Things to see and do in Venice, Italy with limited time

Venice Canal

My entire life I’ve been drawn to water. Whether it be the swimming pool in my backyard or cooling off in Atlantic on a hot Florida summer day, being in water is my happy place. Knowing this makes it very easy to understand why Venice, Italy is perhaps the most magical place I’ve ever been. In fact, so magical it brought me to tears. More on that later.

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This trip to Italy was last minute and only happened because of an event my husband was invited to for work. Since the event happened to fall around our 1st anniversary we decided to make a quick vacation out of the trip with a stop in Florence and Rome as well. Our time was very limited in each stop so we got up early to make the most of our time. The above picture was taken early in the morning while we were waiting for Doge’s Palace to open. I love the fog in this image, something that was gone just a half an hour later.

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The charm of Venice, Italy is the history that is around every corner. Time has made left a mark on everything including this winged lion statue.

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The picture above was taken from the Bridge of Sighs, which connects Doge Palace to prison across the canal. Its name is in reference to the sighs that prisoners would give as they entered the prison possible taking in their last sight of the beauty of Venice, Italy.

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Of course no trip to Venice would be complete without a ride in a gondola. I know you are thinking “How touristy of you Michelle!” Trust me we came very close to not doing it, but I had read somewhere that if you get the right gondolier right at the end of the evening they might give you a good deal. Considering we were still paying off our honeymoon and this trip was a bit of a stretch, the high price for a half hour ride in a gondola was an expense that I wasn’t ready to pay. Fortunately, we came across the gondolier pictured above who offered us a discounted rate, but we wouldn’t be able to go to the Grand Canal. Seemed fine since we were saving money.

I think the gondolier took pity on two poor Americans and surprised us by taking us into the Grand Canal where we got this fantastic photo. We love that memory and photo so much we had it enlarged and it is the main image in our living room.

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St. Mark’s Basilica was under construction while we were there, but it was still beautiful.

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One of the traditional items people purchase in Venice, Italy is lace. I had my heart set on taking home something to remember our time in there. We ended up purchasing a tablecloth set from the woman pictured above. Its been more than a year since our trip to Venice, but I’ve yet to use the tablecloth out of fear for ruining it.

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So you may still be wondering why Venice, Italy made me cry. It is magical after all why would anyone cry?

In the evening in St. Mark’s Square, there are three coffee shops that each have a band playing. After our wonderful gondola ride we decided to sit at one of them, sip on a couple lattes and have some tiramisu. After sitting there on our 1st anniversary and listening to the band I was so overcome by happiness that I began to cry happy tears. Everything in that moment was perfect. I was traveling with my husband to a new place I was experiencing for the first time. It was pure magic.

Have you ever traveled to a destination that brought you to happy tears?

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