Venice, Italy

Very few cities have the uniqueness of Venice. A floating city that floods almost as frequently with water as it does with outsiders looking for a glimpse of the old ways. Bridges that were once violent battlegrounds and dividing points between territories are now filled with vendors selling glassware and lace. At night, you can often stumble upon a musician playing the accordion for a couple floating by in a gondola, the sounds flirting familiarly with the worn stone city walls (if you close your eyes and listen, you can almost feel time becoming irrelevant). Despite the masses of tourists and overpriced souvenirs, the history here still shines through. Confined spaces force the locals and the tourists to intertwine in a way that most world destinations are able to avoid. Watching Venice live, move, and function is a truly one of a kind and rewarding experience. 

From the shine of the slippery stone walkways, you can imagine the footsteps of merchants, artists, fisherman, poets, and artisans over the centuries. It's a place to let your imagination run wild. And in my case, take a few pictures when the daydreams subside.

Pulling up to the Hotel Bauer

Pulling up to the Hotel Bauer

My mom, grandfather, and uncle. My grandfather brought the family on this incredible trip to celebrate his 85th birthday.

My mom, grandfather, and uncle. My grandfather brought the family on this incredible trip to celebrate his 85th birthday.

The Bridge of Sighs, built in 1600, held the last view prisoners saw before being locked in cells.

The Bridge of Sighs, built in 1600, held the last view prisoners saw before being locked in cells.

The Royal Palace in St. Mark's Square has some incredible rooms, libraries, and artwork.

The Royal Palace in St. Mark's Square has some incredible rooms, libraries, and artwork.

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Designer stores take up most of the real estate in the portion of Venice near St. Mark's Square. 

Designer stores take up most of the real estate in the portion of Venice near St. Mark's Square. 

St. Mark's Square and Basilica.

St. Mark's Square and Basilica.

One of the intricate mosaics on the face of St. Mark's Basilica. 

One of the intricate mosaics on the face of St. Mark's Basilica. 

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The courtyard of Doge's Palace, looking toward the domes of St. Mark's Basilica.

The courtyard of Doge's Palace, looking toward the domes of St. Mark's Basilica.

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Not many places can make such interesting wine glass reflections.

Not many places can make such interesting wine glass reflections.

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A portion of Venice was sectioned off during WWII as a Jewish ghetto. I met these two Jews preparing for a Rosh Hashanah service.

A portion of Venice was sectioned off during WWII as a Jewish ghetto. I met these two Jews preparing for a Rosh Hashanah service.

One of the walls constructed by German troops in WWII to section off the Jewish ghetto in Venice.

One of the walls constructed by German troops in WWII to section off the Jewish ghetto in Venice.

The Grand Canal

The Grand Canal

The music in St. Mark's Square was something out of a movie.

The music in St. Mark's Square was something out of a movie.

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