The lovely people over at www.travelizer.co.uk have challenged us bloggers to write a post on our favourite holiday destination. You can see the competition on their page if you fancy having a crack yourself, but hurry cos it finishes on 4th November!
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I returned from a short visit to Venice earlier this year and fell in love with the place. This is my tale.....
In my thirties I decided to settle down, get married, have the 2.4 kids and worldwide travel was not really on the agenda.
And then one day I entered a Valentines poetry competiton with Naked Wines and won! I think the fact that I rhymed Elvis with pelvis might have swung it for me. I won 2 nights in Venice, a trip to a winery and other extras thrown in too (dinner fully paid for, a gondala ride etc..). We left the kids at the grandparents and off we went, oh the freedom!
On arrival at Marco Polo airport we were met by an employee of Botter Winemakers and he whisked us off to meet the 'main man' at the winery. There we were invited to sample some of the wine and taken for a tour round the factory.
It was only midday, I'd not eaten lunch and now I was being handed lovely glasses of wine to 'sample' and no, I didn't spit it out! I was decidedly merry by the time we'd finished, so much so that I had to go back to the hotel and have a 'little lie down'. Haha! rock and roll....
The hotel was gorgeous and just off one of the Venetian canals, very well located. We spent the rest of the afternoon having a good wander round, I was so excited about being there! The weather was just perfect and we made the most of being able to drink wine during the day (no kids!).
I took loads of photos of the canals, I found Venice to be full of character and a really interesting, beautiful place.
However, we always try to get off the beaten track when we're away and don't do the 'typical' tourist spots, quite often we'll ask a local cab driver for their recommendations. So whilst Venice does have it's heaving tourist spots (St Marks Square for example), it's definitely worth exploring the back streets. We stumbled upon this mask making shop which actually made the masks for the Tom Cruise film 'Eyes Wide Shut'.
That evening we found a lovely spot for a meal, unfortunately we couldn't understand the 'posh' menu (no English translation) so just thought we'd wing it and pick something that sounded nice in Italian! Unfortunately we were handed a massive plate of all manner of deep fried fish, and it all tasted a bit 'samey' and bland. Gutted! Anyhow the wine was nice.....
The next day we just had to have a gondola ride and I announced to James that I only wanted a 'fit gondolier'.
He's a good egg, my husband! After our gondola ride we spent more time wandering, and we might have stopped for a few cheeky glasses of wine somewhere...
We always find that it's best to dine where the locals dine on holiday and this often means the food is cheaper too because obviously they're not catering towards tourists. So that evening we scoured the streets and found a cosy restaurant full of Italians and not an English voice to be heard. This time we were armed with an Italian/English dictionary. Haha! No flies on us! We had 3 courses and 2 bottles of wine... it was fabulous, made all the more better because it was free!
I adored Venice, the cobbled streets, the old magnificent buildings, the character, the food, oh and the wine. It was everything I thought it would be and more.