Five Things You Must Do When Visiting Venice

A view of St. Mark's Square from across the lagoon on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, easily reached by Vaporetto.

This year Venice's world famous Carnival runs from February 15th through March 5th. I wish I could be in Italy for the 2014 Carnival, unfortunately I'm stuck in frigid, snowy Southern, Indiana. Instead here's a look back at the highlights from my visit, they're a perfect escape from the festive madness of Carnivale! Last spring I spent six days on the island and covered most of the main attractions as well as quite a few lesser known sites. Since the trip I've had some time to reflect on my visit and these five highlights stand out as the most positive and memorable experiences. Of course there are many, many, more things to do and see in Venice, but if you have just a few days in the city here's where I think you should start.

An Italian fishmonger at Venice's excellent Mercato di Rialto.


Snapshots from Spain - A Tapas Tour of Sevilla

Sunset at the Catedral de Sevilla, the plaza is full of people enjoying a mild fall evening.
When researching where to eat in Sevilla I quickly came across Shawn Hennessey's fantastic tapas resource and food tours of the city. I was initially hesitant to sign up for a tour. Not because I didn't think it would be a good experience, but because as a traveler on a budget, it was a significant amount of money to shell out for one evening. So I waffled back and forth the week of my trip, before finally shooting off an email to Shawn inquiring about openings. I got lucky, there was a tour I could join on my very first night in Sevilla. Our little group included a couple, another young lady around my age, and, of course, Shawn. As a solo traveler it was so nice to start my trip off with delicious food and fantastic company.

Sunset shopping in Sevilla, Spain.
Tapas at sunset, the best Spanish tradition.
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