For as long as I can remember, the wife has always loved Italy. We spent a few days in Milan and Rome on separate trips but didn’t ever spend an extended amount of time in the country…up until now.
The wife planned 10 days touring parts of Italy starting with two days in Venice followed by a night in Bologna before proceeding to Florence for 3 nights allowing some time inbetween to stop by the Ferrari HQ in Maranello before finally heading south to the Amalfi coast to cap off our holiday.
So far (and I’m writing this while in Florence), Venice has been, hands down, the stand out city and one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. So much so that it has left us a little bit underwhelmed in Bologna and Florence. In hindsight, we should have done our two days in Venice at the back end of the trip and not at the beginning.
Where to stay
Venice is made up of lots of little islands separated by canals (large and small) linked by bridges (also large and small). These little islands are divided into 6 “sestieri” or districts. The busiest and most touristy district is the San Marco district which we chose to avoid because of the crowds. Instead stayed at the Dorsoduro district at the Ci’Pisani hotel. Check out my TripAdvisor review for more information.
What to do
Get lost and walk around. Venice is incredibly beautiful and the best way to take in it’s beauty is to hit it’s streets. Simply spending a few hours just aimlessly walking around Venice will leave you in awe. The city is surreal and is somewhere between a movie set, dreamworld and a real living, breathing, functioning city.
Take a ride on a Water Bus – they’ve very handy to get from place to place quickly in Venice but also loads cheaper than a Water Taxi. There is also a Water Service running to/from Marco Polo Airport that is tons cheaper than taking your own Water Taxi.
The usual attractions like the San Marco Square and the Rialto Bridge are a must. If you have time, a quick trip to the Murano and Burano islands are also worth a visit (so I was told). I really enjoyed our walking tour with a local who showed us the Venice that the locals know and covered some of the touristy stuff as well.
Lastly, the “must do” thing in Venice is a Gondola ride. At €80 during daylight and €100 at night for a 30 minute ride it’s not hard to see why Gondoleers and Water Taxi owners are amongst the wealthiest people in Venice but the Gondola right is well worth and quintessentially Venetian.
What to eat
We had meals at Rosa Rossa and a few other places whose names I have already forgotten. Nothing we ate was mind-blowingly awesome enough to write about, so sadly no recommendations on the food front.
That basically wraps up our two days in Venice. More to follow on Bologna, Maranello, Florence, Positano and Naples 🙂