Vacation with a chef is a rare and thus extremely sacred event. Not only was my chef able to take off work (thank you JG), but we were able to save up for such a wonderful trip to Italy. Sometimes I'm glad Erik is the spender and I'm the saver. I would have never given myself the gift of Italy. So there we were in our first hotel after a 30 minutes taxi to the airport, an 8 hour flight, and a 3 and a half our train. Ahhhh...and nice sigh releasing all the stresses of actually getting to Venice. Our hotel window looked out over the main canal and we heard the splashing of the water all night. But the open window had its drawbacks. Mosquitoes live near canals. Mosquitoes bite people. Mosquitoes bite me 7 times....just above my nose! The only part of my body left exposed to them! So I spend the rest of my trip with 7 red dots on my face. It's much funnier now for some reason.
It was so easy to get lost in Venice with all the canals and winding around, but it's so small that getting lost isn't a bad thing at all. Florence was our second city and getting lost wasn't an option there with all of the large monuments to use as landmarks: huge piazzas, bell towers, and the duomo among others. We stay just on the the other side of the Arno river next to the Ponte Vecchio. I liked that side of the river, it was quieter and there was a fantastic restaurant that would "fly in NY" according to Erik. I'll be sure to give them the proper credit in a post of their own.
The food was a little ...dare I use the word...underwhelming? It wasn't bad, but there were just so many hidden prices on some of the menus, we definitely got ripped of once....in each city. But we learned our lesson and stuck to restaurants that the locals would eat at. The thing is, Italians in Florence don't really eat out a lot because they hate the tourist traps too.
Overall, the trip was a 10. I can never complain when I've got 7 days with my chef, no matter where we are.
Enjoy the slideshow!
Warning, there may be music on it, so turn down your speakers if the boss is near!
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