Venice.

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The island of Murano, of Murano glass fame.

Luke and I landed in Venice, Italy, after traveling for 24 hours from Portland. I slept for about 18 hours I think, and still wasn’t quite awake when we finally decided we should check out Venice at least a little bit before our time in the city was up. The crowds were pretty overwhelming, but we found a few places that were off the beaten path. We had eggplant parmesan, coffee, and gelato from little open air shops on the canals. If this was any indication of the food we will eat on this trip, I’d better up my exercise regimen! We did purchase day passes on the city transportation system, which are good for all of the buses and boats that travel set routes (it doesn’t cover private gondola rides). We felt it was worth the 32 euro to be able to watch the city go by in the cool ocean air (out of the crowds of people!), and to be able to visit one of the outlying islands, Murano. We didn’t get to Murano until almost 7pm–unfortunately the glass workshops were closed by then. We did find a delicious pasta dinner though! I’ve included some photos that I feel are the best of the zillion or so I took in the short time we were there.

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The colors are incredible.
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You know, just another ‘sidewalk’ in Venice.
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Some, (okay many), parts of the city were packed with tourists. We finally wandered away from the crowds and saw a more simple and real side of Venice.
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Palazzo Ducale (the Doge’s Palace).
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Again, endless colors!
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Giardini della Biennale are gardens designed during the Napoleonic Era. They are home to Venice’s annual International Art Exhibition (Biennale di Venezia), which has been taking place since 1895. This photo is of one edge of the gardens; they contain many pavilions and sculptures, and cover 450,000 square feet.
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More beautiful colors and old architecture.
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Mestre is on mainland Italy, but is connected to Venice by bridge. We stayed in a nice hotel in Mestre as it was less than half the cost of a hotel in Venice proper.
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