We head east to one of the world’s most romantic cities: Venice. Straight from Santa Lucia train station, we’re met by the busy waterfront of one of Venice’s main vaporetto ports, Ferrovia. From here you can get to pretty much anywhere in Venice.
For us, we are heading to Ca d’Oro to our AirBnB accommodation. It’s an awesome little top-floor apartment nestled amongst the roofs and chimneys of the lowrise Venetian skyline.
Here’s our street. A lot of Venice streets have old communal wells like the one in the foreground. No one uses them anymore though.
Venice isn’t Venice without a gondola. It’s like something out of a film to see them riding up and down the canals here.
Lunch is an excellent little trattoria somewhere on one of Venice’s little side streets. Mrs Romance goes for a delicious crab pasta and I have sepia nero. It’s pasta with cuttlefish and the sauce and pasta is black from the ink. It’s a Venice specialty and absolutely delicious.
We’re stuffed from our pasta lunch, but we still have room to at least admire the amazing cake trolley the waiter rolls out for another table.
Everywhere in Venice is a postcard. Every little bridge over every little canal. It’s just an amazing place.
The sun sets on our first night here. We sit on our rooftop balcony and absorb the romance of this beautiful water city.
Next morning we wake up and have a humble breakfast on our balcony. We went to a supermarket yesterday and picked up some local meat, cheese, eggs and apples. It makes for the best start to our day.
Mrs Romance loves taking pictures of flower stalls. I’m still reeling at how expensive this one is… unless maybe the sign-writer just doesn’t believe in decimal points.
The Rialto Bridge is the most famous bridge in the city. Its huge stone structure is home to market stalls all the way along. The stalls sell touristy trinkets but it makes for the most amazing shopping mall you’ll ever see.
The sun goes down leaving us with the only thing more beautiful than Venice in the day. Venice at night. These guys really know how to light stuff. The twinkle and glow of all the little lights along the canals and the boats meandering past make this one of the most stunning spots we’ve ever been to.
Even from the tourist-crammed walls of the Rialto Bridge, the romance of this city is palpable.
This morning we make the most of our 48-hour vaporetto tickets and head off on our Venice odyssey. We ride south all the way to Guidecca and explore some of the islands here. There’s also an amazing rooftop bar in the Hilton Molino Stucky. Of course, we have to sample their aperotivi.
Across the canal we gaze at the sights. Here’s the Chiesa del Redentore – a beautiful old church. Thanks @murfeo for ID-ing this one for us on Instagram!
We enjoy a bellini before heading off to our next place of interest. Murano – where the glass is made – is north-east and on the other side of the city. It’s incredibly touristy here and we don’t enjoy it much. And the very idea of trying to get glass all the way back to Australia in our luggage… shattering!
Instead we head further north east to Burano.
Burano is an enchantingly garish little place. Every building is painted a different colour here.
The reason for these Harlequin streets is many years ago the borders of people’s property was painted in a different colour to identify the borders of each person’s land. The use of colour today is much more ornamental. And it makes for a beautiful photo.
Burano’s church tower leans even further over than the famous Tower of Pisa.
The colourful streets of Burano make this one of the prettiest places in all of Venice. Because it’s a bit further out, the locals are a bit friendlier too. I wonder if this is also because it’s such a fun, colourful place to live as well.
We stop for refreshments here. Mrs R is modelling my drink. The barman can’t make me a negroni (no gin!) so he makes this monster of Campari and pink vermouth. It’s awesome!
Our last stop of this epic day is all the way back to St Mark’s for sunset. We make it just in time and the sun just dips behind the beautiful Santa Maria della Salute across the Grand Canal as we pull into the San Marco quay.
We head for the famous St Mark’s Square expecting it to be a zoo, but most of the day-trippers have gone and there is no queue to go up the tower of St Mark’s Cathedral. There’s a manned lift so we don’t mind paying the €7 to go up. The views and the sunset are mind-blowing.
The next morning we head out for a bit more exploring and use up the half day we have left in Venice. We see these love hearts (very on-brand) stuck to the pavement near our apartment and think it’s the most appropriate way to end the Venice part of our Instagram diary.
Next stop, we head further north and east to Trieste, where Mrs Romance’s father was from. We use the train ride there to quietly contemplate our time just spent in one of the world’s truly romantic cities.