Venice has completely stolen my heart, and I’m not sure I’ll ever travel anywhere with more charm. This small city epitomizes the word “romance” with its narrow canals and gondolas, cobblestone streets, and authentically untouched architecture.
WHO to go with: Spouse/boyfriend/partner. I’m all about the girls trips but this place is designed for love.
WHEN to go: Avoid ridiculous heats and crowds in the summer and book your trip for end of Winter/Early Spring, or late Autumn.
HOW long to stay: 3 days
Venice is built on canals, so you will take a boat from the airport to your destination. There’s no pre-booking required, so simply follow the crowds to the dock area to catch the next ride into paradise!
We pulled into Venice in the evening and our entire boat was silent in awe besides the occasional stunned gasp. The canals reflect lights from buildings and the city seems to be lit like a candle. It is absolutely gorgeous!
The entire city of Venice is small enough to walk several times during your short stay. This is fortunate since there are no cars there to get you around! Venice is made up of several open squares, with tiny cobbled streets acting as a maze from one square to another. It was great to spend time in Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) which is famous for St. Mark’s cathedral. We walked inside the cathedral and took in the history of Venice and its role within Italy before it became the tourist destination it is today. After checking out the cathedral, sit at any coffee shop in the square to people-watch. The cappuccinos there are basically liquid heaven – I couldn’t get enough!
Head towards Rialto bridge, but take your time on the side streets (they were my favorite part of the city). Each house/business along the canal has a window/garage for boats to pull into. We enjoyed lunch on one of these small streets and the table was so close to the canal we could high five the gondola drivers going past! Everything is small, and everything is idyllic.
As you approach Rialto Bridge, you’ll notice you’ve reached the highway of canals. The Grand Canal hosts larger boats for shipping, tourism, even boat ambulances and police boats. While you’re in this area of Venice, check out the Rialto market for fresh Italian vegetables, meat and fish. It’s a great culture to see with small souvenir options too (I bought an adorable apron they embroidered on the spot for me!)
We had dinner one night along the Grand canal, and our second night on a small side street. While I normally prefer being next to the water, I would recommend venturing away from the area near Rialto Bridge. The food was okay, however because of it’s popular location, it was constantly full of tourists without needing to make much effort. Again, raving about the smaller side streets, you’ll find authentic Italian kitchens that aim to please. Wine, pasta, more carbs, fresh salads and vegetables, will send your taste buds flying.
One thing that is necessary in Venice is having a Bellini. It is the signature cocktail, and there’s no place better to go than Harry’s. Get your wallet out, and ensure you are dressed to impress! Bellini’s are so popular you can get them anywhere including carts on the street, so we enjoyed a bottle while getting ready for dinner!
Lastly, a must-see from Venice is the Isla de Burona. This ~40 minute ferry from St. Mark’s Square is just 6 euros and it was an amazing place to see! We did a 4 island tour that took just 5 hours round trip. While each island we stopped at was interesting, I would have preferred going straight to Burona and staying a bit longer. Each house on this island is brightly painted a different color, and you get more of a neighborhood feel here as young, local children play “futbol” in the streets.
Another huge benefit of visiting the outskirt islands is the unique view you get coming back to Venice. This boat brings you to the opposite side of where the airport shuttle did, and every view is breathtaking in its own way.
Need a little bit of romance? Contact us to book your trip for the Fall season!