Italy + Week Three | Quad Cities Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer

Italy. ooooooh Italy. From the moment we stopped for our first espressos and pastries to the moment we flew out of Rome, we were in love and never disappointed.

We arrived in Venice by way of a sleeper train. The idea behind a 'sleeper train' is, I'm sure, to let passengers sleep through the night and arrive rested at your destination. I mean, it sounds good in theory, right? Well this is pretty much how our 12 hour sleeper train ride from Paris to Venice went: chhhuuuuuga-chhhuuuuga, chuuugga-chuuugga, chugga-chugga, BLOOD CURDLING SCREECHING BREAKS GRINDING US TO A COMPLETE STOP, on repeat every 20-60 minutes all.night.long. 

BUT. As soon as we stepped of the train we knew it had been worth it. Venice is truly a site that you must see. Between the sediments that the city is built on eroding and the rising sea levels, the city is in jeopardy. The tide is getting higher and higher and starting to damage more and more of the city. There are some pretty fascinating structures being built to try to lessen the impact of the tide, I just hope they are completed in time because this city has so much history and culture- it'd be a shame to loose it to the sea.

The coolest thing about Venice is that it operates like any other city in the world. There is shopping to be done, construction, school, museums, cathedrals, and transportation- it's just that everything is on water. Riding the water taxis was pretty awesome. Watching them dock and undock over and over again was pretty sweet to see! We didn't ride a gondola. Mostly because it was ridiculously expensive and frankly, the water taxis were cooler. We went to museums, cathedrals, shops, the island of Murano, the Jewish quarter and generally tried to hit up every historical thing we could. Because if you haven't learned by now, we're nerds and LOVE that sorta thang. 

We ate one of our favorite meals of the whole trip in Venice. A little restaurant called Osteria da Alberto. Where you ordered the house wine straight from the barrel by the liter and ate seafood that had been caught that morning.  Absolutely amazing meal that made me an unashamed glutton. 

On our way back from Alberto's, we got kinda lost. Well, as lost as you can get on a series of floating islands. We had had a liter or two (Or three? Maybe four? But who's counting?) of wine and on our way back, Daniel kept saying "mhm, yeah, I'm pretty sure we go left here." or things like "Yeah, we should be home if we go right over that bridge." And after about 40 minutes of walking we ended up right back on the same plaza where we started. Yeah. We basically walked a giant circle all around Venice. We walked onto the plaza, looked at each other and burst out laughing. That was also the night we sat on a dock and let our legs dangle into the Adriatic. One of the best nights we had. And I will have you know, when we went back to Alberto's the next night, we made it home without getting even a little lost :)

We slept with the windows open and had one of the best night's sleep we'd had the whole trip. I was also eaten ALIVE by mosquitoes. Not kidding. The next morning I woke up with 20+ welts all over my body INCLUDING MY EYELID. How did Daniel fair? Not. One. Single. Bite. 

The last few pictures here are from Padua, Verona and Bologna. Smaller cities we decided to hit up on the way west towards the Cinque Terre. Padua was a bit of a college town and had a really great market. But it was rainy so we spent most of our time under a tent drinking wine. No complaints here. Verona had a great city center where we are some great food (duh) and we spent most of the time generally walked around exploring. We also saw our first colosseum in Verona. I didn't realize there were other colosseums besides THE colosseum. It was cool to get a feel for what a colosseum was like before we went and saw THE colosseum. It was that much more impressive.

And Bologna had the earthquake. In the middle of the night I woke up to some pretty decent quaking. I woke Daniel and said, "I think we're having an earthquake, should we go outside?" His response? "No. It's probably just the people upstairs &#^*)&%". Needless to say, it was an earthquake. The epicenter was about 20 miles north of us and measured 6.1. There was widespread damage and 15 people died. Northern Italy is highly earthquake prone and having a large earthquake causes a lot of damage to the old buildings. There were piles of rubble on the news for days. It was a tragedy that had all of Italy talking for days. We are truly thankful we weren't closer.

We loved this stint of the trip and found that it was really easy to get around. Also, after our first week in Italy, I pretty much considered myself fluent in Italian.