I am jumping back onto the travel blog posts and thought I would share how me and my friends spent our 3 nights in Venice.
This was our second stop on our Italian adventure having just come from a lovely stay in Milan (read more here). After a short train ride from Milan to Venice, we waited for a water bus and made it to our stop San Stae and were greeted by a lovely girl named Fosca who lead us to our Venetian apartment. Our apartment was right around the corner from the water bus stop and it was so cute! We were right on a small canal and it was so charming and old but was unfortunately a shock compared to our apartment in Milan. This apartment in Venice was only half the size! And much to our disappointment, there were not two double beds but one double bed and one twin. That meant three of us girls had to squish together on the double… that does not make for a good night’s rest!
Before we continue, I highly recommend that instead of taking a water bus to your designated stop, you look into how much it would cost for a water taxi. After waiting in line and cramming into and off of a water bus, I definitely wished I would have taken a taxi instead.
Arriving in Venice in the late afternoon/ early evening left us with time to unpack, roam around the city a little bit, and eat.
For our first full day, we started the day bright and early and walked over to St. Mark’s Square. The hussle and bustle of people the closer you get to the square is nuts. A note to the wise: purchase ticket for Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica online as it prevents you from having to wait in the long ticket lines. The tickets also get you into one other museum I believe, though I can’t remember what it was called. Doge’s Palace is spectacular; the architecture, the art, the culture, I was overwhelmed. The ornate ceiling in the ballrooms is something else. Walking through, you start to imagine royalty living there and hosting parties and doing royal things. The dungeons are also neat to look at, and there were no people touring down there when we went so it was extra eerie having the area to ourselves. The bridge of sighs is equally as eerie as you can’t even fathom the people who walked across this bridge getting their last glimpse of freedom. The openings in the bridge, however, made for a cool photo of the canal below. It took us almost 2 hours to walk through the whole palace so keep that in mind.
We also went into St. Mark’s Basilica which is equally stunning. Make sure you head up to the roof when you’re there as it provides a birds-eye view of the square. Speaking of birds, there are pigeons everywhere; and it doesn’t help that there are men in the square trying to sell you bird feed by throwing it at your feet. If you are one of the tourists that buys the feed and takes pictures with like 5 pigeons on your arms…why…why do you have to do that. Do you know how many diseases pigeons carry? They are literally as dirty as sewer rats. Please don’t. These guys selling the feed are also coming up to you every 1 minute, I kid you not, trying to sell you selfie-sticks. As soon as one walks away from you, another one will come up and ask. As soon as you take out your phone to take a picture, they come running up to you. It kind of took away from the whole experience in the square.
I wish we had gone up the bell tower in the square, however, the line-up was extremely long and seemed to not be moving, so we ended up passing. We spent the rest of the day eating, browsing little shops, and relaxing in our Airbnb. One thing that I almost died when I saw, and HAD to do it was the fish pedicure! You put your feet in a tank of water and the little fishies come and nibble the dead skin off of your feet (you can’t have any blisters or cuts on your feet when you go in). It was so cool. We also stopped by a tiny trattoria right beside the fish pedicure place and had some Aperol (make sure you asked for it sweetened). We also snapped some **casual** photos while there.
Our second day was just as, if not more, busy as the first day. We started our morning off by going on a gondola ride on the grand canal. A note: gondola prices are for the whole boat, not per person. So say your trip was 80EUR, you would split that amount by up to 6 people. Since we had 5 people, we each paid about 16EUR each which is nothing. I must say, however, the trip is short and you better enjoy it while you can. Some highlights of taking the gondola ride on the grand canal would be Marco Polo’s home and Casanova’s home. Unfortunately, the Rialto Bridge was under some major construction so the advertisements that are infamous on all of Italy’s monuments that are under construction was a MAJOR eyesore. The good thing is that if you squish your way onto the bridge near the railings, you can still get a stunning picture like the one I took in the title picture.
We then ventured off on an afternoon trip to Burano Island. We were debating on visiting either Murano or Burano and ultimately decided on Burano by a recommendation from a lovely old lady in one of the glass shops in Venice. We decided to walk to the top of Venice to catch a water bus to the island instead of paying for a water taxi. Turns out, the first water bus stop we went to did not have a ticket booth so we had to back-track and walk to the next stop. Thankfully, along the walk, we were able to see the real Venice outside of the hustle and bustle of the main “centre”. The water bus took about 45 minutes to get to Burano since we took the one with the longer route (we didn’t want to wait for the direct bus). Once on Burano, you are instantly taken by the charming town with it’s beautiful coloured buildings. Burano is such a small island that, I kid you not, only took 10 minutes to walk from one end to the other. Make sure when you go to Burano, you pick up some blown glass and what I call “S-cookies” (cannot remember what they’re actually called). We spent about 2 hours on Burano which included sitting down for a late lunch.
Once we got back to Venice, we headed over for our last dinner in the city to a restaurant just down the way from our Airbnb, Muro Venezia. This restaurant is sitting on a small canal and has the FRIENDLIEST waiter we had met on our trip so far. The portions were HUGE and by HUGE, I mean HUUUUUUGE. My friends got the calzones and it was bigger than their heads. After dinner, we headed back to our Airbnb and got some rest for our long train journey the next day to beautiful Pescara.
Have you ever been to Venice? What was your favourite part?