I woke up sad. This was our last full day in Venice and from the moment we got there, I had fallen in love. But parts of me were excited too. Because our trip was really just beginning and we still had other beautiful places to explore.
Because it was our last day, we decided to get an early start. We headed back to St. Mark's Square so we could get in line to walk inside the church. I know we had just seen this square the day before but it was even more beautiful the second time around. I stood there for a moment taking it all in. This was real life. This beauty was real. Something I still just could not comprehend. As we stood in line I was so excited. This felt like the 100th church we had been in, in the last 3 days. People had said we would tire of all the churches, but honestly, this was one thing I did not tire from. Each was different, unique and had their own sense of beauty. Being Catholic and Italian, I think made me appreciate them even more.
I wish pictures were allowed to be taken in this church. Even though, they wouldn't even begin to show you the same beauty we got to see with our own eyes. I could have probably stayed in there all day. Each church we walked into, I pictured what it would be like getting married there. I looked at the aisles, thinking, how long it would take to walk down them. I looked at the organs imagining how beautiful the music would sound. And looked out at all the pews thinking how beautiful it would look filled with family and friends. Hubby and I may need to renew or vows in Italy, whose coming? ;)
After we walked the church, we took a few more pictures of the square and decided to venture on some more. We had already did SO much and pretty much walked all of Venice. So we weren't too sure what we would find next. But there were more buildings, bridges and canals that kept popping up. And it seemed they got more beautiful, each day.
We came across Gallerie dell' Accademia, and decided to go in and check it out. Gallerie dell' Accademia is a gallery filled with pre 19th century art. I am not typically a huge art gallery fan, but I will tell you, these biblical paintings and statues were beautiful and on a whole new level. Not only was it beautiful in there but it was so educational. And just the fact of being there, in front of paintings that were done so long ago, was incredible. You truly cannot believe things like this exist, until you experience yourself.
Room after room we were amazed. When we came across another room filled with smaller paintings, hubby got close to one to get a better look, a small alarm went off. We assume maybe his face was too close. But I laughed hysterically. As we ventured into the rooms with the statues (my absolute favorite part!) I saw an adorable lion statue. Not even thinking, I touched it. Hubby joked around and said "mam, don't touch the statues". And as soon as he said that, an even louder more extreme alarm went off. He says he wishes he got my face on camera. Needless to say, we exited not just that exhibit, but the museum, rather quickly!
Feeling as though museum personnel were searching for me, it felt good to be back outside and on the streets, AWAY from the museum. We took out our map and realized there was still one more little spot of Venice we hadn't ventured to yet. So we were on our way. Of course stopping at every canal to take a picture ;) Do you remember in my first post about day 1 in Venice? The wind knocked out of you feeling? Well Venice went on and did that again to us as we came upon the last little section we hadn't seen yet. The church. My goodness the church. The canal. You would think after seeing it the last few days, it couldn't get any prettier. But let me tell you, it can and it did.
We decided to walk through the church and my reaction was just like every other church we walked through; jaw dropped and mesmerized. We stayed there for a while taking pictures and just taking in this new beauty we had come across. But our bellies started to tell us it was lunch time. As we started to make our way back to find some lunch, we stopped one more time at the Rialto Bridge for some pictures.
Lunch consisted of pizza and wine for hubby and a delicious veggie sandwich and wine for me. When we finished and started walking back to our hotel, we saw hustle and bustle going on. You know nosy me just had to see what was going on! Turns out, they were filming a movie. It was no one we knew, and actually, I think it was just an Italian production film, but we stuck around and watched for a bit anyways. It was fun to see and watch. As they would roll, then cut, then roll and cut. It amazes me how a place so crowded, they can manage to still film. I stood there ready to jump in. Just incase they needed an extra ;)
After a while it wasn't even really about watching them film. We were in such a cozy spot on a bridge, with the water sparkling below us. And a clear view of the Bridge of Sighs. If you missed my last post, go back and read all about the bridge! We started getting sleepy so we made our way back for ONE last view of St. Mark's Square and finally our hotel. My feet were so achy! So it felt good to be back in our room and just relax a bit before dinner.
We decided to get ready a bit earlier and head out earlier than usual because we wanted to catch a gondola ride. I had read mixed reviews and feelings about this. Don't waste your money people would say. So I wasn't sure if this was something we should do. But I would have to say those must be some pretty miserable people. Because I am SO glad we wasted our money on a ride. It's so cliché and touristy, but it was also so romantic and the most beautiful thing ever. There is a huge difference between looking at the canal from a bridge, and actually being out there on it. Our gondola driver? person? Whatever you call it, was awesome. He was funny, and he took us down the quietest, most beautiful canals. And surprised us with coming out into the middle of the Grand Canal. This was the first time in my entire life, I didn't want to keep the camera going. I wanted to actually sit there in that moment and enjoy it with my own eyes. (Of course I did snap a picture too). If you visit Venice and do one thing touristy, I recommend this.
After our ride we decided we hadn't seen the Rialto Bridge lit up at night. Even though we had stopped there earlier, we decided to go back. And I am glad we did. Everything does look different and beautiful at night. This time it truly was our last time visiting the bridge! We found a resteraunt we had been eyeing since the first day we got there, that was right on the canal, and decided to eat there. I cannot honestly even remember what we got. I was trying to take in the last night there views and just enjoy every moment I could. I do remember we left full and happy. And craving gelato! So that was our next stop. As we walked with our gelato I was thinking about our last 3 days there in Venice. We had done so much. Seen so much. Walked so much.
As much as I didn't want to do this, because it meant we were leaving, we decided to walk to the train station to make sure we knew where it was. Because Venice is well water, we would have to walk to the station in the morning. Luckily it was close to our hotel and wasn't that bad of a walk. Only a huge bridge, that had some stairs. Hubby promised he would carry my boat of a suitcase up it though, haha. We had such an early morning and squeezed so much in, and were about to have another early morning, that we decided to walk back to our hotel and try to get some rest. But I laid there in bed for a few hours. I did not want to leave this beautiful place in the morning. But I also couldn't wait to see what our next adventure was going to be like.
I can say one thing is for sure, I left a little piece of my heart in Venice. ❤