Have you ever visited Venice? It had been on my list for years, and I’m so glad I got to cross this city off! It’s definitely VERY touristy, and I’m not sure I’ll go back, but one thing is for sure: it was breathtaking!
I was introduced to the term “getting lost in a city” years ago. To wonder without a destination, to let your surroundings guide you into finding the unknown. Well, Venice is perfect for getting lost. Every turn feels like another set from a movie, and I found myself taking photos of everything. I also collect old books from all my travels, and Venice didn’t disappoint with it’s cute little shops filled with late 1800, early 1900 tales.
While walking around Venice, I kept seeing people drinking an orange drink, which at first I thought was Fanta, but it turned out to be a famous drink called Spritz that is very popular there, and it’s delicious! A must-try if you visit! Other must try drink in Venice is the Bellini, a cocktail made with Prosecco and peach purée or nectar. Giuseppe Cipriani invented the Bellini in Venice, at a bar that is still running called Harry’s bar. Cipriani also invented the carpaccio.
The very famous gondola rides are about 80 euros for 30 minutes during the day, and up to 120 euros at night time.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was doing the secret tour of Doge’s Palace, located at the Piazza San Marco. I would highly recommend it! When we were done with the tour and walked out, to our surprise, the Piazza was completely flooded! The Venetians call this “Acqua alta” (high water), which is the term in Veneto for the exceptional tide peaks that occur periodically in the northern Adriatic Sea and which are very common in Venice. While we came up with a plan to walk back to our hotel without getting completely drenched, we decided to stop for ice cream and live music at the Florian Cafe, which was established in 1720, and is the oldest coffee house in continuous operation in Italy, and the oldest in the world. The cafe had famous visitors throughout history, such as Goethe, Casanova, Lord Byron and Charles Dickens. There was live music and they also served macarons (you know I got some…). Expect to pay a cover fee. If you order your meal to go, you’ll pay cheaper. In Venice, almost like all Italy, you sit, you pay. Yes, you pay just to sit down at a restaurant or cafe.
When you only have a few days to explore a new city, you can’t let rain get in your way! Thankfully, rain coats were sold everywhere. They also had very weird looking plastic rain shoe covers that went up to the knees. The city of Venice did not look very fashionable during the flood… I must admit I almost bought one though!
I love that freshly squeezed orange juice is easy to find in Italy, and had my share of it during my trip. I also had gelato at least 3 times a day. Make sure to have cash for your gelato purchases. Other than that credit cards are well accepted in Venice.
There’s a chain of restaurants called Farini that made delicious, fresh out of the oven pizza, and also THE best Nutella cannolis! It’s cheap and super delicious!
I would HIGHLY recommend staying in Venice, instead of a nearby town. It’s more expensive, but you’ll be in the heart of this very magical little town. I didn’t LOVE the hotel I stayed at, and so I won’t post it here, but the location was perfect. In the heart of the San Polo neighborhood, very close to the Rialto bridge and San Tomà station (Few minutes to Piazza San Marco when taking the vaporetto and around 20 minutes walking).