Today we went to Venice! We are staying in Mestre which is right on the mainland off of Venice, and it takes only a short bus ride to reach the scenic island. Since we booked our hotel online, we even got free bus tickets for each of us. 

Since we're staying in a hotel here in Mestre, we get breakfast included. European breakfast's aren't particularly large or filling, and so far we've discovered that even most of the nice breakfast bars at hotels specialize in bread products with some form of nutella. For me, this is perfect! I also got to have coffee which was a special treat. We headed off to the train station around 8:30 since we needed to make reservations for the next leg of our trip, and then took the train from there and decided to use our bus tickets for the return home. 

When we first got onto the island it was pretty quiet since most of the tourist shops hadn't even opened yet. We walked through the winding streets towards St. Mark's square and began seeing more and more faces. It's the low season for tourism here in Italy, which has been really nice since we haven't encountered any large crowds or endless lines. Probably most people want to visit when it's warmer, which is understandable since the temperatures were hovering above freezing for most of today. Despite that, we enjoyed walking through the narrow roads, over countless bridges, and peering into bakeries and shops as we walked past. 

We've been told about the pigeons at St. Mark's square by some friends of ours who did Italy over fall break. We walked over to a flock of them and it immediately became evident that Ryan was the pigeon whisperer in the group. All he had to do was walk towards them with his hands out and they would come and sit there, even though he didn't even have food! We did watch some people being overcome by birds when they opened a small pack of food. Anyway, we spend quite a while amidst the birds and even revisited them after eating lunch and walking through St. Mark's Basilica. 

Around one we decided to walk along the waterfront for awhile and then find the "bus" which was really a boat that takes you all the way through the Grand Canal. We sat outside which was worth the photos although it was quite freezing. We took the bus back to Mestre and were back in our warm hotel room by four. After a short rest time in the warmth, Justin, Austin and I ventured out to find a grocery store to buy snacks for tomorrow. Now we're settling in with a movie for our last night in Italia.
Sheri Seibold
12/22/2012 06:02:10 pm

Where is the picture of you with a pigeon? Or are you more of a Mitch or Rachel (ModFam, Friends) kind of person?

The place is beautiful, at least as you captured it. So glad you could have Austin with you in Italy.

12/23/2012 09:29:40 pm

Wow, your beautiful photos bring back wonderful memories of my visit to Venice.
Am thrilled that Austin is able to see all these great sights with you, Shelby and Justin, plus that other nice looking guy with you.
See lots, remember lots!
Love ya guys, G'pa Clyde

12/27/2012 05:24:35 am

I love those colorful glass balloons and the red, white, & green bowtie pasta!!!


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