We got stuck in Italy this weekend!
We were in Trieste to attend a wedding, only to find out our return flight had been cancelled. Forcing us to stay another night.
I know… tragic, isn’t it?
We had some other friends booked on the same cancelled flight, so we asked around if anyone fancied a whirlwind night in Venice.
Unsurprisingly, they all did!
So we chartered a private speedboat together and sped into the heart of Venice.
Venezia is actually made up of many tiny islands, connected by over 400 bridges and a complex network of murky canals.
As we skimmed over the water past the walls of the city’s perimeter we all caught our breath, gaping at the scene around us.
History soundlessly seeped from between the bricks of buildings, some over 900 years old.
When we rounded a bend and coasted into the main thoroughfare of the Grand Canal, it was one of those rare travel moments when a faint shiver set my hairs standing on end.
The scale and faded grandeur of the architecture booming down upon us was staggering.
The watertaxi dropped us at our hotel, and we clambered onto the dry decked landing of Palazzo Barbarigo, holding onto the striped mooring poles for balance.
Promptly checked in, we bounded up the dark wooden staircase to our room. When it comes to interior design, Italians don’t do understated. They do heavy, sumptuous, borderline chintzy.
Gleaming inky parquet floors, tufted velvet, textured brocade, and even a pair of feather-trimmed lamps constituted an asthetic I can only describe as “Venetian boudoir kitsch.” Which we instantly loved, because even holed up in a hotel room we felt positively, authentically in Italy!
And the view from our room was this…
As easily as I could have perched on the windowsill all evening watching gondolas manoeuvre along the waterway, it didn’t outweigh my need to wander!
So we slipped out the back of the hotel and padded down the narrow labyrinth of lurching alleys to explore on foot.
We spent the ebbing twilight hours roaming the ancient streets, crossing various bridges (island-hopping, so to speak) and popping in and out of shops. I suffered a minor wardrobe malfunction when one of my sandals broke on a tricky step, but thankfully there was a shoe store within hobbling distance!
The holiday must go on…