Friday, June 13, 2014

Venice, Italy - La Città Dell'amore

~ Let United Military Travel take you to the City of Love...
No, I am not talking about Paris but Venice ~

To Americans we call it Venice but to the Italians it is known as Venezia, the most romantic city on Earth. 

I had the honor of visiting Venezia in college but that was before the days of iPhones and Facebook so my photos are hard copies.  I still remember the feeling of being there like it was yesterday - the salt spray on my face, the delicious aromas around every corner, the men tempting the ladies with "Ciao, Bella!", the architecture, and the most beautiful treasures I have ever seen.  
You can wander the city for days, even weeks and never get bored....but you may get lost.  
Actually, if you died and went to Heaven, Venice may be it. 
My time there was about five hours but those hours were just enough to make me want more, to make Venice haunt my dreams, to make me swoon whenever someone brings up the beautiful city on the sea.  

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Lets talk about things to do in Venezia

Piazza San Marco
When you step off your boat and onto Venetian land you will naturally be led in the piazza with the rest of the tourist.  It is the focal point of Venezia and because it offers three attractions in one place.
1. St Marks basilica (Basilica di San Marco) - seen as living testimony of Venice's links to Byzantium.  

*Basilica: a large oblong hall or building with double colonnades and semicircular apse, used in ancient Rome as a court of law or for public assemblies.
*Byzantium: Byzantine Empire
*St. Mark: the traditional author of the Gospel of Mark 

The basilica is full of artistic and historical treasures like byzantine remains and the relics of St. Mark. 

2. Doge's Palace ( Palazzo Ducale) - once Venice's political and judicial hub now serves as a museum.  You can view their website here.  

3.  Torre dell'Orologio - Saint Mark's Clock Tower was placed in the piazza with views of the waters of the lagoon to give notice to everyone of the wealth and glory of Venice. 

Take a tour of the city via gondola

Can you imagine visiting Venice and NOT riding in one the most iconic gondolas on Earth?  The provide a very peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the streets and you get to see up close the quaint apartments with flowers hanging from the windows, the bricks that have been weathered naturally over time giving you beautiful greens, reds, and oranges.  

Vino, Vino, Vino...Venetian Vino that is

Really, all I have to say is savor every glass for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and every rest stop in between.  You can even ship bottles home to you as well.  Go here to pick out your bottles with the expertise of locals! 

Aperitivo Time - Italy's Happy Hour

Aperitivo drinks are often the establishment's proudest accomplishment and based around traditional aperitifs or fortified wines. Menu stalwarts include Punt e Mes on the rocks, a Negroni (Campari, Martini Rosso vermouth and gin), the Americano (Campari, Martini Rosso vermouth and soda), or a spritz (Aperol or Campari and prosecco). Prices are routinely hoisted to take in the price of the 'free' food, and range from around €4 up to €15 per drink at some of Milan's more stellar hotels. The same flat rate charge will often be applied to beer, wine, analcolici (virgin) cocktails and even mineral water.
The cocktail hour stretches into three – generally from 6pm-9pm, though bars are often empty before 7pm.
For a canal front location visit either Naranzaria or Bancogiro.  And for a fun design go to Ardidos and Al Merca for a skyline bar. 

Taste true Venetian Cuisine

No matter where I am in Italy, one of the first things on my mind is trying the local food.  While in Venice however there are a few specific items you must try: any of their seafood dishes fresh from the lagoon, anti pastas, spaghetti and meatballs, and their goose is world re-nowned.  Paired with a glass of wine and viola! You are in Heaven!

Venetian souvenirs are the Holy Grail of all souvenirs...

There are thousands of unique, locally owned boutiques and shops to peruse for: 
*Handmade Burano lace, the first "true" lace that is created stitched alone as lace as opposed into something else.
 *World re-nowned Murano Glass.  There is Murano glass then the rest.  
*True Venetian Carnevale mask. The Carnevale Ball is the world's largest and most famous masked ball that has been around since the Middle Ages.  
* Vintage lamps, delicate jewelry, and delicious fabrics!  

Get married under Juliet's window

What could be more romantic then to marry the love of your life under Juliet of Verona's window.  Her love for her Romeo is one of the greatest love stories of all time and to be able to share with her your love would be unimaginable.  The city of Verona in 2009 converted her house into a wedding destination and for more information click here

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Thank you so very much for taking the time to visit my blog! Traveling is very dear to me and sharing my travels and desires with you makes my heart smile. I want to hear all about your adventures because sharing travel stories is the root to all inspiration. Also, any suggestions you may have on how I can improve this blog - I am all ears!!
Allie xoxo