I have been inspired to write about some of our amazing adventures we had enjoyed as a family by the blog of dippy dotty girl. I love her beautifully written blog about her travels and of course, she shares a name with my dog, Dottie! You can find her site here:
This is the post that inspired me! Do take a look…..
Last summer I found some great cheap flights from Bristol to Venice throughout Ryanair so I booked them! My children are now classed as adults on many airlines so cheap flights are hard to come by in the school holidays. This is often how our adventures have started… with cheap flights or a ferry crossing somewhere! I then search the internet for hotels or accommodation and off we go! We had 2 weeks to explore.
My children love exploring as much as hubbie and I do so we are never worried about going anywhere but Venice in August? Well, everyone told us to avoid it so we first settled on staying on Murano instead.
Murano is where Murano glass is made and it gets very busy during the day with day trippers from Venice. At night though, we had the place to ourselves and lived like locals which is what we like. It was tricky to find places to eat at times as we had booked self catering accommodation but the Vaporetto (boats that are run like buses) run all through the night (this may be different out of the summer months). There is also a great supermarket in the centre as well as one main hotel called LaGare Hotel which has a superb restaurant.
We stayed for 4 days and 5 nights in Ca’ Mazzega Murano Grand Canal view apartments. This was perhaps 1 night too long but it gave us time to see Venice, Burano, Murano and the cemetery island (teens choice!)
Venice is like no other place in the world. It is beautiful and bonkers all at the same time! Hubbie and I went in April one year and I would not suggest going in August as it full of cruise ship tourists and it is very hot and smelly. This did not deter us but may not suit younger children. It is a small city so easy to explore and we felt very safe. Staying on Murano meant we had to catch the Vaporetto to get to Venice but that was all part of the experience!
Venice itself is compact so is really easy to get around on foot. We spent a great day looking for Pokemon around the city and searching for the Stone Island shop! Those with teenagers will know that is a typical teen experience! We went to St Marks square obviously but the queues to see some of the main sites such as the Doge’s Palace and the Basilica were horrendous so we didn’t see those. Some will say that’s a shame but the way we see it is if the children are happy, then so are we! We have seen these places and the children can always come back when they are older. We just want them to experience different places even if that means getting lost in a city looking for Pokemon! There is a lovely square called Campo Santa Margarita where the locals hang out and is great for a meal or aperitif!
The cemetery island (Cimitero) is between Murano and Venice and is worth a look if you have time. We stayed for a couple of hours and then hopped back on the Vaporetto to Venice. Its a very peaceful place after the chaos of the city but also very sobering. It is a working cemetery so you need to be respectful.
Burano is a gorgeous island off the coast of Venice and you can get there on the Vaporetto. It is famous for its lace making and there is lots to buy. In August it really wasn’t’ that busy. The houses are all beautifully painted and it truly stunning. A photographers dream!
After 5 days here, we hired a car to drive to a little place near Arezzo which is about 30 miles from Siena. This was a tricky, busy and long drive but we were heading to a working fruit farm which had been recommended to us by our friends. We were ready for a week of relaxation and fresh air so hired a converted barn on the farm which had a shared pool. We stayed at Foresteria Il Giardino di Fontarronco which was absolutely amazing! The other guests were mostly sightseeing so we had the pool mostly to ourselves. It was a blissful week of sleeping, eating, sunbathing, exploring the area on foot and swimming. We explored nearby Arezzo and also Cortona, both of which were so pretty and had amazing food!
After a slight change of plan and a realisation we had to go back North to get our flight home in just 2 days time, we booked 2 nights in near Verona for the last part of our trip. We literally booked this the day before we had to be there but managed to find the most amazing hotel ever for a very reasonable price! It didn’t have a restaurant but served breakfast with the room. We also had an upgrade so hubbie and I had the honeymoon suite with its own private balcony!
On the final day we explored Verona. Oh how I wish we had more time! What a beautiful city with so much to see. With only one day we went to Juliet’s balcony, ate pizza in the main Piazza, saw Dante’s statue and went in the Museo di Castelvecchio.
We had a great trip!
I wonder where we will go next? Let’s look to see if there are any cheap flights……..