Venice was simply amazing. Lovely weather, great food (especially the seafood), amazing sights.
We stayed at the Hotel Rivamare on the Lido, which meant we took a boat across the lagoon into Venice proper everyday. In the city itself we saw all the big names: the Palazzo Ducale or Doge’s Palace, the Basilica di San Marco, the Piazza, the Bridge of Sighs, Rialto Bridge, the Grand Canal.
Things that appealed more directly to me included the Museum of Natural History was only partially open but we did get to see the excellent Ouranosaurus and Sarchosuchus; The Museo Storico Navale or Naval History Museum which only costs €1.55 and is packed full of relics from Venice’s and Italy’s seafaring history; The Rome and the Barbarians exhibition in the Palazzo Grassi was a ten times more expensive (and I really wanted the exhibition book but at €48 it was too much) but much more extensive than I’d expect for a temporary exhibit.
We also visited some of the other lagoon islands: Murano for the glassmaking; Burano for the lace making and painted houses; and Torcello for the eleventh century cathedral.
For one day we got the train to Verona, passing castles and vineyards on the way. There we visited the Arena and the Castle and had another fantastic lunch. One day wasn’t enough and we plan to go back sometime.