venice // through a local's eyes
with only a short amount of time in venice, we knew the best way to see the city was with a local tour guide. we decided to spend the day with a woman named fiona who was born and raised in venice.
fiona knew everything there was to know about the history and more specifically, the art. we would be looking at a stunning ceiling in the doge's palace and she would point out the tiniest detail changing the whole perception of the painting.
after visiting the main tourist attractions (and one of the biggest benefits of having a private tour guide was skipping the lines!), we wandered through some of the back roads to a market that had the fish nearly right off the boat. fiona pointed out churches and palaces that were simply magnificent and really painted to picture for how life would have been.
we of course, didn't have time to get everything done that we wanted to accomplish but that just gives us an excuse to come back!
after leaving fiona, we decided to catch the a boat to go to a few art galleries on a neighboring island which seemed to be much quieter and definitely more relaxing. but we needed to head back to catch our flight out and begin the last leg of our tour - paris! we couldn't, however leave without the classic gondola ride. at 100 euros, the ride seemed pricy but it was on our list so we decided to give in to the clear tourist trap. now, i am no stranger to canoes but a gondola is a completely different story. it may have been the fact that it was high tide but the ride completely terrified me (mostly because i had my camera on board and would cry if we tipped). because the bridges are so low - especially during high tide - the gondola drivers (?) had to sharply angle the boat so that the tip wouldn't hit top of the bridge. after getting safely back to land, i was glad i did it, but never again.
after packing up our bags, we still had time to grab a little bit to eat at our hotel's amazing rooftop restaurant with incredible views of venice. high above the tourist-filled hustle and bustle of the city, it seemed peaceful and quiet (until we saw a cruise ship about to dock so we knew it was time to go).