A long weekend in Venice with early mornings on the water and culinary adventures.
Rise early to enjoy calm Venice in it's perfect light. I promise, it's worth it!
It wasn't my first time in Venice, but I knew I wanted more of that getting lost in all little alley's and more then not ending at dead ends where the only way to continue is by boat. It's save to say that this place where no cars were allowed took a little piece of my heart. It's also fair to say that I mainly found myself in the quiet places of the city and only discovered the tourist area, crowded as ever, towards the end of my first visit. I still wonder how I (luckily) missed that part.
Venice itself is beautiful with lots to see and discover, but the little islands around should definitely not be forgotten. As I didn't have the change to go there before, I took the opportunity to stay at one of the Islands with Mark.
We found ourselves on the Island of Murano staying in a cute little hotel that is designed with the local style. Funny fact, Mark who had also visited Venice had actually stayed in the exact same hotel before, but only found out when we arrived as we walked through the narrow halls and climbed the many stairways to the top level where we slept. Our room directly under the pointy rooftop supported with huge wooden beams, walls covered in blue with yellow wallpaper. A twin bed, also blue with yellow, underneath an eye catching chandelier made from glass and a tall faded yellow closet standing in the corner. Bringing us to another world in another time.
From Murano, known for it's glass work and therefor also called the Glass Island, we could easily take the boat to both Venice and Burano. The island of colors, Burano, was an absolute dream coming true. Every house painted in a different bright color it felt like Disneyland, but without all the long cues and overpriced food. During our stay we had some rain and with that we were actually extremely lucky. Most places were quiet and as we visited Burano in the early morning we found only some locals hanging out in cafe's for their breakfast cappuccino. Other than that the colorful streets where empty and all ours to roam and explore. It goes without saying that that's exactly what we did! After our own typical local breakfast of course, while being followed by a black cat through several streets. It even waited for us in front of the door of the cafe and was still there as we sneaked out.
Where Murano is small, Burano is even smaller and one day is enough to explore both islands. Therefor we spend our remaining time traveling up and down to the main island of Venice. Most of our time here was spend indulging in local delicacies. At the cafe in Burano I had fallen madly in love with the creme croissant. I wildly chased after it the following day to the point that we even went back by boat just for the creme croissant. It wasn't meant to be re-experienced though. They were already sold out in the cafe where I first had them and all the other experiences at various cafes on the main island were only disappointing compared to the first one. Lesson learned. Luckily during our crazy creme croissant quest we stumbled on other mouth watering dishes which all became highlights of our trip to the city and officially made it a food trip.
Food in Venice
''Early mornings on the water in Venice. We get up before sunrise for the best light and most beautiful skies out here. Even in February it's pretty damn epic. Second best thing of these mornings is Italian breakfast. They have the best coffee with the softest, yet crispiest crust croissants. I have been looking forward for my next breakfast since yesterday afternoon.''
Black Pasta & Black Risotto
These delicious pasta and rice dishes are colored with squid ink. Giving it a full flavor which makes you crave for more.
Can I have a moment please? BEST PLACE EVER!!! Seriously though, this tiny local tapas place has made our trip! As we strolled through the more quiet part of Venice through a maze of little alleys we found a tiny piece of heaven. There were no signs outside, not even a name on the door. The place could not have been smaller with only one table for two and a standing bar that fits two comfortably. That being said, the place was packed with local elderly men. Standing in the middle of the bar, wines in hand, sharing laughs and stories. The atmosphere was warm, welcoming and joyful. All sorts of freshly prepared tapas could be enjoyed with daily fresh fish from the local market. We quickly bonded with the girl behind the bar as we spoke the language of food and let her choose and prepare multiple surprise combinations for us. Their local wine came from only three doors away and was cheaper than water in most places around the world. We shared around 14 different tapas, drank 5 glasses of red wine in total and didn't even pay 25 euros. For so many reasons, it's impossible not to love this place!
You can't write about Italy and not mention pizza! In Italy pizza isn't considered a whole meal, it's a snack. Our absolute favorite pizza in Venice was from Crazy Pizza. We went hunting for this one again on the next day, but because we got completely lost we ended up walking for almost three hours until we found it. The fact that we didn't give up on our search should say enough about the quality of the pizza. Favorite option: onion & cheese.
No matter the weather, it's always a good time for Italian gelato! We discovered this new flavor in a tiny ice cream shop away from the big crowds. It's orange, cream and chocolate. Super delicious, especially loved the little chunks of oranges in it.
Lucky Visit #7
''Like Japan, Italy holds a special place in my heart. Some of my most valuable memories took place in this country where the sweetness of life is celebrated. Visiting Venice for a culinary adventure with Mark was my 7th time in Italy.
In my previous visits I have joined the karate World Championships twice in Viareggio. Both visits became highlights of my martial arts career. I lost my best friend to another woman and performed my best kata so far with a broken little toe. The next year my 16 year old heart fell in love with one of my team mates and I went home with a five kilo trophy and medals being the new world champion.
I did a road trip through the country where I enjoyed lots of sun, slept in the car almost everyday and washed myself in a huge pasta pan in the local home of a pizza baker. It was also the last trip I did together with my ex boyfriend.
During my three month yoga tour on the motorcycle through Europe I co-hosted and guided my very first yoga retreat in a tiny village on top of a hill in Tuscany. With seven, only male, participants I experienced one of the most beautiful weeks in my life. Receiving the red lotus from Mark against all odds and feeling loved and connected in so many ways.
In Italy I traveled together with another woman for the first time in my life. Together with my travel sister I survived a storm in Elba while sleeping in a tent, cut pizza with scissors, shaved the head of our Italian host back on the mainland and hitchhiked my way eventually to Milan where we jumped on a plane to Morocco in search for more sunshine.
Not even a year later, 2016 by now, Mark and I fully rise in our combined powers and start working together in Umbria where we guide five retreats back to back. Sweat, hard work, good food and lots of love came our way.
And here we are. Visit ‘lucky number’ seven. Capturing this gorgeous sunset in Murano. Loving and being loved in return. Oh Italy, with all these memories, you are so precious to me.''