Winter Wonderland: Italy + Austria

My husband surprised me at Christmas with my first trip to Europe—my first big adventure!—and it was one month away. The tickets were booked and there was no turning back. When the time came, we jumped on a plane, flew 10 hours, and landed for our 10 day winter European adventure, which began in Venice. I felt like I was in a dream. I had never seen so many colorful buildings, with so much character and history. It was hard not to take a picture every few steps. After finding our cute little apartment that overlooked one of the canal, we immediately left to explore. For the next four days we admired the people, the culture, and the architecture of this magical and romantic city. We dreamed of what it would be like to live here, while enjoying the most amazing seafood, sipping espresso several times a day, and waking each morning to delicious pastries.

Venice Canals

Venice ArchitectureVenice Boat

St Mark's Campanile

Venice FootpathSt Mark's Venice

I almost just wanted to stay put for the rest of the trip, but I knew the mountains were calling our names for an unforgettable ski trip. A four hour bus ride later, we arrived to a perfectly quaint Bavarian cottage that overlooked the Dolomites. Unfortunately all the snow that they are known for—the snow we’d come to ski on—was unusually low. According to the locals, it was a freak warm snap right before we arrived. We stayed for two days exploring the little town of Cortina d’Ampezzo, and saw where the Olympics were held in 1956, but then we decided we should move on.

Cortina d'Ampezzo Mountains

On our way back to Venice, we decided to spend a day in Verona. Although not as breathtaking as Venice, it was still wonderful to be in a new place and see a new way of life. We visited some churches, saw the Roman Arena, and (as cheesy and touristy as it was!) put a locket on Juliet’s balcony.

Duomo di Verona

Verona Vintage CarVintage Car Verona

We ended our adventure in Innsbruck, Austria. We ate wienerschnitzel, drank beer, and explored.

Innsbruck River

Cable Car Innsbruck

In each city we visited, the temperature kept dropping. We brought our layers, but weren’t prepared for Europe’s biggest freeze in years! That wasn’t going to stop us, though! We shivered our way through Venice, Verona, Cortina d’Ampezzo, and Innsbruck; and saw, through frosted-over eyes, some absolutely beautiful cities, people, and scenery.

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4 comments on “Winter Wonderland: Italy + Austria

  1. Kelly Todak writes...

    Those are gorgeous photographs! Even with the unusual weather, it must have been an amazing trip!

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