Our summer vacation in 2014 was spent in Italy. We decided to start from Venice, stay in Rome for a few days and then visit Florence before heading back home. We flew from Berlin to Venice on Alitalia flight. Our hotel in Venice was right at the heart of St.Mark’s Square. It was a good decision to choose a hotel in the area as we felt it were safer and had easy access to most main attractions in Venice. We walked a lot during our stay, got lost many times and discovered some hidden gems along the way. As expected, Venice was full of tourists, everything was more expensive if you compare the prices with Rome or Florence. I was surprised to see many ‘illegal’ vendors selling ‘designer bags’ and other items on the road. When someone from the authorities is spotted or seems to be approaching them, they simply ran away with the goods, only to set up in another location. The chase and run incidents occurred several times not far from our hotel, right in front of many famous Italian designer stores in the neighbourhood. I was particularly drawn to buildings that were hundreds of years old. The architecture and craftsmanship of those buildings were mesmerising. The artistry, attention given to details and the designs used on different materials were impressive. Those buildings were built in an era when technology and modern equipment and tools were non-existent so one can imagine the man power used and the number of hours spent on such complex projects at that time. The admiration for those marvellous buildings would continue as long as it exists. Besides admiring the old architecture and workmanship of buidlings, the gondola rides on Grand Canal was very memorable. La Caravella restaurant and Mamo Trattoria Pizzeria is among the favourite places we had meals.