Day 10 European Vacation: The End

19 Nov

On the last day of vacation we spent most of our day in Venice. We slept in a bit and headed down to the concierge to hold our luggage. We had originally planned to go out to the island of Burano where the lace factory was located. We soon found out that a trip out to Burano could turn into an all day affair, which we weren’t really up for.

So instead we headed to the main island and decided to hit up Doge’s Palace and browse around the city again to soak up as much of the sites as we could.  The word Doge actually translates to Duke.  Venice was a hub for politics and trade in 10th century to the 16th century and the palace was like our modern day white house.  Doge’s Palace was both a residence for their leader and the place where all government took place.  Since we had purchased that museum pass the day before we got to skip a long line out front!

The Venetians lived an extravagant lifestyle and they spared to expense on building and decorating the Doge’s Palace.  It was remarkable.

Main Square

Main Square

DSC_1039

This is just the CEILING!

This is just the CEILING!

DSC_1048 DSC_1070DSC_1076 The palace is also the place of the largest room in all of Europe.  From floor to ceiling, it was the most amazing thing I have ever seen.  And it overlooked the main canals of Venice with made it even cooler!

DSC_1088DSC_1090 DSC_1091The Palace was also the place where the military met and the prison was located down below.  We walked the entire Palace from the beautiful residence of the Doge to the depths of the prisons.  It was remarkable.

DSC_1087 DSC_1095Once we were done with the palace we took a few more photo opportunities outside the Palace and found a quaint place to eat our last official venetian meal before heading on to Milan.

DSC_1096After a late lunch we headed back towards the hotel to grab out stuff and get to the train station.  We definitely had some trouble getting tickets for the water bus (Vaporetto) as it was the first time we had used it the whole trip.  For starters there are not a lot of these ticket booths like one might expect.  There are Vaporetto stops all over the islands but not every stop has a ticket counter.  And it was a Sunday so we found few counters that actually had people at them.

Once we finally found a ticket machine we were off and running to get all of our stuff and on to the Vaporetto.  We really didn’t think this plan through.  We were heading to the train station at the peak hour for all of the native Italians to also be heading to various spots like the actual bus stop or even home.  We were crammed on a bus style boat with all of our luggage (3 bags a piece albeit small but still 3 bags).  And let me just say, the Venetians were not too pleased or friendly as we piled in with all of our stuff.  If it hadn’t been so expensive to get a water taxi we would have after seeing the crowd on the Vaporetto.

Once we made it to the station we hopped on our train to Milan and made the 2.5 hour trek back.  We had a screaming child and their annoying mother behind us which made for a longer trip than we had hoped.  We tried to stay busy and played a lot of rummy!  When we made it to Milano Centrale we had to rush to the ticket counter to get another ticket over to the airport.  We were staying at a Hilton Garden Inn close to the airport to make for an easier morning the next day.

On the ride to the airport stop we made friends with a lovely Italian man that works as a tour guide for a large International company.  He had lived in the States for a few years when he was younger and knew a lot about our country and even Iowa!  It was great to have him sitting across from us as he loaned us his cell phone to call our hotel to get them to pick us up from the station.  He even called them back to speak to them in Italian to get more information about where we should go!

That night we said goodbye to an amazing vacation and an amazing country.  If ever given the chance, I would go back to Italy in a heartbeat.  Ciao!

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