Beautiful Venice, a place like no other. Built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals – including the Grand Canal thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces. Walking over the bridge, over the water and into the small streets lined with cafes, Venetian Masks, restaurants, shops and Gondolas on the water, it is definitely a breathtaking experience. I knew that I would be a fan of Venice but I did not realise just how much. I would definitely have loved to spend longer than 3 nights here.
From Florence I took a train which took only a couple of hours. There are no ubers in Venice and once you get to the train station there are no taxi lines. So you find yourself standing outside and just waiting for one to be dropping someone off at the station. Once in Venice unless you splash out on a hotel in the centre you will find yourself staying in once of the Urban areas like I did. I stayed in Mestre which is about a 25 minute tram ride into the centre from the hotel where I stayed. A tram ticket into the centre cost 1.60 euros each way which I thought was so cheap considering a taxi from the train station was around 20-25 euros.
Venice Mestre Smart Hotel Holiday
Before arriving here I was under the impression that the hotel would be in the centre, so I arrived feeling very disappointed. This hotel was part of my package deal so I could not pick which hotel I wanted to stay in. However this hotel turned out not so bad, it was just the journey into the centre that was draining after full days of sight seeing. Regardless my room was big, nice big bed and clean bathroom. The restaurant has really nice meals in the evening which I enjoyed. The breakfast was ok, not much of a selection as the hotel in Florence. Be warned if there are big party bookings at this hotel then once you get to breakfast there is hardly anything left. I got down for breakfast at 7.15am ready for a day trip to Verona. Only to find the restaurant for breakfast to be already full, and not much left to pick from. I found a table and put my room key and jacket at the table while I tried to find anything I could have to eat. Only to return to my table to find 3 other women had moved my stuff out of the way and settled in on the table! So very angry I moved my stuff and went and sat outside away from all these rude people. The head of the catering then brought me stuff outside so I could actually get some breakfast. She was great, and made sure that I had everything I needed. She apologised for the big group that had descended on the breakfast like vultures. Luckily this was just on one morning.
From the hotel the tram line is only around the corner and as previously stated the tram tickets into the centre of Venice are only 1.60 euros each way, which need to be paid for at the hotel reception. The staff here are friendly and helpful and give you a map on request for the tram, to make the journey into the centre as easy as possible.
Once off the tram you literally just walk across the road and over the bridge and you are there. Although it was an extra unwanted journey when I thought I would be staying in the centre already, it turned out not so bad after all.
As you should be aware there are no roads in Venice, just canals with water bus’s, water taxi’s and the famous Gondolas. I really enjoyed just walking around the side streets in Venice and getting completely lost, ending up in the same place several times. This is what travel is all about though right? I did take one trip on the water bus in order to experience travel across the Venice water. This was definitely worth the trip and at 7.50 euros its definitely something not to be missed. The views you get from the water is just outstanding, and it is such a relaxing way to travel.
The one thing everyone associates Venice with is the Gondola. The iconic Gondola for the perfect Venice picture however the price for only a 30 minute ride is absolutely ridiculous, at 80 euros each!! Yep thats right, no wonder there wasn’t many people taking the ride. I thought about just spending the money and taking the experience but decided against it, which is why I took a 7.50 euro water bus instead and probably saw a lot more than I would have done on a Gondola. What an absolute shame that they have to charge so much to experience a 30 minute ride.
Never the less I did spend a lot of time walking around and trying to catch a Gondola going past the water, and going under bridges for the perfect picture. They definitely do make a perfect Venice picture.
Osteria Al Leone Alato
Make sure you visit this amazing restaurant. Once you leave the tram head straight over and over a bridge, the restaurant will be right in front of you. It is set right next to the water and there are lots of places to sit outside and enjoy the sun. Honestly the best place I visited for food while in Italy. The food was amazing, drink was great, and the staff are absolutely amazing, prices are also reasonable. So friendly and amazing at their job. This place is definitely worth a visit.
The Streets of Venice
It goes without saying that the streets in Venice are beautiful and unique. Surrounded by water, cute cafes, restaurants, shops and Venetian Mask shops there is something great to see on every corner. I absolutely loved going into the Venetian Mask shops and seeing the amazing work. There are so many handbag shops that leaves a smell of leather through the streets.
Most people who have been to Venice say how much it smells however I can only put that down to the time of year that you go. I can honestly say that going in May I did not experience the smell untill the last day, even then it was not that bad. It was a very hot day so maybe that had something to do with it. Regardless of the smell I absolutely cannot recommend a visit to Venice enough.
When looking for places to eat I would definitely stay out of the square. These restaurants are very expensive, you can instantly tell this by the orchestras that play outside the restaurants. None the less it is definitely worth a visit to the square just to see the fancy restaurants and the amazing Palace, which will leave you stood staring up at it for so long.
When I went in May there were not many crowds which I absolutely loved. I am so glad that this was the case as I can only imagine how bad it would be in the small side streets getting around the crowds. Also on the bridges be prepared to be squashed when a Gondola goes underneath as this seems to be the point that everyone goes crazy for pictures of a Gondola.
Venice has so many ice cream shops that you are tempted so much. In all honesty I had more Ice cream in Venice then anywhere else I visited in Italy. Shops have open windows with ice cream and foods on display that it is very hard not to just walk on by.
And don’t forget about the Aperol Spritz, after a long day of walking the streets of Venice this is definitely the most refreshing drink I had.
Venice is definitely an amazing place to visit. 3 nights here was definitely enough time to see everything and more.
Thank you for reading 🙂
Miss Coddiwomple xx