Welcome to Venice, Italy and the second to last stop on my epic European tour. I know I have said this in almost every travel post but i’m fairly certain that this was my favorite city we visited. We didn’t get to explore too much as we were only there for the day but it was the most amazing day ever.
So much amazing food has never been consumed by me in one 24 hour period. And that’s saying a lot because I was really passionate about pierogies in Poland.
// The best way to get into Venice is by water taxi. As far as I could tell these were EVERYWHERE. The views were incredible as we took the grand canal into the gorgeous island city. Once you’ve landed back on solid ground the best way to get around is your own two feet. Venice is very walk-able and there are so many beautiful sights to see you won’t even notice how tired your feet are. Alternatively, you can (and must) take a gondola ride to get in some amazing sites and to help orient yourself in the city.
// Walking shoes are a must. And, if you can pick when you travel to Venice, I highly suggest avoiding the rainy season as the city floods daily. Like, a lot of flooding. They put tables in the streets to walk on. Imagine walking on tables in icy winter slush? No thank you. Venetians are tough people.
// Gondola- If you don’t go for a ride in a gondola you’re doing Venice all wrong. Read more about my gondola experience in the things to do section below.
// You’re on your own with this city. I didn’t stay in Venice but about 30-45 minutes outside of the city. I would not recommend the hotel we stayed in either so I won’t even mention its name.
//Let me just start by saying that I actually paid attention to where I ate here as most of it was the best food I’ve ever had. But, even if you don’t take my exact suggestions on where to eat, you must at least get pizza, pasta and gelato. All 3. Non-negotiable.
Calle Larga San Marco 404
30124 Venice, Italy
//The pizza here was so incredible that I should have gotten more than 1 piece. Don’t bother with sitting in the restaurant. Grab a slice, or 3, from the counter and eat out on the street. Find a spot to sit in San Marco Square down the road and people watch as you eat.
Calle De La Casseleria, 5324
30122 Venice, Italy
//When your group leader tells you she’s bringing you to the best pasta place in Venice you drool all the way there. Patrons were lined up out the door and there was hardly room to breathe inside. I knew immediately it had to be excellent. Dal Moro’s was hands down the best pasta I have ever consumed. The noodles were incredibly fresh, perfectly cooked and nice and thick. The sauce was the perfect consistency to stick to the noodles but not come sliding off and the fresh cheese and basil on top was the icing on the cake. If you don’t believe me, Trip Advisor has this listed as the #6 out of 1,199 restaurants in Venice. Just sayin’.
San Marco 5453
30124 Venice, Italy
// If the best pizza and pasta all in one day wasn’t enough, you need to finish off with the best gelato ever. There are gelato places all over Venice, but you need to go to this one. It is worth the wait, I promise you. Any flavor you get will be a win and I highly recommend getting as many flavors as you can pile onto one cone. Suso is right near the Rialto bridge so grab a cone and stroll the sights. Even if you’re full, you must try this place. If I learned anything in Italy, it’s that there is ALWAYS room for gelato.
Things To Do:
Murano Glass Gallery
// This is a must-see for anyone. Try to get in for a glass blowing demonstration. I had never seen it done before and it’s incredible. Going from a molten ball of glass to a beautiful vase in 5 minutes. After that take a wander through the gallery. Definitely look but don’t touch unless you’re buying. If you’ve got the funds, definitely make a purchase. Murano glass is known world wide. This is the perfect place for souvenirs.
//Unfortunately, I have no pictures of this famous bridge as it was under construction when I was there. Fortunately all of the restaurants and shops seemed unaffected. This was such a beautiful area to walk around in, especially after grabbing a gelato at Suso! Just a tip, everything in this area is more touristy, and therefore more expensive. It’s best to shop elsewhere but window shopping for ideas is highly encouraged.
// There are tons of tours around Venice that take you to various bars for a glass of wine and cicchetti. Basically, small appetizers served at the restaurant with the wine. At least that’s the meaning I got from our tour. Generally these tours range from 2-3 hours and are the perfect way to see how locals enjoy the city and get away from the touristy spots. I’m not sure the name of the group we did this with but there are so many highly recommended options over on Trip Advisor. (I love Trip Advisor, I wish all my links were affiliate, but they are not, I promise!)
Piazza San Marco
// The main square in Venice. It features Doge’s Palace, Basilica di San Marco, Campanile di San Marco and a whole bunch of other stuff. If you’re coming into Venice, this should be your main stop. Our group used this as a meeting point which worked out amazingly and if you plan on splitting from your travel buddies this is a great place to reconnect.
// Being on or near the water has always has a calming effect on a lot of people, me included. Being in Venice was so relaxing for me despite the hoards of people everywhere. Getting to ride on a gondola ride was a huge item ticked off my bucket list. Getting to see Venice from the water is the most incredible experience. Seeing things from water height and up close really puts things into perspective. Being in the water helps you to understand how important it is to everyone who resides there. Plus, it’s incredibly romantic if you’re with a significant other. If not, it’s just a beautiful lazy ride through the islands and if you’re lucky your gondolier will sing for you.
// Have you ever played Marco Polo as a kid? San Marco piazza was named after him. Turns out, he’s was kind of a big deal. Certainly something I didn’t learn in school.
// Venice consists of 118 small islands. With all those islands that means that Venice has 417 bridges!
// Every gondola in Venice is black
// Because of the consistent flooding most people don’t live on the first floor of their homes. If you’re looking for a cheap apartment in Venice, you can rent a first floor inexpensively but, beware of the flooding!
Question of the day: Is Venice, Italy on your list of places to visit? Or, have you been to Venice before?