Welcome to Italy!


As soon as work was out this past Friday, we set out for the Oslo Airport Gardermoen. We had packed our finest weekend garments and were in vacation mode. We cruised on the highway listening to tunes and expressing our excitement about the upcoming weekend adventure.

We were on our way to Venice!

For our one year wedding anniversary earlier this year, Kyler surprised me with tickets to Venice. The trip was nicely planned around the weekend of our eight year together anniversary. On our trip south, we had a stop-over in Amsterdam. We had just enough time for a beer and a chat with friendly Dutch people before continuing on. At the Marco Polo airport just outside of Venice, we waited for Kyler’s luggage to show up. Eventually, we figured it just did not make the trip and were about to report it to the airline. Then, we were informed that some of the luggage had come out at the other end of the terminal. No excuses. Just like that. Being used to Scandinavian system and order, we were rather surprised and had to laugh when an Italian in the same situation said: “Welcome to Italy!” We proceeded, luggage in one hand and each other’s hand in the other, to the boat that would take us to The City of Water.

2.Europe map

Romantic Venice is set in the armpit of the Adriatic Sea. It is spread out over 118 little islands all separated by 177 canals and linked by 409 bridges. There is a road and railway connection from mainland Italy to Piazzale de Roma at the northern edge of the city, but beyond that, all transport is done by foot or by water. Exactly like it has been for centuries! This makes Venice the largest urban area in Europe with no car traffic. Oh, what a joy!

1. Venice map

4. Canal Venice

3. Siri Kyler Venice

In Norwegian, we say that a loved child has many names. That must be the case with Venice. In addition to being called the City of Water, it is referred to as “La Dominante”, “Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The Floating City”, and “City of Canals”, all of which are true. Oh, I would like to add one: “The Romantic Haven”.

4. City of Water

4. Romance in Venice

5. Venice House

5. Canal Venice

Street scenes Venice

Classy Kyler

Clocks in Venice

The Grand Canal snakes its way through the city and is the main transport vein. Public transport boats, called vaporetto, have frequent stops.

6. The Grand Canal Venice

11. Grand Canal

8. Siri Grand Canal Venice

7. Beautiful Venice

9. Grand Canal Venice

10. Grand Canal and Dome

The gondole, that Venice is famous for, are used for crossing straight across the canal, for tourists and special occasions. They are pricey, but it is a must in Venice. When in Rome… No, I mean Venice. (I know, I know!)

12. Gondola Ride

15. Gondola detail

13. Siri Ky Gondola

14. Venice Gondola

16. Gondola mirror

17. Romance in Gondola

It is convenient that our together-since-anniversary is in November. November can be a fairly unpleasant month in the North. Darkness and cold temperatures are creeping up on you until there is only a little bit of day light left and you find yourself wrapped up, surprised that winter is marching in this year as well. So, just because of that, going South in November feels like a little pocket of fresh air. A chance for the skin to take a deep long breath before going into hibernation for the winter. We soaked up the sun as much as we could! Outdoor pasta meal in the sun. Italian gelato in the sun. Bubbly Prosecco in the sun. No shortage on reasons for being in the sun!

18. Soaking up the sun

18. Gelato

18. Outdoor table

3. Siri Ky Venice

City Scenes

On Sunday, we strolled over to see the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. It is an art collection displayed in Peggy Guggenheim’s former residence by the Grand Canal. She belonged to The Guggenheim family that made their fortune from mining. Peggy married the artist Max Ernst and started buying art. The collection is spectacular. Big names like Picasso, Monet, Dalí, Braque, Duchamp, Léger, Miró, and Pollock are on the walls.

Guggenheim Venice

Guggenheim art

One morning, when walking to the Piazza San Marco, we were surprised by all the water covering the square. We had heard rumors that Venice is sinking, but had no idea it was this bad on a normal high tide! As a reaction, the city puts up elevated walk ways and clever entrepreneurs have produced and started selling water tight, knee high plastic socks allowing you to wade across the square, while restaurant owners and shop keepers are desperately sweeping the water away from their shops. There are several reasons behind the acqua alta (high water), mostly all created by man. It is said that the city is sinking five times faster than earlier expected and that much of it will be permanently under water not too far into the future. There are plans of a flood barrier system to prevent this, but it seems to still be years away.

19. Piazza San Marco

19. San Marco cathedral

19. San Marco square

19. San Marco tower

19. San Marco walk ways

19. San Marco Water

19. San Marco

19. Sinking

San Marco

For some reason, there are lots of pigeons in Venice. They poop. Once on my hand. Once on Kyler’s head. Probably other times too, but not on us.


Scene Venice

20. Narrow streets venice

As the sun was setting, we were sitting on a dock sipping Prosecco and enjoying ourselves to the extreme. What a cool world we live in and how incredibly fortunate we are who get to see (some of) it!

Magic Hour Venice

Sunset Venice


Bye Bye from Venice

Bye Bye from Venice! We are back in Norway and the weekend feels like it was just a glorious dream!


8 thoughts on “Welcome to Italy!

  1. Lance

    Your photographic talents are fabulous. I particularly like the one looking through the columns out into flooded San Marco Square.

  2. Jennifer

    I agree – some amazing pics! My fav is the one with the gondolas tied at the pier. The rose-coloured light is spectacular. By the way, there’s a New Brunswick superstition that says getting pooped on by a bird brings you good luck 🙂 Based on the contents of this post and the smiles on your faces, it’s true!

  3. Peter

    Hey you two! I have to say, the last time I was in Venezia was 2000. Not much has changed except for the water in St. Marks you pictured. Glad to hear you two haven’t lost your wanderlust. Here in Golden we are getting the ski gear ready and watching the snowflakes pile up. I’m not sure of the norwegian tradition but this time of year in germany brings christmas markets galore. The closest thing that Leah and I get to that kind of festive fun is our annual christmas tree hunt. As you know we have a few to choose from, we like to turn it into an adventure to find the perfect one 🙂

    • Hello! Great to hear from you guys. Your Christmas tree adventure sounds like a fantastic tradition! The Christmas markets exist here as well, but I am waiting until December to part take in the craziness. Haha 🙂 Have fun skiing, we are still waiting for the white glitter. Cheers!

  4. Hei,
    Bloggen din er nominert til Beste reiseblogg i Supersaver Travel Blog Awards! Travel Blog Awards er en utmerkelse der vi sammen nominerer og stemmer frem de mest inspirerende reisebloggene i fem forskjellige kategorier. Jo flere nomineringer bloggen din får, desto større er sjansen for at den kommer til finalen! Du kan laste ned en widget til bloggen som gjør det lettere for leserne dine å stemme på deg! Den finner du her: http://www.supersaver.no/konkurranse/travel-blog-awards/2013/reiseblogg. Lykke til! Med vennlig hilsen Madelene, Supersaver

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