St. Mark’s Square

I only showed the bed in the picture the other day of the hotel room, but I must admit we are now spoiled with the upgraded and extra large room.  This was so awesome to have so much space.
The hotel had a nice spread for breakfast.
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The best part was sitting outside on the back patio.  It was nice to have this outdoor space.
Here was what I had.  I have found that every country prepares their scrambled eggs a little differently.  I really like eggs, so for the most part I will eat all of them.
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Then it was out and about for a full day of Venice sightseeing.  Check out the canals and the gondolas.
Speaking of gondolas, can you see the long line along the side of this picture.  It was an insane wait and I think it was because they were all on a tour group together.
Then it was off to St. Mark’s Square for some touring of St. Marks Basilica and Doge’s Palace.
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This is the bell tower in the Square.  This was during a bell ringing.
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Here are some of the decorations at the basilica.
There was no picture taking in the church, and as much as I like pictures, I hate to be the idiot next to the no picture taking sign, taking the picture.  In fact, I love to comment on how people must either not be able to read or have missed a few days in kindergarten as they do not understand a picture of a camera with a red circle and line through it, or more appropriately that they have a huge lack of respect for a historical or religious building that has specifically asked for one reason or another that pictures not be taken.  So, I oblige.  However, in public areas, like the outside, it really is fair game and I am happy to takes pictures of the view, just like these off the rooftop of the basilica.
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Also, keep in mind this is a place of worship, and your shoulders should be covered.  After waiting in line, some people were upset to be turned away for inappropriate clothing.  I made sure to bring a sweater.
After this we decided to grab a quick lunch at one of the places we spotted the night before.
This bruschetta looked too good to pass up.
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Ryan loves pizza, so he could not pass up the chance to grab a couple slices.
After lunch it was back to the square for Doge’s Palace.  A doge was like a governor and this was the person in charge of Venice, throughout history, and starting quite a while back.  Again, no pictures inside, but I did get some shots outside.
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I found this a little scary and disturbing!
But not too disturbing that I couldn’t smile for a picture.
Great shot of San Giorgio Maggiore from St. Mark’s.
This is in the prison area from the Doge’s Palace.  Other than really needing to find a bathroom at that time, it was really cool and very weird to imagine what things were like many years ago for prisoners there.
Some of the decor.
Actually, this was taken specifically for my sister, and she would know why.
A very large foot statue.
This sign I just found very funny.  Tiny body, very large hand.
Here I am on a bridge, but I am sure you could have figured that one out.
Some yummy treats for sale, which I bet make good gifts for people.
Dinner was at Bistrot de Venise.
We got there about 30 minutes before dinner service, and decided to get some wine while we waited to be seated outside.
Since we were early, the server kindly brought us some snacks.  Since they had meat, they brought me a few cookies.  I am thinking this was wise on their part since I hadn’t eaten in a while and it was time for wine.
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Once we sat down, we were brought bread and olives.  I have heard stories about tourism in Italy and charging for things not listed on menus, or really just being overcharged for things and only discover this once the bill is brought.  I honestly expected these items, plus the ones from the bar, to appear on the bill.  They did not, and I was pleased to see this was not as much of a tourist trap as we had imagined.
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Even more impressive was the complementary shrimp they brought out to each of us.  It was served with a little spinach and cheese spread.
For dinner Ryan had the cheese and spinach ravioli.
I had pasta with nettle, tomatoes and squid.  It was so good.
After dinner we passed on dessert, but they did bring us this complimentary plate of dessert.  Yet again, I was very impressed with the service and the fact that there were no hidden charges when the bill arrived.  It was a great meal, with fantastic service and I would recommend this to anyone visiting Venice.
Walking home we passed by this theater.  We did not see any shows, but I still liked the building.
Dessert was back in the room.  We had bought these cookies earlier and later on in the night we were ready to enjoy them.  Yum, as expected!
QUESTIONS:  Have you ever received a bill and been shocked to see what you were really charged for?  Or the opposite, a pleasant surprise?  What is your favorite Italian food?


Unknown said...

I once went out to dinner with Matt and Jon B and our bill was $84.80 - that's my B-day!! LOL!!
Fave Italian food is anything with red sauce and gelato :) not together of course!

Gina; The Candid RD said...

I agree with Mer above, NOM NOM NOM! :) The bruschetta looks wonderful. It looks a lot like the pizza I make at home, actually.

I was in the store last night looking for some good Italian wine for a party I Was going to, and the wine guy gave me an entire history on Italian wine, I loved it, it was so interesting!

Favorite Italian food? My grandma's lasagna!

Beth said...

Looks like you're having a fantastic trip! And yeah, I'm jealous of that hotel in Venice--we stayed in real hole in the wall when we were there!

Lori said...

Gorgeous! Looks like a fabulous trip. We have almost been to Venice on our past trips to Europe and then ended up taking the planning in another direction. We'll make it there eventually though and I can't wait! The food looks amazing!

Emily said...

When I think of Venice, I definitely envision gondolas! It does seem like a super touristy thing to do, though. :)

The architecture there looks beautiful. I think Europe has such rich history and culture.

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