Wanderlust Italy: My Great Adventure to Venice

Italy was one of those places I dreamed about for years but never thought I would actually ever make it there. Getting the call that I was going to Italy to work on a special Glam4Good project was a dream come true. We were going surprise expecting military moms with a shopping spree with the incredible Michelle Obama. For those of you wondering, she is even more amazing and more beautiful in person.

I spent the first 2 days in Vicenza, about an hour outside Venice Italy, working on a military base.  Our time in Vicenza was brief, but we did spend a few hours touring downtown Vicenza at night.

Then the next day, a car ride and a taxi boat ride later, we made it to Venice. Venice looks like something out of the movies. Every corner you walk around is even more breathtaking than the last.

I spent my first afternoon in Venice wandering around with my map and Vaporato Pass in hand. The Vaporato is a water bus that can get you close to just about anywhere you want to go in the city. There are no cars or trains in Venice, so think of the Vaporato as the water version of the New York subway. To my surprise, Venice was so easy to navigate. Every time I thought I was lost, I would come to the end of the street and realize I was exactly where I was suppose to be. Another perk about being a tourist in Venice is how willing everyone is to help you with directions. After exploring on my own for the day, it was time for dinner.

Dinner was at the St. Regis on their private island. Though it is a little bit of a hike from downtown Venice, it is well worth it. We ate on their outside patio overlooking the canal. Off the patio was the most darling church that people still get married in today. It was the most delicious dinner I have ever had accompanied by one gorgeous view.

The next was my only full day in Venice, so I was determined to make the most of it. During the morning I walked from our hotel all the way to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. The museum was lined with modern art, from Jackson Pollock to Andy Warhol. Even with all the remarkable works around me, I spent the majority of my time on the terrace over looking the canal. I sat there for almost an hour taking in the view of Venice.

After the museum, I met up with the rest of the crew to have a quick lunch overlooking the canal. For me, every meal besides breakfast was pasta. It is my favorite food, and I was in Italy after all. After lunch I scurried away on the Vaporato to the famous St. Marks Square.

There I explored St. Marks Basilica. My #1 travelers tip is get a skip the line ticket. It will only cost you about 3 Euro, and if you’re short on time like I was, it's well worth. While you are there, I highly recommended spending a few more Euro to go on terrace of the Basilica. It has a wonderful view of St. Marks Square and the canal. If you are there in the early evening, you can catch the orchestras playing outside.

Another must in St. Marks Square is Doge’s Palace. I know it seems like a typical tourist attraction, but it is for a reason. The Palace used to be residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the former Republic of Venice and a penitentiary.  It is filled with immaculate architectural details.

If you are short on time, I also highly recommended taking a long Vaporato Ride. You can see just about everything from the boat, and it gives you a quick tour of the city. Get off at a random stop and find your back home. Often the greatest adventures is the one without a plan.