Discover Venice

Discover Venice

Welcome back to part two of the 12-day backpacking trip. Discover Venice with us. Our experience was, at times, wonderful and awful. Altogether, I loved the city, but left with mixed feelings about the experience. Find out why.



We arrived in Venice at about 4 and promptly got lost. I didn’t mind. I loved the narrow, winding paths of stone and the little bridges over the channels that served as roads.
Discover Venice - Aboard the Vaporetti
Discover Venice - Waterway
Discover Venice -
Discover Venice - Pretty Window
Discover Venice - Near the hostel
We finally found our way to the hostel and checked in. We got a recommendation for a little restaurant around the corner and I had my first taste of Italian pasta. I got some kind of hand made tagliatelle and cream sauce. Delicious.

It was dark by the time dinner ended, but there was light on every street. So we got gelato and wandered toward the Rialto Bridge. Every pretty bridge we crossed, I asked Alan, “Is this the Rialto?” Alan would chuckle and shake his head, to which I would respond, “I have no idea what I’m looking for. You could tell me any of these bridges was the Rialto and I would believe you.” More laughing from my husband. When we finally got there, I found he was right. It was unlike any other bridge we’d crossed. The architecture was incredible. Like everything else in Venice, it was majestic with a quiet beauty.

Discover Venice - First Gelato

As we sat on steps looking out at the Rialto, we heard a huge splash. Alan thought it sounded like a person. It wasn’t. It was someone’s luggage.

Discover Venice - Rialto

On our way back, we came across dozens of dancing couples in an open square. Though we had no idea what we were doing, we danced to the tango in the Italian moonlight.



I woke at 4 a.m. to Alan pulling a bed bug off of me. It began the next four hours of us freaking out in the “lobby,” pulling bugs off our luggage, and waiting for a worker to return. Not happy times. We were exhausted and disgusted and no one showed up until 8 a.m. We booked a hotel and got the heck out of there. We still haven’t gotten our money back.

We took some deep breathes and were able to put our troubles behind us to tour the city that day.

Discover Venice - The Next Morning


After checking out a nearby church, we went to Libraria Acquilla Atta. It is, quite possibly, the world’s oddest bookstore. Every year, it gets flooded. So they get… creative as to how to protect the books.

Discover Venice - Aquila Attica
Discover Venice - Inside Alta Acqua
Discover Venice - A Book Lover's Dream/Nightmare
Yup. Those are boats. There was also a bathtub and a gondola.

Discover Venice - So Many Books!
It was really cool, but I also found it fairly stressful. I am pretty OCD about my books. I keep them in pristine condition, organize first by audience then in alphabetically in order of author’s last name. You’d never be able to find anything in that store!

And they do this to the poor books:

Discover Venice - Book Stairs
Discover Venice - Book Steps
Then we got lunch at this great pizzeria.

Discover Venice - Pizzaria
Discover Venice - Pizza
And then we got distracted by the shops for a while. I found an incredible red leather jacket and matching gloves.
Then we made our way to San Marcos. Wow. It was a huge, gorgeous square with the Basilica de San Marcos and the Palazzo Due…?

Discover Venice - San Marcos
Discover Venice - Basilica
Discover Venice - St. Marcos Square
Discover Venice - The Palace
Discover Venice - Across the River
Discover Venice - River
Then we walked home for a 4-hour battle with bed bug larvae. Urg. But after hot water, scrubbing, washers, and dryers at almost 200 degrees Fahrenheit, we won the war.

Beauty and bedbugs. Those two words easily sum up our time in Venice. I’ve decided to focus on the beauty, because every little side street was calm and stunning. Come back next week to discover Sienna!

Have you had to battle bedbugs before? What worked for you? Have you been to Venice, what was your experience like? If you could pick one European town to live in, what would you choose? 

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Love, Meg D. Gonzalez

By | 2016-10-21T05:39:17+00:00 October 27th, 2016|Travel|10 Comments

About the Author:

I'm a tea-sipping, adventure-seeking, pug-loving kind of girl. I'm crazy for God and want to share his love with awesome girls around the globe.


  1. Keating October 28, 2016 at 12:02 am - Reply

    Venice looks so magical. Italy is at the very top of my travel bucket list. I’m dying to go, but it’s so challenging when your husband’s military. There just hasn’t been a good time to do it. We’re hoping when he gets out in 2018, we’ll be able to take a few weeks off and do some traveling before settling into the next phase of our life 🙂

    xo, Keating | Why Hello Lovely

  2. Bibi October 27, 2016 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    Oh my gosh all those books!! This reminds me of “Wings of the Dove” I love your pictures. Thank you so much for sharing them 🙂

  3. Lexi October 27, 2016 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    Your photos are breathtaking! It looks like a wonderful time. I have never traveled out of the country. It makes me nervous but after seeing these photos, I just might have to change that.

  4. Shann Eva October 27, 2016 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Oh no! So sorry to hear about the bed bugs! But, everything else looked amazing. I went to Venice years ago, so it was wonderful looking at all your pictures.

  5. Neely Moldovan October 27, 2016 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    Such gorgeous photos! Looks magical!

  6. Brittany October 27, 2016 at 11:32 am - Reply

    Sounds fun for the most part, but sorry about the bad experience!

  7. Mistle October 27, 2016 at 10:23 am - Reply

    I have never had to deal with bed bugs. I don’t even know what they look like. But not good!!! I have been to Venice. I enjoyed it for the most part. The Italian food is very different from the Americanized Italian food. Still had some great food options! Hope the rest of your trip goes well!

    • Megan Gonzalez October 27, 2016 at 11:54 am - Reply

      The food is fairly different, but I loved it! It seemed a lot healthier than many of the Italian restaurants I’ve been to recently. And hope you never have to know what bed bugs look like. I’m shuddering just thinking about them. It’s so disgusting! Where else did you visit on you trip to Venice?

  8. Shelly October 27, 2016 at 9:07 am - Reply

    Oh my goodness that’s crazy about the bed bugs. I would have been really annoyed, though I’ll take take bed bugs if it means I get to be in Venice. Haha!

    I’m in LOVE with that bookstore 🙂

    • Megan Gonzalez October 27, 2016 at 9:49 am - Reply

      It is the most amazing–and stressful–bookstore I have ever seen! I wanted to just sit on that back bench with the Venetian water almost lapping at my feet for hours! And the bed bugs really stunk, but I’m still incredibly grateful we were able to get rid of them in just under 24 hours. I’ve heard horror stories of people who’ve battled them for months and spent thousands of dollars getting them out of their homes. So as awful as it was, it could’ve been much worse, and we were still able to enjoy the day!

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