Venice never quite seems real, but rather an ornate film set suspended on the water – Frida Giannini
It’s a gorgeous city, there’s no denying that, and if you visit this place, I guarantee you’ll leave reluctantly.
So, the breakdown!
Our Accommodation: We stayed at the Ca’ San Trovaso, situated in Dorsoduro which is a picturesque, traditional and quiet area of Venice. Check it out here (I’m not sponsored, I just can’t praise the hotel enough and the staff who work there – they are so friendly and gave us the best tips and tricks to help us feel like real Venetians for the weekend.) In terms of our location, we were situated about a 15 minute walk from St Marc’s Square and about a 20 min walk from the Rialto bridge, however the Vaporetto’s (Venice’s boat buses) run really frequently with stops all along the main canal which made it so much easier to see more of Venice if our little feet were tired. There’s so many cute hotels that reside down the backstreets of Venice for more of that authentic feel- anywhere you stay in Venice you are within walking distance to all the main attractions – it’s that small and easy to get about.
What To Do/Where To Go:
Eat all the cicchetti. Drink all the Aperol: No really. Venice is littered with little bars and cafes in all the nooks and crannies of its alleyways. You just have to start walking and you’re sure to come across somewhere for your hourly Aperol spritz pit stop. We made the most amazing discoveries when we put down the map and wondered through the streets. Venice is known for its cicchetti: small snacks or side dishes served in their traditional ‘bacari’s.’ Basically everything came on bread. And it was delicious. We were drawn back to this one tiny family ran bar just off the Rialto bridge for its range of amazing cicchetti. It’s friendly, relaxed atmosphere with the most incredible family pictures adorned all over the walls and bar made us feel so welcome. We called it the bar with no name but if you find yourself looking at a million and one pictures of twins then you know you’re in the right bar!
Gondola Tours: Take a trip on a private Gondola. They’re fixed rates for day or evening journeys and usually last around an hour giving you plenty of time to enjoy the city from the water and bask in the beautiful buildings, bridges and explore Venice away from the crowds and traffic.
St Marc’s Square: A a must see for obvious reasons. This is where the Basilica is based and it is absolutely stunning. I do definitely recommend going inside the Basilica and gawping at the sheer beauty of all its mosaics and architecture and then take a trip up to the balcony which overlooks the square itself to get a birds eye view of the square and the sheer amount of tourists! It overlooks the lagoon and is just beautiful in rain, fog or sun which we were lucky enough to encounter all 3. You can also go to the top of the Clock Tower which faces the church to have even more views of the residing buildings and lagoon. There’s so many cafes and restaurants situated in the square but be careful of hidden charges as most places in Venice charge you for simply just sitting down – this is why you find most Venetians drink their coffees at the bar. Being in such a popular and touristic area, the ‘coperta’ can be considerably more than just the drinks you’re ordering!
The Jewish Ghetto: This area is based in the north east side of the Grand Canal and is a haven for great places to eat and drink and bask in all the Venetian/Renaissance buildings and architecture – the amount of amazing and ornate churches we stumbled across on our travels was unreal.
Rialto Bridge: Around the Rialto Bridge is also a hot spot tourist destination but it’s also where you’ll find the Rialto Market which sells all the freshest fruit, veg and of course seafood. It’s also a shopping haven around there with one of its biggest department stores residing in the old post office building, which is really amazing just to have a nose about. Bars and restaurants line the Grand Canal and down the little alleyways you’re sure to find the best pasta, pizza and seafood! The shopping in Venice is really good too – from designer to high street, they all reside alongside each other down the winding alleyways!
The Lido/Murano: We took a boat over the The Lido which can be described as a suburb of Venice and a popular summer destination for Venetians and tourists with its stretch of beach which overlooks the Adriatic Sea. Murano was another Vaporetto journey in which we were able to capture more beautiful views of Venice and the surrounding lagoon. Murano is well known for its glass production and you’ll find hundreds of brightly coloured shops selling the finest glass products. It’s such a cute place to visit and if you think that Venice feels like a film set, then Murano will blow your mind even more!
Has anyone ever been to Venice or planning to go?