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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Getting Blown Away by Bruges

Having heard about the magic of Bruges by a lot of travelers, we couldn’t miss out on the chance of seeing the city with our own eyes. You may recall from our days in Brussels (read about here) that it was raining a lot. We were finally starting to get wise, checking the weather forecast before leaving, and saw that the rains in Bruges were not supposed to start until about 10:00am. Somehow, we managed to haul our very jetlagged selves out of bed extra early, for a vacation that is, and catch the 7:00am train to Bruges.  The train is direct and only about an hour, just enough time to catch a few more zzz’s before exploring for the day.

 

Blown away by Bruges - The Next Trip

 

One of the benefits of getting up early, was that the town was still primarily asleep. As we made our way from the train station in Bruges to the city center, we had the entire streets to ourselves and could take as many pictures as we wanted without any pesky tourists getting in the way. On the main square in the center, the vendors at the farmer’s market were only just starting to set up and the big tour buses haven’t arrived yet.

 

Blown away by Bruges - The Next Trip

 

Blown away by Bruges - The Next Trip

 

Blown away by Bruges - The Next Trip

 

Blown away by Bruges - The Next Trip

 

 

Bruges is famous for both its canals and for being one of the most well-preserved medieval towns in Europe. We had high expectations and we loved the architecture and canals. The city truly gives off a historic feel and we enjoyed wandering around the cobblestone streets.

 

 

Blown away by Bruges - The Next Trip

 

 

Blown away by Bruges - The Next Trip

 

Blown away by Bruges - The Next Trip

 

 

 

 

The Belgians really love their doors and door knobs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right on cue, the rains began around 10:00am and so we took shelter in our new favourite coffee shop chain, Le Pain Quotidien. The quaint restaurant was set up in a typical Belgian brick building, decorated with rustic wood furniture, bows and flowers.

 

Le Pain Quotidien in Bruges - Blown away by Bruges - The Next Trip

 

Le Pain Quotidien in Bruges - Blown away by Bruges - The Next Trip

 

Le Pain Quotidien in Bruges - Blown away by Bruges - The Next Trip

 

Le Pain Quotidien in Bruges - Blown away by Bruges - The Next Trip

 

Le Pain Quotidien in Bruges - Blown away by Bruges - The Next Trip

 

Bettina couldn’t resist the turmeric latte and the smoked salmon and egg breakfast, while I was still working on my pain au chocolat fix.

 

Le Pain Quotidien in Bruges - Blown away by Bruges - The Next Trip

 

Le Pain Quotidien in Bruges - Blown away by Bruges - The Next Trip

 

Le Pain Quotidien in Bruges - Blown away by Bruges - The Next Trip

 

Le Pain Quotidien in Bruges - Blown away by Bruges - The Next Trip

 

After a bit of window shopping (and real shopping for Bettina) we had passed by our day in Bruges.

 

Blown away by Bruges - The Next Trip

 

It is a great little city that you can easily spend a day or two wandering the streets and stepping back in time. We appreciated the early morning the best as it was quiet and uninterrupted, while the city seemed to fill with tourists later in the day, and this was on a rainy day in March!

 

Le Pain Quotidien in Bruges - Blown away by Bruges - The Next Trip

 

Blown away by Bruges - The Next Trip

 

In short, we were blown away by Bruges and will definitely be back!


 

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