Updated: Dec 24, 2020
Venice, another destination on so many people's bucket list and I must say that it's rightfully so. One of the few time we go back home and we weren't completely wore out from our travels. It's one of the few places that we've been to that we felt like we were at home and could stay forever.
You may think of Venice as a tourist trap, and there are places in the city that are. If you don't pay attention you will end up in a place that resembles Disney World with all the people walking around. But I'm going to give you a few tips to avoid this mayhem and have an amazing, quiet, and peaceful time in Venice. We went in August of 2019 and I hope you are used to humidity if you are going during that time. I'm from Florida so I felt at home, but Katie (my wife) is from California and she didn't know what to do in humidity, lol. Needless to say we probably ate too much gelato, which you'll have to try and I'm sure you'll fall in love with it.
Image to the right can be found in the Wall Art store if you are interested in having this hanging in your home.
GETTING AROUND THE CITY
There is a road that gets to Venice but this will be the last road you'll see while in the city. There is a shuttle that goes between the city and the airport.Once in the the city walking around, make sure you avoid the Canal Grande as much as possible. The Canal Grande is a large canal that goes straight through the city and if you are wanting to travel to the other islands, which I'm going to suggest, then you'll have to get on a boat on the Canal Grande. Google doesn't work that well when you are walking through the little alley ways because phone signals will bounce through the buildings. The alley ways will feel as though you are a rat trapped in a maze, but I recommend you taking these little alleys as they are quiet and you are not having to fight the crowds. Sometime the alley will dead-end at a canal and I'll have to turn around. I didn't find this annoying at all because I was taking in all the beauty that Venice has to offer.
Walking and boats are how you get around the city, but most of the boat buses go only to the Canal Grande and around the islands so you will spend most of your time walking. As I was talking about taking the back alleys, some of the best authentic food you'll find in the and gelato stand everywhere you look. About every hour we were stopping by these little gelato stands to fill up again, lol. Once you get GPS service, make sure that you map out your route in your mind because as I said earlier, your maps on your phone will be spotty and you'll get lost. I find getting lost though to add to the adventure and your trip will become more memorable. Hopefully not too lost though. The islands of Venice aren't that big though so Venice is a wonderful place to lose your way for a moment.
WHERE TO SAY
We stayed in a hotel as far away from the Canal Grande as possible. I wish we could remember where we stayed so I could tell you. If only I was doing these blogs and vlogs then. The photo on the left is the entry to the hotel we stayed. We were on the first floor and our window went straight out to a small canal. Absolutely incredible! We kept our windows opened all night and it was so quiet and all we could hear was the water. What a way to relax! The hotels away from the Canal Grande are also much cheaper and I think are just as nice. We don't travel to stay in a hotel though, we travel to have adventures. I hope you feel the same.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO
Travel the islands! Take an adventure to see all the islands. This will take a full day but I suggest to split it up between 2 so that you have more time to explore while you are there. We did it in 1 day and if we could do it again we would split it up between at least 2 days. We didn't really have a favorite island as they each had something unique to enjoy, but if you want to see the iconic colored houses then you will need to make your way to the island of Burano.
Ride a gondola! Yes... I know what you are thinking. Riding a on gondola is what everyone think when they think of when traveling to Venice. The can be quite pricy but if that is something you would like to do I say go for it! You can do it as a group and those tend to be cheaper per person. If you aren't with a group and you don't want to spend the high price for your own private gondola ride, and don't mind strangers having the moment with you then go for the group gondola ride.
Have some gelato! I know I said it earlier but I'm going to say it again and you can thank me later.
Eat an Italian pizza and pasta! I'm sure you will eat some pizza and pasta but just for the few of you that want to travel and eat hamburgers. Again, thank me later! You won't regret it.
Gallerie dell'Accademia! This place is going to be busy but well worth going. Gallerie dell'Accademia is a museum of 13th-18th century artwork from the region. Even if you aren't into artwork, this artwork is part of the culture here and has a lot to tell you about the beauty of Venice and the architecture of the city.
Rialto Bridge! This bridge goes over the Canal Grande but it's beauty is just amazing. See it and continue. Maybe cross it so you get a look at the Canal Grande if you can see over everyone's head. More than likely you'll see this a few time, but I suggest seeing this area at night. The light reflecting off the water and it seems to be much quieter.
Saint Mark's Basilica! This place is going to be packed! It's packed during the day and just as bad at night. If you see the photo to the right of Katie and I standing in front of it and all the people around. This photo is a long exposure (10 second photo) just to get the movement going on around us. Probably the busiest place we visited and while I suggest it because of the beauty, I don't do crowds very well so we saw it, got our photo and left. But I put it on here because it is still worth the visit.
HOW MANY DAYS
I would say stay forever! But since we all can do that, I would say spend a week. Take your time to see everything and don't rush through it. Take your time and experience the beautiful culture. You can visit Venice in 2 full day and still have an amazing time and see everything but you may be a little rushed. It is a great city for relaxing in so I highly suggest to spend extra days so that you can relax in this relaxing city.
Overall we marked it off our bucket list and put it right back on. We will go back to Venice one day because it was a true vacation. The people there are so friendly and we enjoyed our conversations and laughs with the locals there. It can be crowed depending on the time of the year you go but even if you go during peak season, as we did, you can still find peace and quiet and find yourself alone in the small alleyways. Such an amazing place!