Last year, we started the long summer vacation with a trip to Venice. And it was just one of the best trips ever!
We decided to go to Venice because we had to cancel another trip (airfares had become too expensive), so we used that budget to book the Venice trip. We stayed at the Hilton Molino Stucky on Giudecca island. We indulged in a little bit of luxury and took an executive room with view on the canal. And the hotel was worth it's money! Friendly staff, excellent service, a beautiful room... We could sit before the window and just watch all the boats on the canal.
This is something I really liked there. No car, everything by boat. The hotel provided a shuttle (boat) to San Marco and from there you could go anywhere. And the weather! Glorious sunshine after all those gloomy days in Belgium. Less mosquitos than in the south of France or Rome (only got bitten 5 times). Eating outside on terraces, enjoying what's on your plate and having a good glass of wine....
Some people say Venice is very expensive. Well, I don't quite agree. Of course, when you eat or drink something at San Marco square, you may expect high prices - we had a drink at Café Florian and it cost us some - but if you venture into the smaller streets, you'll find cheaper places (and good ones, too). We sometimes had a beer and it only cost 10€ for the two of us. You'd pay that in Belgium as well, especially in Bruges or any other tourist spot.
We also visited the isles of Murano and Burano in the laguna. It was interesting to see how the glass was blown and how figurines were made.
And the little island of Burano is quite picturesque.
Added to this was an unexpected surprise. When we boarded the boat, a guy on his own entered as last person, walked around the whole boat and finally asked if the chair next to mine was taken? He soon began to make conversation, and remained in our neighborhood for the entire duration of the trip. It was Michael Bolton... We recognized him, and every now and then caught a slip of the tongue. We didn't mention it, of course, just as we pretented not to know Johnny Depp or Eric Clapton on earlier surprise meetings.
I hope that one day we can return to Venice. It's a place I definitely want to see back.