If there is a more breathtaking view than walking out of the ticket area into the Palazzo Ducale courtyard just off of the Piazza San Marco, then... I will eat (a delicious piece of cake in the shape of) my hat. The Doge's Palace is often overrun with tourists, but with good reason: it is truly a must-see destination. It's a glorious mix of late-medieval and renaissance architectures in ways that only Venice could devise.
Venice Day 2: Piazza San Marco
Venice, Italy. Is there a lovelier city on the planet? Not to me! And in Venice, is there a lovelier spot than the Piazza San Marco? On the second day on my trip last December after my climb up the campanile, I snapped some photos around the gorgeous square, just a few short blocks from my apartment.
Venice, Hotel Danieli
Near my apartment in Venice (where I visited in December 2015) stands a wonderful five-star hotel, the Danieli. Its rooftop restaurant looks out on both the Palazzo Ducalo and San Giorgio Maggiore. Impressive. The whole place has a great vibe of an old Venetian palazzo combined with a modern hotel. Sitting at the bar, sipping my gin & tonic, I felt like I was in a scene from a James Bond film. Turns out they filmed part of Moonraker here...
Venice, Day 5: Giardinetti Reali
On day 5 of my Venetian adventures in December 2015, I visited the Giardinetti Reali. It's a wonderful little oasis of calm and greenery, steps away from the wild humanity of Piazza San Marco. The last time I was there the park was overrun delightfully with cats. The cats now though are all gone, as they are gone from every corner of Venice...