When we got to Padua, a short train ride to Venice, we were surprised to find out that Padua itself was home to the oldest university in Europe and to the first painter to paint a perfect circle. The other interesting thing about our hotel was that it was a stark contrast to all the others. And I mean stark. The hallways were hospital white. “Dr. Ben Casey to the operating room.”
A gondola ride in Venice. That was the one thing I wanted to do. Luca was our gondolier and the son of a gondolier. It just happened that another couple from Holland was on hand to share the cost.
It was very relaxing to sit back and view Venice from both the Grand Canal and some of the smaller canals. In fact the smaller canals were more picturesque as we passed other gondolas and water taxis in narrow waterways, and where the gondaliers had to bend over to pass under the small bridges connecting the walkways. It was a vantage point that we would never have had on the ground.
We even saw the building that Sophia Loren owned for many years.
Luca pointed out a place that locals went to eat. It was a very trendy little restaurant right in the heart of Venice. And when the bill came for the 4 glasses of wine and 1 ½ sandwiches, it was only 12 euros! We had our own picnic right in the middle of Venice. Very romantic. And all around us were people and couples enjoying the same thing.
The water canals made Venice very unique. If it weren’t for that, Venice might be just another medieval village. But with the water, the bridges and the gondalas, Venice was made for romance.