Ciao, friends! I am thrilled to finally share about my experience abroad this summer and my family’s adventures in Europe. I’m also confident it won’t be our last!
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My parents and I have always been obsessed with Italian culture- the food, the romance, and the history. So naturally when we began to plan my high school graduation trip years ago, we knew visiting Italy was a must! Part of my family is also Greek, so we wanted to explore Greece while in the area. Hoping to see multiple countries but having no previous European travel experience, we decided to take the safe route and book a cruise with Royal Caribbean. Our first port was in Venice, but we went a few days early to roam the city.
We flew from Wichita to Atlanta, and eventually arrived in Venice early the next morning. From there, our adventures commenced! After checking into our new “home,” the Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal, we cleaned up and took off running. Naturally my first priority was finding gelato, which wasn’t a challenge. Setting forth, we wandered the beautiful cobblestone streets and alleys, rich with history. Quickly, we discovered that navigating this cluster of intricate islands might be a greater challenge than we realized. Luckily, we made it just in time for our tour of the Murano Glass Factory.
The island of Murano is known specifically for its glass creations and has been producing stunning pieces for centuries. We were able to observe the glass blowers at work and tour the shop, which was brimming with colorful sculptures. Then, we created our own crafts with glass beads. (Not going to lie, we were slightly disappointed as the tour alluded to us blowing our own glass rather than making crafts, but we still had a great time.)
We set forth to take a water taxi to Venice to get dinner. What was supposed to be a seven-minute ride back spiraled into an interesting adventure. It turns out we accidentally boarded the wrong water taxi and sailed 30 minutes east to the island of Burano. Burano looks like a smaller version of Venice and is known for it’s brightly colored buildings. Since it was only our first day, we had no clue we were on the wrong island! Walking around aimlessly, we spent what felt like hours searching for our hotel. Finally we realized our mistake and got pointed in the right direction. An hour and a half later, we were back on the right island and ready to get dinner.
Dinner consisted of bread, spaghetti, tiramisu, and a gorgeous view of the Grand Canal. Getting lost and walking all day suddenly became a positive thing when I was able to eat that gluten 100% guilt-free.
Post-dinner exhaustion and jet lag set in, so we decided to turn in early for the night and dream of the adventures that would come with the morning sun. To say our first day in Europe was magical is an understatement!
Dress: J. Crew (no longer available) // Similar
Scarf: J. Crew (no longer available) // Similar
Sandals: Target (no longer available) // Similar
Watch: Urban Outfitters // Classic Leather Watch
Be sure to check out my vlog about Venice on my YouTube channel here!