After an action packed weekend in Paris, Zack and I jetted over to Italy for our first stop: Venice. A water taxi took us to the guest house that we had chosen for our trip: Casa Favaretto.
This one is small and has been owned by the same family for 60 years! It’s impeccably clean, run by the friendliest woman, Francesca, and in a fantastic location.
We arrived at what I called our purple palace room, and were taken aback when we opened our window.
I know that Venice is a city on water, but I don’t think I will ever stop being mesmerized seeing buildings floating atop gleaming turquoise water.
We unpacked and took off to explore the city and grab a bite to eat.
The city is comprised of thousands of alleys lined with amazing shops and restaurants. One place to eat that we heard rave reviews about was Dal Moro’s, a tiny pasta joint that hand makes the pasta right in front of you! Think of it as the fast food of pasta, but in the best possible way.
I got the fusili with arrabiata (spicy tomato) sauce, and Zack ordered the fettuccine with pesto and proscuitto. You are strictly forbidden from taking pictures in the tiny shop, so I can’t show you all what it looks like, although there isn’t much to see. The shop is maybe 6 ft by 10 ft, it’s the smallest place I’ve ever been!
However, the size does not stop them from turning out some of the best pasta I’ve gotten my hands on. The pasta had the perfect texture and the sauce is what you dream of.
The spice on mine was just the right kick of heat without being overpowering, and Zack’s pesto was ridiculously creamy. On top of that? It’s so cheap! Only 5 euros for a huge container of pasta, my kind of place 🙂
After we stuffed ourselves we continued to walk around the city, and were shocked at how breathtakingly beautiful the city is. Each twist and turn you make you’re greeted with a stunning bridge, a beautiful building, or a fantastic view.
I think you could spend an entire day just walking around all of the bridges!
Zack had decided that we did enough walking for the day, so he bought us a bottle of Prosecco and hailed a gondola ride.
Andrea took us around the city in a traditional Venetian boat, called a gondola, and let us enjoy the sights while he sang away! It was seriously like something out of a movie!
^^ not the classiest of cups, but you’ve got to make do with what you have!
The gondola ride may be a little pricey, but if you’re in Venice you must do it! it was definitely one of the highlights of our trip!
The next day, we took a boat over to Murano, the island famous for their beautiful hand blown glass. We grabbed a quick bite to eat of mushroom pizza and gnocchi that were as light as pillows!
Although it was raining while we were there, I’ve never seen a city look so beautiful during a storm.
Most store owners don’t approve of you taking photos of their work, but I managed to snap a few to show you how incredible the glass work is.
From intricate vases, to a chess board made entirely out of glass figures, to a necklace with glass beads blown with copper flakes inside of them, there is somethign to marvel at in nearly every shop.
Just like most of Europe, prices can be haggled (and should be!).
I was dying to see a glassblowing demonstration, so we walked over to a nearby factory to see a master glass blower show off his craft.
He demonstrated how to make a vase, and we were all very impressed by how easy he makes it look. We learned that for him to be considered a master glass blower he had to train for over 20 years!
His final trick? He made this pony in just 1 minute!
Starving, we headed back to the main part of Venice to Osteria Alla Staffa, a tiny place that had killer yelp reivews.
We started out with the seafood antipasti: a plate of 13 different seafood speciaties to taste. The bites ranged from marinated octopus, to fried sardines, and all were incredible and so fresh.
First of all sorry for the awful picture of the pasta, flash was not our friend during this meal. For the main we got the cod three ways and the sea-bass stuffed ravioli in a saffron cream sauce.
The cod was too similar to the antipasti for me to rave over it, but the ravioli was fantastic, especially that cream sauce.
We walked back home in the moonlight, and fell in love with this city. If you’re in Italy I think it would be a crime not to visit!