Adventures in North Italy -Venice, Treviso, and Verona -nearing end of Europe Road trip –Part 6
Nearing the end of our 3 week road trip, we had one final country -Italy – to travel through before making our way back to England via Switzerland France(again!) Italy is one of our favourite Europe destinations, we have been few times before but mostly in central and southern areas. This time we were super excited about being able to visit Venice as it was on our way back to England, just a few hours from our previous destination Croatia.
We knew it was the wrong time to visit Venice – first week of August, peak season, hundreds of tourists and weather being super hot! But it was still tempting, so I asked an Italian friend living in Norway for suggestions on anyone we can crash with. She generously offered her parents house in Treviso, which was sitting empty, short distance from Venice, and that signed the deal!
We left Croatia, a country we totally fell in love with and plan to return to again! We got to Treviso, a lovely town, really green and lush. Thanks to my friend and her parents, we were lucky to stay in beautiful home, and the kids had the best time with the friendliest cat ever who kept hanging outside the house! We ate at two amazing restaurants, one fancy meal at Osteria SpinOff and one local family run pizzeria Arlecchino. After budget travel Croatia, the food costs seemed steep, but We love Italian food so much, had to eat out!!
I don’t like to say negative about most places, but lets just say Venice wasn’t the right destination with small children, especially after they had been outdoors, on the beach, open spaces for the past 3 weeks! Not too mention the heat…32 degrees and overcrowded just doesn’t go well for a great outing that involves lot of walking with children. At every point that was beautiful (on the bridge or some church) all we could see was the back of hundreds of other people and trying to hold hands with each kid for fear of losing them amongst the masses we had to walk through most of the day 🙁 Managed to get few pictures with no people!
Few fun parts where they got to buy presents(we had to bribe them a lot to minimize whining as we jostled through crowded bridges, streets and shops). There were some lovely local art shop, filled with pretty masks, art and jewellery, but you also had lot of the brand name chain shops, which is not our cup of tea at all!
We finally got to Piazza St Marco, there was a brief thundershower which helped cool things down a bit. We went inside Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco and also saw the Clock Tower. It was all quite stunning and aesthetically pleasing – beautiful architecture, paintings, really could have spent more time here if it wasn’t so crowded!
There was still so much more to see and to! we had our share of gelato and spritz which was great, Shahaar even managed to play football with local boys, but by late afternoon, we were all exhausted from the crowds and the heat, and it just wasn’t fun any more. We happily returned to Treviso where we went to the local pizzeria and had really good food and wine!
Next day we set off for Verona and I had fun telling the kids all about the home of Romeo and Juliet (hearing the story, Shahaar says how is that the greatest love story? More like greatest Death Story!) Regardless, we had a lovely time in one of the prettiest towns in Italy. It helped that it was far less crowded, still just as hot, but was still lovely to walk around the city, visit the Roman Arena, made of pink tinged marble, see artists at work, visit Churches, walk along bridges and finishing it off with another superb meal at Oblo.
Even though we were exhausted from sightseeing in Venice, it was made up plenty by our day in Verona! I would give Venice another chance in the future, possibly without children and definitely not during peak season.
We set off for Milan where we had the most unexpected adventures, good and bad, more to come on that 🙂