Oh Venice. How beautiful you were! So magical, so unique, so bellissimo.
My Frenchman and I just got back from a wonderful 5-day stay in Venice where we celebrated my 28th birthday. I’ve wanted to go to Italy for as long as I can remember and starting off with Venice was definitely not something to complain about! So, in order for me to relive my magical days there and for you, my wonderful readers, to hear the best bits about Venice, you’ll find all the best tips and tricks to ensure you have a fantastic time in Venezia.
Where to Stay in Venice?
I honestly couldn’t recommend where we stayed any more highly. We chose to stay in an Air bnb called AI SOGNATORI with our wonderful hosts Patricia and Leonardo. Our room looked exactly as it did in the pictures and we had an incredible view of the canal. The location was excellent as we were just a short ten minute walk away from the Rialto Bridge and had lots of local amenities nearby (a supermarket, a bakery and of course, a pizzeria). Our hosts were excellent, consistently giving us lots of insider tips and advice. It’s honestly thanks to them that we had such a brilliant time. Click here to learn more about where we stayed.
Where to Eat in Venice?
Anyone who knows me knows I am a TOTAL foodie so of course I was excited to try the delicious food in Venice.
My top picks would be:
Antico Forno – For the best Pizza in town
Antico Forno is a traditional, tiny, hole in the wall pizza place where you can grab a slice to go or eat standing up inside whilst you watch the chefs make more delicious pizzas! It’s super cheap (around 3-4 euros per slice) and as well as doing both thin and thick crust pizza, you also have the choice between about 10 different toppings! My favourite by far was the thin crust four cheese, however, the thick crust ham and mushroom cut a close second! An absolute must if you’re visiting the city.
Enoteca Rio Marin – for a delectable evening meal
This little restaurant tucked away on a side street in Venice was absolutely amazing. Recommended to us by our hosts it was very authentic and the prices were extremely reasonable. We actually went back twice because we loved the restaurant so much! I had Octopus salad and Pasta with Squid ink the first evening and the second time I had calamari. It was to-die-for.
Gelateria “Nico” for the best Gelato on the Island!
We had heard about this place before we even got to Venice so we just knew we had to try it! The gelato is by far the best in Venice (trust me, we tasted a lot) and although the cafe is located a little further away from the central spots, it’s worth the walk! Try their speciality, the Gianduiotto – a chocolate hazelnut block of ice cream with whipped cream in a large paper cup!
And last but not least if you have time stop and grab some fried squid, prawns and polenta from Acqua e Mais, another great hole in the wall serving cheap snacks!
What to do in Venice?
Last but not least, I have to tell you what to do in the gorgeous city of Venice!
First things first, you HAVE to visit the islands of Burano and Murano. Murano is famous for its glass making and Burano for its cute, colourful houses! We didn’t have time to visit Lido but apparently it’s also very nice. To get to these islands you can buy a 24 hour ticket for 20 euros. However, I recommend going to Burano first as there is only one boat line running from Murano to Burano so the wait can be really long…I’m talking hours of queuing to get back on the boat. Burano is 45 minutes away from Venice whereas Murano is only a short 10 minute ride away. If you’re looking for somewhere to eat in Murano try Il Bocconcino; a delicious, takeaway sandwich place!
I would also recommend visiting the island of San Giorgio, a tiny island just across the water from mainland Venice. The only thing to do there is climb the bell tower! However, it is DEFINITELY worth doing it! For 6 euros you can take a small elevator up to the top of the tower and enjoy the most spectacular view of Venice.
Of course you MUST discover Venice itself with its small streets, quaint shops and gorgeous buildings. Personally I think that the best way to see Venice is by foot, but I would also recommend seeing Venice from the water by taking a Vaporetto (a water bus – pictured above left) around the city. We did this and thoroughly enjoying getting to see Venice from the greatest vantage point.
I would also recommend going to Ca’ Macana to get a beautiful mask to take home (they made the masks for the film Eyes Wide Shut)!
Lastly, buy a museum ticket for 19 euros and enjoy visiting Doge’s Palace, Museo Correr and much more. The ticket is really great value for money, considering everything you are able to see and do with it.
Whatever you do, make sure you walk around Venice as much as possible, taking in the beautiful surroundings and authentic ambiance. After all, it’s always la dolce vita in Venice!