I’ve just had the most amazing 48 hours in Venice. Both coach rides to and from Venice were a nightmare though but that’s a whole other story that I will share another time. For now it’s all about the positive.
Venice had been on my bucket list for a while and now I finally had the time to go. Since it was my first time there I did most of the tourist stuff. As I love sightseeing it was perfect for me. I stayed at a hotel called Albergo Doni which was just 5 minutes walking distance from St. Mark’s Place. The location was perfect, the staff incredibly friendly. In true Italian fashion the room was a bit dusty and the breakfast meagre. I would still recommend the hotel though simply for its location. I payed 50€ per night and stayed two nights. The price was okay for Venice standards as Venice is quite the expensive city.
Although you can easily walk to most attractions I took a 48-hours vaporetto ticket. Vaporettos are water busses and the main part of Venice’s public transport system. If you want to visit some of the islands this is the easiest and cheapest way to get there. I visited the Lido and Murano. The Lido is the island where the beach is and also the location of the Biennale, the film festival. Unfortunately for me the location of the Biennale was just under construction so I wasn’t able to see the glamorous buildings. On Murano the famous Murano glass is made. You can find Murano glass all over Venice as it is among the most popular souvenirs along with the Carneval masks.
The main attraction is probably St. Mark’s Square with St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and the Campanile, a clock tower and viewing platform. My tip for St. Mark’s Basilica arrive an hour before it opens. Yes, one hour. Then you have the least waiting time as the queues just get to long after it opens. And of course, it’s hot during the summer so the morning is the most comfortable time to wait anyway. I considered not going to the basilica. However, I am quite happy that I went since the basilica is just unbelievably beautiful. You are not allowed to take pictures inside but the entrance is completely free which is a nice change as you usually have to pay to visit a church in Italy.
One of my highlights has to be my visit in the DaVinci museum. I didn’t even know there was one in Venice as my travel guide did not feature it and it was a lucky coincidence that I stumbled upon it. I was checking out the Basilica dei Frari another beautiful church. From the basilica I went to the Scuola Grande di San Rocco one of the old schools in Venice and there across from it was the DaVinci museum. The museum is quite small but it has copies of Leonardo’s master pieces, an interesting film/presentation about his life and replicas of his most famous inventions. Some of those inventions you can try out yourself. I would really recommend the museum.
When I did not check out the main tourist sites – Rialto bridge, Gesuiti church, Canale Grande – I just walked around and soaked up the atmosphere. Every street in Venice is so unique and with all the canals just picturesque. I used my vaporetto ticket plenty too, sometimes to get to places and other times just to sit there and watch Venice from the water. I did not ride on one of the Gondolas though, they are simply to expensive.
Bad things about Venice were the pigeons for me, I just don’t like them, and that there were so many tourist. In some rather small streets there were just too many people so you couldn’t really walk.
All in all my Venice trip was just beautiful. I saw a lot, walked even more – my feet still hurt – and I ate the most delicious meals. Pizza, mussles, calamari and scampi.
Have you ever been to Venice or is it still on your bucket list? What did you like the most? Anything I missed? Let me know in the comments.