Hands down, one of the brightest shining highlights of our entire Adriatic cruise was the sail away through Venice, Italy. I'd been to Venice once before and loved my time there…but there was something so incredible about being able to float around the island and have a bird's eye view of it ALL. The-whole-darn-thing. It was not something either of us expected (as most sail-aways are quite lackluster), but seeing Venice from above goes down as one of my most favorite vista views in all my time living abroad. Cooler than the views of Florence from the top of the Duomo. Crazier than the mountain views we saw while skiing around the Matterhorn. Even more awe-inspiring than those views we captured from the highest level of the Eiffel Tower. It's like we were giants, watching tiny people wandering the piazza's and gondolas floating down the canals. Life bustled on as our massive cruise ship passed through Canale di Fusina, Canale della Giudecca, Basino di San Marco, and finally Canale di San Marco. When we sailed past San Marcos Square ,the cruise ship loud speakers erupted with Andrea Bocelli's singing "Con te partiro" and I won't lie, I got a little teary eyed. I felt all the Italian feels in that moment.
What makes this all the more special (to us, at least) is the fact that cruise ships floating through Venice is sure to be banned in years to come. It's no surprise that Venice is slowly sinking into the sea, and with all the boating traffic, wake, and vibrations created by ferries and cruise ships alike, the city is in a constant state of erosion. Before our sailing, we'd heard rumors that our ship might not be able to take its usual route into Venice. I totally understand the environmental detriment all of these cruise ships and large boats contribute, but I still couldn't help but be thankful the ship bans weren't imposed just yet. If they had, we would have never experienced this incredible sail away. I do, however, hope that some middle ground is found and that the preservation of this beautiful floating city can continue so locals and travelers can enjoy Venice for many years to come!