Venice Venice Venice…where to start?! I guess photos will be best! Here are a few of my favourites from our trip…
It has taken me WAY too long to tick this iconic location off of my bucket list, but I can assure you it was worth the wait!
Venice is a city like no other. Every step you take feels like you are walking through a postcard picture. I probably took 500 almost identical photos because everywhere is just SO pretty.
Things I learnt:
- Wherever you go in Venice there seems to be a ridiculously cute dog (see below). This reason alone is enough to make you visit!!
- Wherever you go in Venice there are also ridiculous amounts of people! We visited at the end of April, (not even in the school holidays), and were told it wouldn’t be too busy but the amount of people in certain areas was still overwhelming! Be prepared for crowds, especially in St Mark’s Square and on the Rialto Bridge.
- It was much harder to navigate than I expected, but it doesn’t really matter because everywhere is beautiful so who cares if you get lost? Luckily J is the King of navigation so I could just follow him around like a sheep for 3 days.
- Pizza/anything costs pretty much double in the main squares than they do a couple of streets back (but I kind of guessed that would be the case)
- The above point means that it IS possible to do Venice on a budget, despite everyone pre-warning me how expensive it is.
We only stayed for two nights but still managed to see everything on our list. Read on for our full itinerary…
We landed at Treviso Airport and got the ATVO bus to Piazzale Roma (approx. 80 minutes). A return ticket was €22 each.
Rather than getting a Vaporetto along the canal we decided to walk to our hotel (J likes a navigation challenge). We stayed at Palazzo San Luca. The location was perfect, only 5 minutes’ walk from St Mark’s Square. Sara at the hotel was fantastic, undoubtedly the most helpful member of hotel staff we have ever come across! She had so much knowledge which really helped us during our trip.
It was time to start exploring. A 2 minute walk took us to the Rialto Bridge, and then into the T Fondaco dei Tedeschi shopping centre. Sara recommended we visit the rooftop of this new luxury shopping-centre for an amazing view of Venice – gratuita! (free)
Something to remember: You do have to book a place to go onto the rooftop as visitor numbers are monitored but you can do this on iPads in the foyer upstairs and we only had to wait 15 minutes at the most to get onto the roof.
Pizza for lunch, obviously!
We visited St Mark’s Square, gawped at the Doge’s Palace and the Basilica di San Marco, admired some beautiful art for sale by the Grand Canal and took about 1000 photos of gondolas! A stone’s throw from the square is the Bridge of Sighs. It is where prisoners used to walk across before being taken to their cells/execution so it is a bit of a morbid story but still makes a great picture!
I have to admit that we had a shameless nap back in the hotel as the 3:30am start was starting to take its toll! We also booked a slot to go up St Mark’s Campanile the next day (€13 each and you can skip the queue).
Gondola time! Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today? There are no two ways about it, Gondola rides are expensive – the going rate is €80 for 30 minutes during the day and €100 in the evening. Our ride ended up being about 40 minutes, and we asked the Gondolier to go through the quieter canals rather than the Grand Canal. It was SO peaceful and a real highlight of our trip. We even travelled past the oldest Gondola factory in Venice.
Pasta and prosecco at Ristorante Antico Panifico.
Whilst in Venice you will see trips to ‘Burano, Murano and Torcello’ advertised everywhere. As our time was limited we chose to visit Burano only, and early in an attempt to beat the crowds. We took the boat from San Zaccaria stop (St Mark’s Square – €15 each return and took around 1hr15mins). Burano is BEAUTIFUL. LOTS of photos were taken, and J was VERY patient with me! We wandered the streets, snapped away, and sat and relaxed in a cafe watching the world go by. The photos speak for themselves:
When we returned to St Mark’s Square The University of Venice’s graduation ceremony was taking place so we watched for a little while before getting the lift up St Mark’s Campanile (thank goodness it was a lift and not steps, I was already aching from over 20,000 steps the day before!). The views were great! We do love a viewpoint.
We visited the unique Scala Contarini del Bovolo…(€7 each)
And the infamous Libreria Acqua Alta recommended by our lovely Italian friend Elisa (thankyou!)…
We actually went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner – Giardino di Giada – yes I know we were in Venice but our love for Asian food is just too strong to resist sometimes!
We attended a Vivaldi String concert at Chiesa di San Vidal and it blew our minds! For those of you who don’t know I have played the piano since the age of 4 so have therefore grown up around all styles of music and love watching concerts/orchestras. The performers were unbelievably talented and we really enjoyed it. If you’re into music then you seriously must go. Vivaldi was from Venice and wrote the Four Seasons – Google it, you will recognise it! Tickets were €30 each.
We had a slightly lazier morning and enjoyed breakfast in the hotel before checking out.
€7 each got us entry into the ornate and elegant Teatro la Fenice.
We ventured across the Grand Canal to the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute. Entry is free but we didn’t realise it was closed from 12 – 3pm so missed out on going inside! It did however give lovely views back across to St Mark’s:
Lunch at Gino’s and people watching – molto Italiano!
A spot of shopping and present buying before heading back to the airport for 6:00pm to fly home.
Arrive at hotel – Rialto Bridge – T Fondaco dei Tedeschi – St Mark’s Square –
Bridge of Sighs – Gondola ride
Burano – St Mark’s Campanile – Scala Cotarini del Bovolo – Libreria Acqua Alta –
Chiesa di San Vidal string concert
Teatro la Fenice – Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute – shopping – airport
You will probably WALK loads
You will definitely EAT loads
More importantly you will without question fall in LOVE with this picture perfect floating city