Venice is the one city in Italy that I save for Gabe!! We wanted to experience it together!! My favorite movie of all times is The Italian Job, which starts out in Venice! While we were there we visited the areas where the movie took place, and also stumbled across the courtyard where the last scenes of Casino Royale were put together.
As our first trip just the two of us since the end of the deployment we decided to take it slow. In Gabe's words "I vacation, you travel". In other words, he loves to go at a more relaxed pace, and when traveling alone (or with similar travelers) I can go for 18 hours a day exploring new places! This trip became a compromise of styles.
We drove the 8 hours from Mannheim to Venice (the cheap way to go!), and found it to be a gorgeous ride!! The scenery was breathe taking! When our little adventure started it was sunny in Mannheim, and as we drove south that sun turned slowly to gray overcast, then light rain, then torential downpour! Despite the rain, there was still snow in the Alps which provided a sweet relief from the dismal day outside. Upon arriving in Venice the rain let up to a slight sprinkle, which allowed us to get safely to our hotel without incident. That evening we walked around the area surrounding our hotel, got a feel for the neighborhood, and ate dinner in the corner of St. Mark's Square. A perfect beginning to our trip!
Our first full day in Venice we had no agenda really. We knew the sights we wanted to see, but we also knew we had 4 days to see them!! So, we spent the morning in St. Mark's, and then took the rest of the day to walk the city. We spent the day window shopping and enjoying the atmosphere.