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Wanderlust Wednesday - Venice

Okay, it’s technically Thursday, but I didn’t want to miss this week’s Wanderlust post. I’ve been thinking about which destination to write about all week and just now came to a decision. Venice.

Venice, Italy.

Italy will probably take up a large chunk of this series. I’ve always had this dream of backpacking my way through Italy, one glorious stop at a time. And while I probably wouldn’t actually start in Venice, all the watery pictures seemed fitting, since it hasn’t stopped raining here for two days.

Also known as “City of Water,” “City of Bridges,” and “City of Masks,” among many other names, Venice is located in northern Italy. Its maze of canals spans across 117 small islands on the Venetian Lagoon, along the Adriatic Sea. The canals serve the same function as roads and most every mode of transportation is on the water. Gondolas are mainly used for tourists these days, but are also used for weddings, funerals or other big events. Otherwise, Venetians travel by waterbuses.

Often called the most beautiful city built by mankind, Venice is home to some of the most breathtaking views to be found in all of Europe -- probably the world. It’s also been described as one of Europe’s most romantic cities. Can’t you just imagine it? Cuddled up to the one you love in the back of a gondola as you’re steered through a maze of gorgeous architecture, history all around you. The ghosts of other couples just as madly in love as you are welcoming you. How many proposals do you think this city has seen? Weddings? Honeymoons? It just screams romance, don’t you think?

Venice is also a great place for museum-hopping. There are countless museums filled with gorgeous, history-drenched pieces of art just waiting for you to admire. Even the bridges themselves are artwork. The Bridge of Sighs, pictured below, connects the old prisons to the interrogation rooms in Doge’s Palace. It earned its name from the idea that the prisoners would take in their last view of Venice before being taken to their cells and sigh. I’m sure the sight would make me sigh, too.

How’s this for a great piece of writing history? Did you know that Venice was home to one of Italy’s earliest printing presses? And it was responsible for printing half of Italy’s published books? Pretty cool, huh?

Okay, sorry about being late this week. Next week, I'll try to be more prompt! I hope you guys enjoyed this little Italian detour and enjoy your Thursdays!

Wanderlust Wednesday - Santorini

This is a little something I've decided to try. Every Wednesday (or most Wednesdays, anyway) I'm going to post about one of the many places I long to visit someday. Today, the focus is a little place I like to call Paradise. Santorini, Greece.

Ahh, Santorini.

Ever since I caught the wanderlust bug, Santorini has called my name. With its endless expanse of skies and waters of impossible blue, it holds a beauty I can only dream of. And I do dream of it. I dream of tipping my face upward, inhaling salty, warm breezes while the sun kisses my face. I dream of a place where worries dissipate in the startling sunlight. Oh, do I ever dream.

And then I watched The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. For those of you who have either read the books or seen the movies, you know that Lena has family in Greece. In Santorini. The scenes shot there (even though the movie was a poor imitation of the book) were absolutely gorgeous. This place is post card perfect.

A little history on this little piece of heaven on earth: Santorini is essentially what remains of an enormous volcanic explosion, which destroyed the earliest settlements of what was formerly a single island. The island’s cliffs slope into the Aegean Sea on three sides. The fourth side boasts a lagoon, which is separated from the sea by Therasia, a smaller island.

Named by the Latin Empire in the thirteenth century, Santorini is a reference to Saint Irene, one of three sisters who were martyred for their faith in 304 CE. Before then, it was known as Kalliste, which means the beautiful one. Rather fitting, don’t you think?

Enjoy swimming? Santorini has beaches galore! The color of the sand (i.e white, red or black) depends on which geologic layer is exposed. Some have sand while others have pebbles made of solidified lava. The water at the darker beaches is generally warmer because the lava absorbs heat.

And a little something for the myth buffs out there -- there is evidence linking the myth of Atlantis to Santorini!

Anyway, I hope my foray into travel-writing/daydreaming didn't bore any of you. Let me know what you think -- should I keep this series at one installment, or continue with next week's dream destination?