Europe Day 15: Last Full Day in Italy, Exploring Venice

Welcome back everyone! Today was the last official day of our trip as we depart from Venice to return home tomorrow, and it was a full day of exploring the city. We didn’t have tours or excursions previously booked for the day, so we got up a little later. My dad got up earlier and went to scope out this hotel’s breakfast by himself; he texted us that it wasn’t very good but he would meet us down there for coffee and figuring out where to go instead. We got ready and went downstairs so my mom could get some coffee but after that we immediately headed out into town.

It was 8am so I was surprised that no one was really out and awake, but we were able to walk down to a supermarket and get some turkey to eat for protein. One thing I miss from home is turkey is usually my choice of lunch meat/snack, whereas here in Europe there’s usually only ham in sandwiches and such. I also wanted some fruit (I hadn’t had genuinely fresh fruit in what felt like forever) so we bought some from a little cart. It was like a fresh bite of heaven when I ate my first strawberry in two weeks, and I devoured the rest of the fruit quickly. There seems to be way more little vendors selling fresh fruit here than in some of the other cities we visited, but that’s just my opinion based on what we’ve seen.

It was actually pretty chilly outside and the forecast said it would rain later, so we ran back to the hotel room to grab light jackets. I also changed into shorts just because the breeze was a tad bit too strong for my flowy skirt I wore originally. We headed back outside and walked around with my dad guiding us. He was using maps on his phone to try and find some areas we hadn’t explored. We passed through some streets with local apartment buildings and came to a huge open square. More people were starting to come out, but it seemed like this area was more actual residents of the town so it was still fairly empty. We sat and relaxed for a while enjoying the peace and quiet until we began to hear thunder in the distance. It was only a matter of time until it started raining and my dad wanted to see a basilica nearby, so we decided to head there and then go back to the hotel before we got caught in a storm.

We got to the basilica and it was next to the Leonardo da Vinci museum so we observed those from the outside before turning back. On our way back to the hotel we stopped in a glass shop and my parents bought a couple things, such as a really cool picture frame. It was drizzling the rest of our way to the hotel, but we made back inside just as the rain really started. We stayed in our room just unwinding for a while as we waited out the rain until finally going out again at lunchtime.

We walked to a restaurant my dad found online- I got my last margherita pizza of the trip and it was great!! My favorite pizzas I had were still in Sorrento though. After eating we were looking for a gelato place and we stumbled upon one with a super long line; we figured we could try it so we waited for about 15 minutes to get our gelato. The place was called Suso and it was the BEST gelato I’ve had, I highly recommend it. Again, sadly the last gelato of the trip. 😦 I got mint chocolate chip and it was delicious, plus the cone was warm and fresh. It started to rain again so we headed back to the hotel room and rested for a while, getting a head start on packing up our stuff for the early flight tomorrow. It was actually quite entertaining because we were watching some Italian TV and my brother was having a spaz attack- just good old crazy family bonding.

We stayed inside again until dinner, when we went back to the same restaurant we ate at for dinner last night. I ordered the same thing as before (steak) and it was even juicier and better than last night! I also really enjoyed their rolls, I’m not sure if I mentioned that last night. We enjoyed our last dinner in Italy/Europe together and there was lots of laughter at the table. By this point it was around 7pm and we have an extremely early flight tomorrow (6:50am, we have to get up at 3 and leave our hotel at 3:30 because our water taxi driver is coming at 3:45!) so we just went straight back to the hotel and got ready for bed. There were still a few more things to pack up and figure out for tomorrow so we got ourselves sorted and did our best to go to bed early.

Venice was a beautiful city with a lot of charm; I’m glad it was our last stop since the main activity here is just walking around and it has a pretty low-key vibe. The only downside was our hotel wasn’t the nicest (our hotels in all the other cities were much better and had more breakfast options) and the weather wasn’t too great today, but those things can happen anywhere. There were tons of cute shops to look at (mainly glass) and there were lots of little hole-in-the-wall restaurants on every street. It was pretty packed just because of how small it is and how many people come to visit, but as soon as you find your way into an open square you can easily relax and have some space. And how could I forget to mention the canals again? Overlooking the water from any of the numerous waterfront areas or bridges is beautiful, especially with all of the picturesque buildings in the background. I can’t say I would spend a ton of time here since there’s not too much to see, but it’s definitely worth stopping here for a few days if you’re already traveling to another Italian city.

Tomorrow will be a very long day of travel for us, as we don’t have a direct flight back to California. We depart from Venice’s airport with a 6 hour layover in London at the Gatwick airport, and from there it’s a direct flight home. The first flight will be about 2 hours and the second will be about 11 and a half so we are kind of dreading it (all the more reason to just stay here!) but we are also ready to come home. A huge thank you to Europe, specifically France and Italy, for putting up with me and my family for the past two weeks and showing us their history. Even with our trip’s ups and downs, it was definitely the best and most eventful vacation I’ve ever been on, and I got to explore places I’ve always dreamed of seeing in real life. I hope you all enjoyed reading about this trip- there will be one more post tomorrow just covering the travel day since it’s still technically part of the whole experience. The next time I post, I will be back in the USA!

-Brooke

I thought this pink building was really cute, we saw it on one of the many streets of apartments.

This was an art museum located near the basilica we visited, across from the da Vinci museum as well- I thought the architecture was amazing.

(I don’t have many pictures for today since we saw most of the sights yesterday and today the weather was bad, I apologize 😦 As much as I wish the trip went out with a more exciting bang, it was nice to just have a relaxing day to reflect. Speaking of that, a trip reflection post will be coming once I’m home!)

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