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Venice Travel Guide

Happy weekend! I’m finally posting my Venice travel guide yay! In case you missed it we started in Rome, then spent a couple of nights in Tuscany, and then 4 nights in Florence! After Florence we took a train to Venice which might have been my most favorite place! I keep getting asked which place was my favorite and it’s honestly so hard to say because each city was SO different and I loved each one for different reasons! I loved the history and all of the sites in Rome, Tuscany was absolutely breathtaking, and Florence was very charming. I don’t think there’s anywhere in the world that is like Venice, the city on water. Literally such a crazy beautiful little city that is full of so much character & color. Venice is built upon 118 little islands and has over 400 bridges. Once we arrived in Venice we took the public water taxi (right outside of the the train station) to San Marcos Square so we could walk to our hotel. Let’s get into the details! 

Where we stayed

Rosa Salva Hotel: We spent our 3 nights in Venice at the Rosa Salve Hotel, we loved it! It was located in a convenient location not too far from San Marco Square and we were able to walk everywhere. It was very clean, updated, and modern and had an amazing breakfast in the morning that was included in our stay!

Where we ate

In Venice we were a little less prepared with knowing where we wanted to eat! Usually we did a good job of researching Trip Advisor to find the best restaurants and had a list of 2-3 places we wanted to try in each city but we kind of ran out of time to look up restaurants in Venice! Like everywhere else in Italy though, Venice is one of those places where you can just walk and stumble upon some great authentic restaurants. One thing I found interesting about Venice that we didn’t really experience anywhere else is that all of the restaurants had someone standing outside of the door trying to get you to come in and eat there for dinner which was kind of weird! I will suggest don’t eat dinner at San Marco’s square because all of the restaurants are way overpriced compared to everywhere else! Instead, hang out there in the afternoon and definitely go AFTER dinner to see it at night all lit up! 

Cafe Florian: 2nd oldest coffee shop in the world, established in 1720! The prices are high for coffee but at least you can say you’ve been 😉

La Bottiglia– The most delicious panini ever! They had great prices and it was the perfect place to stop for lunch! Definitely go here if you visit Venice! 

Trattoria Al Gazzettino– Like I said earlier we didn’t have a list of places to try like we did for Rome, Florence, and Positano. However Allen found this restaurant on Trip Advisor and we ate here our 2nd night and loved it so much that we ate there again for our 3rd night haha! They gave us a free glass of wine and some pasta salad while we waited outside! The pasta is homemade and authentic and the owners were so kind! 

Hotel Rialto Cafe– We didn’t eat dinner here but we did stop and have some bruschetta and a glass of wine one afternoon! We sat on the patio and it has the perfect view of the Rialto Bridge!  

Ristorante Marco Polo– This restaurant was right by our hotel and we ate lunch here one day! The pizza was very good! 

Gelato Fantasy– This place had amazing gelato! They’ll give you free samples! The “cookie” flavor was so good! 

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What to do
One of the things you hear all the time about Venice is “get ready to get lost”. Well, this is SO true. Streets are poorly marked, there are twist and turns every which way, everywhere you look is another bridge and it just gets so dang confusing! (thank goodness for GPS haha). But there is a sense of fun in getting lost in this gorgeous city. Everywhere you turn there’s another beautiful building, unique restaurant, and stunning view!

Gondola Ride– A Gondola ride in Venice is a MUST! You can find them pretty much anywhere and they are all the same price no matter where you get on at! Prices do go up at 7pm I believe. This was one of my favorite memories from our trip and something I always wanted to check off of my bucket list. A fun fact I learned is that you have to have extensive testing and training in order to get a license to be a gondolier, there are only 400 gondoliers in all of Venice and it’s considered a big privilege! 

San Marcos Square– Very touristy and very busy during the day but it is a fun place to people watch even with all of the hustle and bustle. Definitely go during the day and again at night after dinner. There’s live music each night and you’ll feel like you’re in a Disney movie when the whole square is lit up! Like I said earlier everywhere in the square is overpriced compared to anywhere else in the city. A lot of the restaurants charge you to even sit at their tables. Instead of paying for that we ordered two glasses of “take away wine” for 5 euros and sat on the steps in the square – RIGHT NEXT to the people paying an extra 20 euros to sit at the table! So crazy yet so fun!

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St. Marks Basilica– The most famous cathedral in Venice! We booked a tour with Viator to explore both St. Marks Basilica and Doges Palace. Our tour guide was great and he taught us so much about both places! This church is truly breathtaking and is completely adorned in glass mosaics! 

Rialto Bridge– One of the top tourist bridges in the city and it sure was a gorgeous site! Definitely a must see.

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Doges Palace– Gothic style palace and one of the main landmarks of Venice. It was neat learning about the history of Venice and exploring the palace with our tour guide. 

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Day trip to Murano– We took a public ferry over to the island of Murano one day! It was way less crowded than Venice and is famous for being the home of hand blown glass! I was so glad we walked around here. We also ate lunch there and visited a glass blowing factory as well. (Buy your glass souvenirs in Venice though instead of Murano, they definitely charge you more in Murano for the same products!) 

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Harrys Bar– This is where the Peach Bellini was invented! 

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Day trip Berano Island– We didn’t have time to make it to this island but I definitely want to if we ever go back! It is full of brightly colored buildings and looks so cute! 

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Venice is a magical city, full of history and bright colors and we are so glad we went. There really is nothing quite like a city on the water and it’s even cooler to experience and see in person. 

Wishing you all a great weekend! 

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