Continuing my amazing trip through Europe, our next stop was Venice! Italy up to this point had been such a good time, so I was really looking forward to our last city in this great country. Our very first night in Venice, most of our group went to a wine tasting…but this was unlike any wine tasting I had ever been a part of. We went to Vignaluna Winery and got an up-close look at how this family-owned and operated business worked. The wine tasting itself included amazing food and even better wine! And the people who owned it were so very nice and accommodating for us. We even got to experience some authentic Italian singing and join in when we knew the words. Then, of course, our group bought close to 100 bottles of wine if I’m not mistaken…like I said, an amazing experience for sure. I recommend them highly!
The next day we were headed into the heart of Venice for a tour of this amazing sinking city. Our tour guide told us that Venice is sinking by about 5 inches every year…which is just crazy to think about. The streets we were using to walk on feature gondolas and boats when there is a storm or high tides. Something I definitely never knew about. We also got to see a glassblowing demonstration in a beautiful shop called Galleria San Marco, which was amazing. I am beyond obsessed with glass blowing and I think it’s one of the coolest things ever, so I was in heaven. I ended up buying a few pieces of authentic Murano glass jewelry for me and my friends.
Up next was the most iconic, must-do thing while in Venice…gondola rides! I think our whole group was pretty excited about getting to have this experience. It’s just one of the first things you think of when you think of Venice. The gondolas, with the gondoliers in their striped shirts…and some form of music. We got it all!
Venice was great because of the history of it and the city itself. It’s an amazing feeling getting to cross items off your bucket list of things you’ve always wanted to do…ride a gondola while a musician plays…check! Our time was short in Venice, but what waited for us the next day on our way to Germany via Austria was one of the most exciting moments in my life. White-water rafting through the Italian Alps! We were only going to be in Austria for one night, but since we had a long bus ride ahead, we made a small detour that allowed for us to experience the rapids of the Italian Alps. They were freezing cold, amazingly fun and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Our only night in Austria was in Innsbruck. We got to the see the Golden Roof, which is a pretty popular attraction in this city, but I enjoyed the beautiful scenery of this place more.
What activities have you done in Venice? Did you ride a gondola, or plan to? Check out the winery and glass shop I mentioned for a really amazing experience!
Happy travels! 🙂