Saturday 7 February 2015
We love Venice. In fact it is our first tour of 2015 - the Carnival of Venice Tour. We set out at the beginning of February, and we can't wait to get involved in the festival, the dancing and the fine food. But here's something that we have to admit - we've never spent $5,000 USD in one Venice restaurant in one night.
We heard this week that George Clooney did just that, the night before he got married to Amal Alamuddin. The restaurant was Ristorante Da Ivo, a romantic and cozy eatery in the city that makes fantastic local food. Five thousand is a lot to spend in a Venice restaurant, but at least George was eating good food.
Reading about George being in Venice has really put us in the mood for the trip. We start at the Carnival, spending three nights soaking up the atmosphere. We then head to Italy for three nights in a spa hotel - the Padua Abano Grand Hotel. We then go to Trieste for two nights before finishing the trip in Ljubljana in Slovenia.
The weather is a bit chilly - about 6 to 8 degrees in Venice and Ljubljana, and a bit warmer in Trieste. But the sun is shining and hopefully that continues. The canals of Venice have a crisp and magical charm as Europe's winter starts to give way to spring. It is very atmospheric, with swirling mists above the canals and temperatures that are cool but not usually cold. And the style on the streets and in the restaurants is amazing – beautiful coats, scarves and stunning winter hats to keep heads and ears warm.
Anyone who has been to Venice knows it is a place to spend outside on the streets as part of the hustle of the city. In February we won’t be able to do that with shirt sleeves, but we will still be able to do it comfortably. And if we get a bit cold, we can always head inside to one of the fantastic cafes for an espresso.
Right Place at the Right Time
Finally, it appears that Slovenia's capital Ljubljana is a more popular visitor destination than ever. It is the last stop on the Venice Carnival Tour. Ljubljana Castle had record visits last year, and hotel bookings in the city are strong too.
Looks like Slovenia is the place to be and we can't wait to see our friends again at Spajza restaurant. We won’t spend the same cash that George spent at Ristorante Da Ivo in Venice, but we’ll still have a great time.