Venice in a day – ticking boxes and staying awake

When Katy realized that she would be in Milan for work, we decided to add on some time at the end for a family trip, assuming we would be in Italy, maybe spend time around Florence.

When we started looking into it and noticed just how close Slovenia is, well, let’s just say I’m writing this in Ljubljana.

As it turns out, if you’re visiting Slovenia, it’s often recommended that you fly into Venice as the closest large international airport. What we decided to do, was for Ella and I to fly to Venice and meet Katy who would take the train from Milan. Then, rather than head straight into Slovenia, we would spend the day in Venice so Ella could see where one of her favourite kids books, Olivia Goes to Venice, took place.

Just the highlights

All told, Ella and I were only in Venice for about 24 hours, Katy came in the day before us. With such a short amount of time our goal was to take Ella to see just a few highlights, namely Piazza San Marco, the Rialto Bridge and maybe a ride in a gondola, despite the ridiculous price. Mission Accomplished.

After Ella and I met Katy at our Airbnb, we headed straight out to make our way to Piazza San Marco. Along the way we stopped at the Rialto bridge.

When we arrived at Pizza San Marco, it was bustling with tourists and a steamy 30+ degrees, nearly unbearable in the sun. We were able to show Ella that (spoiler alert) Olivia did not in fact knock down the Campanile. However, what she really enjoyed was chasing the pigeons away.

After stopping at a few shops, while I tried to stay awake standing outside, we headed back to the apartment so I could have a quick nap.

Jet lag fun

I’m usually not too bad at dealing with jetlag. Don’t get me wrong, I feel it, but it’s usually pretty manageable. This time, after a week spent working very long hours at a conference in Boston, then flying back to watch the Raptors win the NBA final and then getting an hour of sleep on an overnight flight with Ella, I was barely functional. I don’t think I’ve ever needed a nap so badly.

4 dollars a minute

After passing out for 45 minutes or so, I felt slightly better and we headed out to go for a gondola ride. This was my third time in Venice, but the first time I actually went on a gondola. Why? Because I could never justify spending 4 dollars (CAD) a minute. I still think it’s ridiculous, but Ella (and Katy) wanted to go so why not. They would have just gone without me anyway.

Mmm, pizza

It’s been a few years since I was last in Italy and the one thing I wanted to make sure I did was get some pizza diavola. So, despite my overwhelming urge to sleep we managed to stop for some dinner along the way home. It wasn’t quite as good as some of the pizza I remember, but still a great way to end our time in Venice.

From here we’ll meet our driver and start exploring Slovenia.

PS – Before we arrived, Katy managed to escape to Burano for a visit and highly recommends it over Venice. It’s a small fishing village with brightly coloured houses along some small canals. Being 45 minutes away by ferry meant that there were fewer tourists – a nice bonus.

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