco, a small village in the Dolomites. There is snow everywhere. The towns are lit up like a winter wonderland. We have the cutest little apartment in a chalet called La Villetta. A homemade jam tart greeted us on arrival. I’m expecting little red riding hood to come knocking any minute. And we’re staying put for ten nights. I can feel the traveller’s fatigue lifting already.

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