After our amazing adventure in Rome we hopped on the Italo Built Train to Venice. The train goes over 220 miles per hour and got us to Venice in 3.5 hours. We were excited to see the Italian countryside from the train as we traveled from Rome to Venice, but were disappointed when the person in front of us closed the window after only 30 minutes. Lame.
Venice is an amazing place, a maze of tiny streets with no cars and canals separating each district. People fill the narrow streets swarming around monuments and street vendors. I’m glad we got the chance to see Venice but wouldn’t recommend this busy island to anyone traveling with a small child. There is too much water to feel comfortable with a little one who can’t yet swim and too many stairs to navigate strollers on. I was very surprised that the bridges all had stairs on either side. This is not a wheel chair or stroller friendly city by any means. Pat and I developed a good system tilting Piper’s, luckily very light weight, Maclaren stroller back by the handles and lifting it up so he could grab the front foot bar and together we lifted the stroller over each bridge, we did way too much walking to leave it behind.
It was very crowded when we went in early October and I don’t think we saw one child (besides our own) until running into what must have been the only school in Venice, where 12 kids played kickball in a courtyard. When I thought of Venice before we visited I imagined a romantic city with canals, gondolas, and music filling the air. There is definitely some of this majestic ambiance on the less traveled paths but they are challenging to find. I’d recommend you try to, if you ever find yourself in this labyrinth of a city. It is easy to get lost on the winding streets. We definitely found ourselves walking in circles hour after hour more then once.
Eating was a lot more difficult for me in Venice. Gluten free options are few and far between as celiac isn’t prevalent on the island. When we did find gluten free options the food was amazing. The bars are fascinating. They seem to consist of a window where you purchase your drink of choice and a few small tables on the side of the canal lite by candlelight. At night when it is quiet is when the romance of this city truly shows its colors. There are some beautiful monuments in Venice. I was amazed with the architecture and art work at Saint Marks Basilica and Dodges Palace. I don’t have a clue how people built such amazing structures so long ago. Piazza San Marco is where most of the monuments are and is quite an amazing place. I love exposing Piper to all the culture I can at such a young age. I hope she grows up to appreciate art as much as I do. It took me 30 years to get to Italy and she got to go before she turned 2! We’ll see if she remembers any of it. 🙂 After hours of walking in the crowded streets and visiting museum after museum it was very nice to relax back at our Airbnb apartment. Venice was on my bucket list of places to visit. I am very happy I got to experience this city consisting of 117 small islands all linked by bridges with the 2 loves of my life. Xo- Alia P.s. For $25 off your first Airbnb rental use THIS LINK!