3 days in Venice!

 

It was my partner’s 30th birthday this year and I know he prefers having experiences rather than having material things so I booked us a weekend away in Venice. (Do I now have to buy him a holiday every year?!)

I can’t say it was a totally selfless present and I too really wanted to go to Venice and it did not disappoint!

View over the Alps on our flight

Day one 

We arrived on the friday with the whole day ahead of us to explore. I booked us a beautiful air bnb apartment in the Mestre district of Venice. From Mestre it’s so easy to get to the main Venice island, either by car, tram or bus.

Most people will agree that the streets of Venice are confusing and many tourists get lost…we were definitely in that group. The first day I think we just kept going around in circles trying to find the San Macro’s square.

I don’t regret getting lost, in fact I think everyone needs to get lost in Venice. It’s the only way to properly explore and and find some amazing hidden streets.

After lunch near the grand canal (both of us ordering pizza of course) we set out on a mission to make it to San Macro’s square on foot. Along the way we stopped for authentic gelato, I had a blue ice cream that was coloured using spirulina extract but thankfully it didn’t taste of it!

Of course the most famous landmark of Saint Marc’s square is the Basilica. It is utterly stunning and an amazing piece of artwork.

Me feeding some bird in the square

This is Cafe Florain, the oldest cafe in Europe! It has all the original art work and decor and the waiters were tuxedos!

Day 2

On the second day we got a tourist travel ticket which allowed us to get on any bus, tram or vaporetto so that we could explore the other Venice islands. The vaporettos are such a great way to get around Venice, they’re cheap and stop at all the main islands and landmarks.

The second island we went to explore was Murano. Famous for its glass art, Murano was full of shops selling glass jewellery, decorations and housewares. You can also see people glassblowing in studios.

Miniature fruit sculpture made out of glass

Glass balloons

Large glass sculpture in Murano

After our visit to Murano, we took the boat back to San Macro’s square to finish off sightseeing there. Above is the iconic ‘bridge of sighs’. The story goes that it got its name as prisoners could be heard walking across the bridge to their execution. You can walk across it, although you do have to pay.

 

Long exposure nighttime shot

Day 3

On our final day we took the vaporetto over to the Giudecca and Lido islands. Giudecca is a small island that has many residential areas. Its quite but the perfect spot to have lunch with a great view..

You get a good view of the mainland Venice from Giudecca – with saint macs square in sight.

 

 

After lunch on Giudecca island we hopped on a boat back to mainland Venice in search for the ‘most beautiful bookshop in the world’…

I has seen photos of this bookshop on Pintrest and knew this was the one place I had to see! I love quirky shops and books so this was heaven. The shop is called Libreria Acqua Alta and is famous for its staircase made of books, cats and the vast number of books.

A gondola filled with booked

me coming down the book staircase – I have to say it was a little scary!

For our last evening meal we got the boat to the Lido, a long residential island that does allow cars and bikes (as the mainland Venice doesn’t).  The Lido also has a nice sandy beach that’s perfect when it’s hot.

On our boat ride home there was dramatic clouds and lighting ahead..

 

Tips for staying in Venice

  • It is expensive, so be sure to take extra money than you usually would. You can find reasonably priced restaurants away from the main tourist areas.
  • Keep an eye on your bag on the Vaporetto as pickpockets target them.
  • You will probably get lost but just go with it. The streets of Venice are like a maze, they are all similar and have many turns. Even if you have a map, you can still get lost but sometimes that’s the only way to fully explore it.
  • Be cautious of people trying to sell bird seed and roses in the main tourist areas, they charge up to 20 Euros for seeds!
  • Definitely have a pizza and ice cream.