“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.” Truman Capote
Ever since I was little, I’ve watched romantic-comedies where the couple would ride a gondola and the gondolier would sing Italian opera. I’m a sucker for romance and romantic gestures and I’ve always wondered what it would be like to ride a gondola with someone you love.
After dating my boyfriend, Mati, for 3 weeks, he decided to plan a spontaneous trip to Venice, Italy. At first, it took me by surprise and I was a bit hesitant about going since the relationship was really fresh. But, in the end, I agreed to go with him. I think what calmed me down a little before agreeing to the trip, was the fact that one of our friends was coming with us. She stayed in an Airbnb and we stayed in a hotel. But at least I knew she was in the same city just in case things got really awkward (which they didn’t)
Our first day was full of traveling and actually getting to Venice. We decided to drive since it was close to Bluche, Switzerland. When I say close, I mean it is 6 hours away, but still, an acceptable distance to drive.
Venice is known for its incredible canals and beautiful architecture. So because of the canals, you need to leave your car just outside of the city and take a water taxi. The water taxis were definitely an interesting experience. It was different than I expected it to be. It also took us a while to find out how to get to the ferries from the parking lots.
The first thing I noticed when we got out of the water taxi was the Rialto Bridge. I don’t think I’ve seen a bridge more beautiful (except our Charles Bridge, right here in Prague). When we finally got settled in, we decided to meet up with our friend and go for dinner to a small Italian restaurant (of course) just across the hotel. We were quite tired, so we didn’t really do much that evening.
Mati and I woke up quite late that morning and our friend was already out and about. When we looked out the window, it was pouring rain and of course, we did not have an umbrella with us, so we had to go buy one. We slowly made our way towards Piazza San Marco which is the main square of Venice. It was absolutely beautiful. Even though the day was a little dull and gray, it didn’t stop us from exploring the city. One of the cool, and maybe a little touristy, places we found was the Magnum Icecream shop where you could make your own icecream. I’m not a huge fan of ice cream because it’s just too cold for me (don’t judge). But I couldn’t pass the opportunity to make my own. It was delicious.
My favorite part of the day was visiting the Jewish quarter of Venice. It was Shabbat when we went so everything was closed. We did have an opportunity recite the Kiddush (the English translation is sanctification). Which is basically reciting a blessing while drinking kosher wine (which is delicious by the way) or eating challah bread. There are different types of kiddush, for Shabbat, there are two, one to declare Shabbat on Friday evening, and another to do it on Saturday after all services (it’s also known as oneg). It was an interesting experience to embrace my religion in a different country.
In the evening we decided to go for a gondola ride. Finally, my movie dreams came true. Except for the fact that the gondolier didn’t sing Italian opera. But our friend, who is a singer, started singing some as a joke. Which set the mood quite right. It was already dark so we couldn’t see a lot of the architecture, but it was still beautiful. Especially going under the Rialto Bridge when it was all lit up.
Mati and I decided to have breakfast together. So, of course, he decided that we will go to Cafe Florian. For a place that was born in Venice in 1720, it has an incredible reputation. It was a gorgeous cafe in the plaza, but it was quite expensive. The atmosphere was amazing and there was a band that played really nice music. I think it was one of the best breakfast dates that Mati and I have had. The food was incredible, the desserts were out of this world and the view was perfect. I couldn’t ask for a better morning with a better person.
After having a nice, last stroll around the city, we went back to the hotel and got a water taxi back to the parking lots. We got into the car and started our drive back to Switzerland. Keep in mind that is was still summer (mid-September). It started snowing up in the mountains. There was no better way to end an amazing trip.
Moral of the story. Always say yes to trips with your boyfriend because they will end up being the best trips of your life.