Carnival in Venice, Cooking in Florence and Lake Bled Slovenia-March 2019

Is Carnival on your bucket list?  What a beautiful fun celebration to be part of, parades and costumes everywhere.  After booking an unbelievable airfare through American Airlines, we began to search Airbnb for accommodations.  Hotels can be quite spendy in Venice especially during Carnival.  We were able to rent a one-bedroom flat right on the canal with a full kitchen for only $803 USD for 7 nights.  We were so happy with the location, seeing gondola’s go by, and with the Airbnb host, with easy access to all events going on.  We decided to take a day trip by train to Florence for a cooking class.  Finally, we found a fabulous cooking class in Italy that we couldn’t pass up.  We booked the cooking class and locale market tour on Viator .  We meet our wonderful guide Isaac at the local food market, there we shopped and learned about all the ingredients needed to make our Tuscan lunch.  After gathering our items, we traveled by bus to a beautiful Tuscan farmhouse overlooking Florence.  Isaac introduced us to the high energy chef Carmela, who was so entertaining and always singing. Carmela didn’t speak much English but Isaac was there to translate.  While drinking Chianti we prepared Bruschetta, followed by pesto sauce, ragu (spaghetti sauce to you and me), pasta and ravioli and a rosemary pork loin roast with potatoes.  And of course, we also made dessert, Tiramisu.  What a fantastically fun day, I highly recommend this cooking class with Isaac and Carmela.  They also offer a pizza and gelato making class.  Do not miss this one, a definite must do!  Mid-week we decided to rent a car and do an overnight trip to Lake Bled Slovenia, just 3 hours by car from Venice and a definite bucket list location.  Located in the Julian Alps of the upper Carniolan region of northwestern Slovenia. What a beautiful town, we wondered around the lake and visited the church nestled on the tiny island and viewed the Gothic Castle on the cliff overlooking the lake.  We also enjoyed the delicious Bled Cake, you gotta try it!  While in Lake Bled we took in a Slovenian wine tasting from  or it is also available on Viator. Boris the sommelier was a lot of fun.  We tasted seven different wines, including their famous orange wine, which is made with white grapes in a red wine oak barrel.  At the end of the evening we became Certified Ambassadors of Slovenian Wines, something to add to the resume.  On our return to Venice we stopped at the Postojna Caves and Predjama Castle, both absolutely amazing to see just outside of Ljubljana Slovenia.