Wandering in the Dolomites

Having spent a wonderful day in Venice (read about it here and see our full itinerary here), we were heading north - to the Dolomites. We rented a Fiat 500 to drive from Venice to the Dolomites (I linked the route here) which made me particularly happy as I love these cute cars and I haven't driven a stick-shift in a long time.

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

After the short 2-hour drive, we arrived and were greeted with sunshine and amazing views of little Italian villages, sparkling alpine lakes, and majestic mountain peaks.

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

We stayed in Padola at the Hotel La Torre which was modern and offered the most amazing views of the ski slopes and the surrounding mountain ranges. The entire area felt like one big ski resort and we would love to come back once, equipped to hit the slopes.

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

Even better than the views though were the hotel staff. They were extremely friendly and warm, attending to our every need, and they made us feel like we're staying with a family rather than in a hotel. If you ever plan a trip to the Dolomites, I can highly recommend staying there.

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

The Dolomites are a mountain range in the north of Italy which reminds me very much of Switzerland. Also, it's where part of my family originates from. Going back there over Easter, to spend a few days relaxing with my family was very special to me. I don't get to see my family very often, but when I do, it's a blast! We do what families are supposed to do: eat, talk, have some wine, and eat some more. Our Easter weekend in the Dolomites was no different. After the Sunday dinner (it was a full 7-course meal and each course was good sized!), I didn't think I could ever eat again.

To walk off the meals of the past couple of days, Kyle and I decided to explore the area a bit more. Hotel Spa La Torre lent us their snowshoes and we were off on our adventure with the little Fiat 500 rental.

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

Initially, my family joined us but as the hills got steeper, we were soon alone. With the only goal of enjoying the views, we wandered off into the woods, snowshoes in hand for when the going got tough.

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

We couldn't get enough of these views of snow-covered mountains, old Italian villages, and blue skies.

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

As we were walking and enjoying the surroundings, we were surprised by how much at home both of us felt. Growing up in Canada and Switzerland, respectively, Kyle and I are used to mountains and we often miss seeing peaks on the horizon.

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

Who knows, we might move somewhere more remote than Chicago someday, with lots of mountains and snow. But for now, we're enjoying the big city life to the fullest.

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

Would you rather live in the mountains or in a big city? Let us know in the comments below!

 


 

A Taste of Venice

Everything they say about Venice is true. It’s a magical place. I as of this day still haven’t seen anything quite like it, and it’s completely overrun by tourists.

I’ve been to Venice when I was a kid and I absolutely loved it. However, as a kid, I was impressed by many things that don’t seem as amazing now. Venice was different. Ever since we thought about going to Venice over Easter and meeting my family there, I was really excited to go back to the city that stole my heart 20 or so (I’d rather not count) years ago.

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

We flew from Brussels to Marco Polo Airport (check out our itinerary here) and took the bus directly into Venice. With hotels in Venice being so expensive, we booked a place off the island but decided to go to Venice first to enjoy the afternoon and evening there before heading to the hotel later that night. (In case you were wondering, we didn’t walk around Venice with our suitcases but were able to store them at the train station.)

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

As we started wandering around the city, crossing canals, and admiring the architecture, I noticed that Kyle was very impressed with what he saw. He doesn’t usually believe in travel destination hypes but had to give in to this one.

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

We usually try to blend in with the locals but something about the Italian cuisine made us fail miserably. No sooner than 30 minutes after touching ground, we already polished off a slice of pizza and two scoops (each!) of gelato.

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

Consistent with our days in Belgium, it was raining on and off. We decided to cure our weather blues with wine and cured meats before at Muro Frari before heading to our hotel.

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

We stayed at the most beautiful Hotel Villa Barbarich where we met my family. A few minutes outside of Venice, the hotel is beautifully secluded, surrounded by trees, and as relaxing as can be. I would have loved to stay there a few days longer to enjoy the hotel grounds and the spa.

 

Hotel Villa Barbarich - A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

Hotel Villa Barbarich - A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

The inside of the hotel was just as stunning. It is a combination of historical Italian architecture with modern elements. We were particularly taken aback by the art on the walls and ceiling.

 

Hotel Villa Barbarich - A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

Hotel Villa Barbarich - A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

We planned to head back into Venice early the next morning. However, these plans were thoroughly ruined by the amazing breakfast spread at the Hotel Villa Barbarich. We ate our body weights in eggs, bacon, pastries, and more, and were ready to explore.

 

Hotel Villa Barbarich - A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

Hotel Villa Barbarich - A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

The city was even more impressive in the sun and we walked through the narrow alleys soaking it all in.

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

The architecture in Venice is truly amazing. I'm in awe every time I walk through the narrow streets.

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

Ready for a coffee break (which is basically always), we followed the promise of some proper coffee time at the oldest café in the world – Café Florian. It is located right on St. Marcus Square, you can't miss it!

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

If you ever visit Venice, I can highly recommend this place. Their hot chocolate (I know, not really a coffee) is out of this world – chocolaty, thick, creamy, and not too sweet.

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

(Note that Café Florian is extremely popular amongst tourists given its location and history so you would want to come here in the morning.)

We wandered around for another couple of hours and had a blast spending time together.

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

Shop My Look

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

It was so precious to be reunited with my family in such a magical place. Kyle and I made a promise to come back but try to stay in the city so that we could explore Venice before all the other tourists make it out of bed.

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

Before we left the island, I picked up a traditional Colomba di Pasqua and we toasted to a great start into our Easter family get-together. (A Colomba di Pasqua is a Panettone in the shape of a dove. It's a typical 'cake' the Italians eat around Easter.)

 

A Taste of Venice - The Next Trip

 

Have you been to Venice? What did you like best? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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