Thursday, October 3, 2013

Italy/Paris Trip: Days 4-6

click here to read days 1-3 of our trip.

Bye Orta San Giulio! 

Friday, September 20th
We checked out of our hotel & Piero, Lisa & Marco picked us up to take us to the train station in Novara.  We got there early, but then walked to a cafe for espressos/cappuccinos.

They stayed with us until we safely got on the right train (because the area was a little sketchy)!

 We had first class seats, and it was a very nice, easy ride!  
Didn't seem like 3.5 hours at all! 

The train took us to Venice, then we got a water taxi to take us to our hotel - Hilton Molino Stucky.  It was so amazing seeing the water right up to the old buildings! 

Hilton Molino Stucky
Our hotel was so nice, our rooms were spacious, and we could open our windows, and were right on the water.  Chris & I's room was next door to Jeff & Todd's, and we had a door that we could open in between.

 We unpacked, then took our hotel "shuttle" water taxi boat over to St. Mark's square.

We did some shopping (Jeff got his 1st pair of Maui Jim's), then we found a nice restaurant with tables on the street!  
Saturday, September 21st:  We figured out that we had "executive suite" privileges, and could swipe our room key, and get into this area with breakfast, drinks and snacks all day!  We had an americanized breakfast, then took the boat over to St. Mark's square.  It was super crowded from all the people dropped off by the cruise ships, or getting ready to board.

I immediately found Chanel, and they had the exact bag I had been looking for!

We walked, and walked, shopped, ate, and took pictures!!

We ate at a cute cafe on the other side of the Rialto Bridge for lunch.

We found this shop with embroidered aprons that Jeff wanted to get Hollyn & Bryn.  We went in and asked how long it would take.  The girl said "one minute." I asked right now? and she said yes!  We choose the aprons for the girls, and she machine sewed them in cursive by hand!!  We were blown away! 
We later sat down at a cafe for a water and dessert break! 

People getting married everywhere!

We went back to our hotel, freshened up, then watched the sunset from our rooftop! 

It had the only rooftop pool in all of Venice!

 Chris & I celebrated with some champagne, and watched our incredible view!  

We took our shuttle over to Zattere, and had a nice dinner outside! 
I ordered a salad, but then found out Todd was getting french fries, so we switched :)
A guy played the accordion for us!  Made it a real italian experience for us! 

Sunday, September 22nd.  We had breakfast downstairs, then met Giulio - our main contact with Jurop at St. Mark's square.  He showed us around Venice, then we went in the St. Mark's Basilica during their Sunday morning Mass!  We then toured Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale).  They didn't allow pictures, but it was AMAZING!  Gold ceilings, paintings, the armory used during the war, the prisons, the courtrooms, etc.  
I did take a picture looking out while on the bridge of sighs.  "The famous name of the bridge dates from the Romantic period and was supposed to refer to the sighs of prisoners who, passing from the courtroom to the cell in which they would serve their sentence, took a last look at freedom as they glimpsed the lagoon and San Giorgio through the small windows."

Chris, Me & Giulio
We then we had lunch at a restaurant on the grand canal.  They brought me out raw sea bass as my "first plate"... and I got kind of queasy, and pushed it away.  

My pasta with mushrooms was amazing though :) 

We were exhausted and ended up going back to our hotel.  I went for a nap, and the guys had coffees and talked on the rooftop.  I had a Nutella little ice cream at this place in the center of our hotel, then we went up to watch the sunset again! 

We ate dinner outside at one of the restaurants in our hotel - probably our most expensive meal we paid for!

Caprese - ate this as much as possible on our tri! 
 Watched cruise ships and yachts go by!

my cannelloni  
Last full day in Venice... 

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