Venice is a fascinating place.  Undoubtedly touristy, this water-threaded city's beauty lies mainly in the fact that it's pedestrian only.  The complete absence of motor vehicles differentiates Venice markedly from any other European city I've visited; there's a quiet, sonorous quality that's absolutely striking as you explore the narrow side streets, secluded courtyards, and myriad of tiny bridges (some houses even have a structure specifically to get over the canal to the front door!).  I found myself acutely aware of the echo of my footsteps on the cobblestones, an impression that's typically lost beneath the din of cars, trucks, and scooters. 

Anna and I took the water taxi to Burano and Murano, two outlying islands that are only accessible by ferry, for a day.  We spent most of our time on Burano, a fisherman's village known for its lace-making and textiles, eating seafood and playing among the brightly-painted houses that make us feel as though we'd wandered into a colorful illustration (or an Anthropologie catalog!).  

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