Venice is one of those cities on everyone’s bucket list, and there’s no wonder why! Known as the ‘city of water’ and easily one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Venice offers something breathtaking around every corner.
Like a lot of people, I’ve wanted to go to Venice for a long time. So, when Jack and I were planning our northern Italy tour last year, it was naturally on the top of the list! We decided to visit at the beginning of June, which was a perfect time of year to go. The crowds weren’t too big, and it was beautiful, sunny weather.
We arrived at Marco Polo Airport and hopped straight on a water bus to Venice. We had two days / two evenings which I’d say is a good amount of time, but you could probably do with one extra day if you wanted to explore the surrounding islands.
1. Enjoy a Gondola ride
Venice is known for its canals which dominate the city, and a ride on a gondola is the best way to explore them. Although it’s slightly cliché, you can’t go to Venice and not experience a gondola ride! You’d definitely regret it…
Standard gondola rides now have a fixed price of €80 for a private 25-30 minute tour.
2. Gorge on Venetian Gelato
Gelatoteca Suso is hands down the best place for gelato in Venice. There’s always a bit of a queue, but trust me it’s worth the wait! I’m a huuuge fan of pistachio and so I went for ‘Manet’ – hazelnut chocolate with pistachio ganache (I’d definitely recommend to any fellow pistachio and/or nutella lovers!)
3. Find the Ponte de Chiodo
One of my favourite hidden gems in Venice has to be Ponte de Chiodo – the only bridge that remains in Venice without a railing. Found in the quiet Cannaregio district, we actually stumbled across this by accident when exploring the backstreets!
4. Explore the Libreria Acqua Alta
Calling all book lovers! Another little hidden gem is the Libreria Acqua Alta, which translates to the “Book Store of High Water”. Said to be one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world, Libreria Acqua Alta stores all of its books in bathtubs, canoes and even a full-sized gondola!
If you head to the back of the shop, you’ll find two great photo opportunities. The first being a staircase created from a mountain of old books. Climb the staircase and you’ll see a beautiful view of the canal. And, if you follow the “fire exit” sign, you’ll come straight out onto a canal, where you’ll find the bookshops very own gondola.
5. Dine off the beaten tracks
On our walk from the apartment to the centre, we walked down Via Giuseppe Garibaldi. This street is full of restaurants and bars in the more residential area of Venice, so great if you want to get a little off the beaten tracks. We chose to eat at the family-run Ristorante Giorgione, which offers outside seating and live music by the owner Lucio. If you’re a lover of seafood, check out this restaurant as their menu includes lots of Venetian-inspired seafood dishes (I recommend the seafood risotto!)