After enjoying a whirlwind 24 hours in Rome which you can read about here it was time to move on to Venice, Italy. I had been to Venice about 8 years ago and absolutely loved it. I remember getting off the train and walking out of the train station to see beautiful old colourful buildings along an aqua blue canal. My jaw literally dropped and I was gushing. We arrived by train again this time and I was still just as in awe as that first time 8 years ago. So let me show you how to Vacay Venice Style.
We booked an awesome newly renovated place on AirBnB which was really reasonably priced. Venice can be quite expensive so getting this place was a bonus and it was in such a great part of Venice. We caught a water taxi from the train station around to Cà d’Oro and it was only a two minute walk to our apartment which was situated in the Cannaregio Sestiere which is only a 10 minute walk from Rialto Bridge and a bunch of good cafes and restaurants. I highly recommend staying around this area. It was really convenient for walking to all the major sights.
After checking in to our accommodation we set of again to explore the alleyways that criss cross all over the city. The Veneto region, is built on more than 100 small islands in a marshy lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It’s stone palaces seemingly rise out of the water. There are no cars or roadways, just canals and boats. The Grand Canal snakes through the city, which is filled with innumerable narrow, mazelike alleys and small squares.
After walking for hours and capturing sunset at one of the bridges we had dinner and then walked back to the train station to capture some of the views at night.
The next morning we were up early to photography sunrise at San Marco square. It was so nice being up and about before the crowds arrived. And Venice draws massive crowds.
Venice looks so much more beautiful and calm when there is hardly anyone around.
Breakfast was pastries from one of the many amazing pastry shops scattered all over Venice. They are so delicious and addictive. People don’t sit down to eat in Italy. You stand and quickly eat your food and drink your coffee and move on.
After having a hit of sugar to keep us going for a few hours we ventured off around the city again. There are lots of beautiful old doors in Venice and I have a thing for doors. There was one blue door in particular that I was determined to find. I had asked everyone that I came across if they knew where it was but nobody seemed to know.
Literally 5 minutes after walking around I came across it. I couldn’t believe my luck and it was not far from where I was staying so I think it was meant to be.
You could literally walk around Venice for a week and still not see all of it.
I absolutely love watching the gondolas gliding along the canals amongst alleyways.
After walking around for a few hours we sat on a jetty in the sun near the Grand Canal and just watched all the boats go by. It was so relaxing.
A quick tip. Wear comfortable shoes. You are walking on cobblestone walkways all day and even the most comfortable shoes can give you blisters after days of that!
We found a quaint little cafe for lunch and as I said before, Italians don’t like sitting down to eat. We had to buy an extra drink so that we could actually sit at a table and eat our lunch and they moved us to a tiny table because we hadn’t spent enough money to warrant sitting at a bigger table! Such a strange thing coming from Australia but you just have to go with the flow!
The afternoon was spent wandering the streets again and finding our way down to La Academie Bridge which has gorgeous views up and down the Grand Canale with beautifully coloured buildings on either side. We tried to go back to Academie bridge for sunset but got completely lost because we crossed the river and went into the middle part of Venice so we missed sunset.
We got completely lost trying to find our way back but ended up finding a really good restaurant for dinner which had amazing lasagne and spaghetti. You can’t not have pasta when in Italy! It was dark by that stage and luckily we got free wi-fi at the restaurant so we mapped our way back to our accomodation. Thankfully we found it ok in the dark but as always it was a fun adventure and we will always remember that time we got lost in Venice.
The next morning I was determined to get to La Academie bridge for sunrise. I wasn’t expecting to wake up and see a thick fog everywhere. But I didn’t let that stop me so off we went for the 15 minute walk down to the bridge. I was hoping the fog would clear at sunrise but nope, it hung around for hours. It gave such a eerie feel to Venice.
After realising that this fog wasn’t lifting any time soon I wanted to see what San Marco square looked like in fog. I think it looked even more beautiful than normal.
Even though I wasn’t expecting to see Venice covered in fog, I am so glad that I did. It was really beautiful and I felt like I was Audrey Hepburn in a 1950’s black and white movie.
After showering and having some breakfast we caught the boat all the way back to Venice Marco Polo Airport so that we could pick up our hire car and head to Slovenia. It was a great way to see more the Veneto region.
So to sum up my Vacay Venice Style, you can easily spend two or more days just wandering the streets and canals of Venice. If you want to take a ride on a Gondola try to get a group of you together as it costs 90 Euro for a ride which is quite expensive.
Make sure you eat locally at the restaurants because the food is pretty darn good and try to get up early before the crowds arrive to experience the city in it quiet stillness.
Rialto bridge was under construction while I was there, thats why there are no photos of it. But it is a beautiful bridge and a fun place to hang out.
Have you been to Venice before? I would love to know what you experience was like, so leave a comment below!