In June, I went on a trip to Europe with a group from EF College Break, which was amazing to say the least. I had my expectations high as I had been to Europe before and loved every second of it, so when I got here this time, I had hoped to feel the same as before.
Despite the seemingly endless downpours in Germany and the long bus rides at times, I did feel the same magic that I had my very first trip there. I love Europe and it's diverse cultures traveling from one country to the next. It's inspiring and motivating for me, quite honestly, it's what I want my life to be.
So when I got to go back to Italy, my favorite place I've ever been, I was pretty darn excited. Now, I didn't get to go to the same place, traveling from Germany and Austria, we landed in the Northern (East) side of Italy. It's definitely still gorgeous and I wouldn't have left if I had had a choice. Venice was our main spot to visit here, but we stayed in a small town near there called Cavallino (which I said countless times during the trip because it just rolls of your tongue and means little horse, we stayed here).
In Cavallino we stayed at a nice hotel near a few good restaurants and shops, as well as, having a nice beach right down the street from us, we could see it from our balconies, which wasn't bad at all!
The first night there we basically just settled in with our stuff and went to eat at the restaurant next door, which had delicious pasta (I got carbonara and some white wine, which was also lovely).
The next morning we took our bus to meet our boat into the city, which took us about a half hour to 40 minutes or so to get there.
But once we did, we saw the reasons why everyone wanted to come here. It was beautiful, the architecture, the colors, the ups and downs of the bridges and the alley ways of canals. It was great to get there earlier in the morning so there weren't as many tourists to bump into along the way.
We met our tour guide and he took us through Saint Marks Basilica quickly and showed us down some paths to the Murano glass blowery, where they gave us a quick demonstration and let us see what else they had made in their shop. Venetian glass is not cheap, but I did end up buying two tumbler glasses for my mom, which were very pretty and durable.
We then had a chance to go off on our own to explore, which we wandered more paths, got lost a couple times, at lunch (had amazing linguini and clams!) and saw the Rialto Bridge! Sadly, they were doing construction on half of it, but it was still very pretty.
We met up with our group again and got to take a gondola ride! Checked that off my bucket list.
It was a nice time, although apparently gondoliers don't sing to you that early in the day, remember that!
Again we had free time for walking, exploring, art gallery looking, and gelato eating. Eventually our feet got tired and we had to rest, but we met up with our group again, had more gelato and headed back out to head home.
It;s definitely a tourist city, where all the locals know how to work it, setting up art, souvenir, and other trinket booths. It was nice to be able to see it as our guide kept telling us to, "come back before it sinks and is gone."
Our boat ride back seemed quicker and we headed out to the beach to see what was there, which was beautiful! The water was a bit cold but the view couldn't be beat. We had fun walking on the sand and taking pictures.
Another pizza and pasta dinner and we were done with Venice.
The next day we headed out and on our way to our next country, we stopped in Verona! A smaller, yet still somewhat modernized city full of pop up booths for food and souvenirs. We ate lots of fruit that day, which we hadn't eaten all trip it seemed!
We got to see the statue of Juliet as well as her balcony. It's nice to be able to say I've been there. It was a very hot day and we didn't stay long, but enough to have seen what was needed.
Our next stop would be Switzerland. I'll write about my travels there later.
For now, cheers and safe travels!