I hear so many mixed reviews about Venice, so I was excited to check it out for myself. And in all honesty, I have mixed feelings. Our first day there was considerably wet, rainy, and full of crowds, so most of our adventures were from our full second day.
How We Got There
We ventured to Venice from Florence, so we took the train. If you’re flying into Rome, you can take the train from there to get to Venice as well. From there, we took a water taxi (aka the vaporetto). You can buy a ticket right outside the train station at one of the water taxi stations. Depending on where you’re staying, you’ll take a certain taxi and get off at a certain stop. The person issuing you the ticket will be able to point you in the right direction.
Notes on train travel: There are two options: Eurail and ItaliaRail. Eurail allows you to travel all throughout Europe and buy one ticket for a set price for however many days you want to travel. ItaliaRail allows you to buy individual train tickets for each trip. Eurail was cheaper for us since we were traveling for more than one day.
Where We Stayed
We stayed in one of Asher’s favorite Airbnbs. As always, the host was so nice and our apartment was impeccably clean. He even met us at the water taxi and helped me with my bag.
What We Did
Our first day was rainy and cold. After arriving later in the day, we ended up at a tourist trap to eat pizza and dry off. Afterward, we wandered around St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge, stopping in coffee shops to keep warm. After a while, we called it a day and grabbed takeout from We Love Italy, a little to-go pasta place. We opted for the gnocchi and macaroni with bolognese, and it was really good!
The sun came out on our second day in Venice, and it made all the difference! We started our day with lattes and pastries in a little hole-in-the-wall eatery before heading to St. Mark’s Square and the Bridge of Sighs. In order to get the full Venice experience, you really have to explore all the nooks and crannies. There’s so much to discover!
My only complaint about Venice is the crowds. The streets are small and narrow, and the people are plenty. I suggest going early in the morning to see the sights unless you’re ready to elbow your way through the crowds for a photo.
My favorite part of Venice might be the mixed charcuterie board we ordered at Cantina Arnoldi. No joke. Hands down the best charcuterie board I’ve ever eaten, and we had no problem inhaling it.
For a good view of the city, I suggest going to the rooftop terrace of T Fondaco dei Tedeschi by DFS (mouthful, right?). It’s basically a big fancy mall with a floor for men’s fashion, women’s fashion and cosmetics. If you want to go to the top, make sure you make reservations in advance. I’m a huge fan.
If you do anything in Venice, you have to go on a gondola ride. It’s been on my bucket list for years! They have spots throughout the city where you can hop on a gondola. It’s about 80 euros for 30 minutes and worth every cent. It was SO MUCH FUN. And our gondola man sang to me. Talk about a dream come true.
I wish I could tell you we ate somewhere really good for dinner. Sometimes gelato for dinner is the way to go, you know? So Venchi’s it was! Marscapone with caramelized figs, chocolate and pistachio for the win. I have no regrets.
If you’re planning a trip to Italy, definitely make time for Venice. One or two days is plenty of time to see everything in the city, and it’s worth it for the gondola ride alone!