This is a post from my friend Rhonda Copley. Thanks so much, Rhonda, for sharing your Northern Italy travels with my readers.
“Melody has asked that I write a guest article from my trip to Italy last fall. I hope you enjoy the article and some of the pictures that I took in Italy”. – Rhonda Copley
Exploring Venice and Northern Italy by Cruise Ship
In November of 2014, I had the opportunity to explore Venice and Northern Italy during a weeklong riverboat cruise on Uniworld. Some of the cities that we explored in Italy included Venice, Verona, and Bologna.
When traveling to Northern Italy, be prepared to be enchanted by beautiful pieces of architecture, bridges, history, people, and food.
In Venice, we had the opportunity to spend a few days there, which gave us a true Venetian experience. Be prepared to walk lots of bridges as the only way to truly get around proper Venice is by walking.
Venice’s Incredible History and Geography
Venice is comprised of 118 islands and over 400 bridges. By the end of your experience, you will believe that you have walked all 400 bridges. (Do not worry, if you are counting steps, you will hit your 10,000 steps through a tour of Venice). Make sure that you look down every nook and cranny when you walk each street as there is an experience that can be seen from just the architecture alone.
It is hard to imagine the history and the stories that could be told from the architecture alone. Many doorways have unusual pieces of sculpture above them. Watching the city as you walk through it is a treat as well.
If you have a chance to tour a Venetian glass factory, please do so. The artisans demonstrate their artistic ability in creating beautiful glass pieces. Of course, you want to pick up some Venetian glass while you are there.
A Gondola Ride is a Must
No visit to Venice is complete without taking a trip on a gondola. However, do not expect that you will have the romantic gondolier serenading you in your experience. Unfortunately, our gondolier was not personable, but it was still worth the experience to see Venice from the gondola.
As you travel the canals you are able to see up close and personal lots of buildings in Venice that are accessible only by boat.
Also if you travel to Venice, make sure that you stop in St. Mark’s Basilica. Just the chance to see St. Mark’s Basilica is priceless in its grandeur. The River Boat Cruise had arranged a night viewing of the Basilica. When we entered, the lights were dim and then the lights were slowly turned on to showcase the gold ceilings, providing a breathtaking experience.
Experiences in Bologna and Verona
During our trip to Bologna, we were able to attend a pasta-making workshop. We also tasted homemade pasta, which is a required experience if you travel to Bologna. The pasta maker created a variety of forms of pasta as we watched.
If you have the opportunity to visit Verona, make sure that you stop by to see the balcony of Juliet. It is a beautiful, but simple, balcony. No one can stand near that balcony without thinking of “O’ Juliet, O’ Juliet” from the moment you see it.
Also during your trip to Verona, there is a statue that holds a ball and there is a rumor that if you stand under the statue and he drops the ball you are honest. No one volunteered to stand under the ball.
A word of warning if you are traveling in Venice be aware of pickpockets. Keep your valuables close by as we were warned by merchants of the pickpockets.
Northern Italy is a fabulous place to travel.
The River Boat Cruise on Uniworld gave us an opportunity to explore a variety of places in Italy. Hope you have enjoyed this article and pictures. Thanks again Melody for letting me part of your blog.
Rhonda Copley Bio
Rhonda M. Copley lives in Ashland, Kentucky. She is an attorney who practices mainly family law. When she can get away, she enjoys traveling to new locations with family and friends. She enjoys sharing her travel through her photography.
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