Words can’t express how sad I feel writing this post now that almost 4 months have passed since I was in the most beautiful and enchanting city I have visited so far. Writing this makes me want to jump on a plane tomorrow and enjoy the trip all over again, it really was some of the best days of my life. However, with Valentines Day approaching, I thought it was quite an apt time to fill you in on my time in this romantic city. Tom and I were fortunate enough to spend 4 nights in Venice and were both blown away by its beauty and charm. It also helped that we had absolutely gorgeous weather whilst we were there, around 26 degrees everyday which the locals said was pretty warm for late September! I thought I would share a few of my favourite things I discovered on my visit and naturally share lots and lots of pictures!
Where To Stay:
If like Tom and I, you don’t have a colossal budget to spend on a hotel then you really do have to lower your expectations when it comes to accommodation in Venice. Everywhere is very expensive and quite traditional in its decor which makes it difficult for a young couple like us who like luxurious and contemporary accommodation. There’s no slumming it for the two of us FYI. I spent a lot of time panicking that we were never going to find anywhere suitable and we would have to sleep on a stray gondola, whereas Tom actually did some searching and found us a great little place to stay. We stayed in the district of Santa Croce which is walking distance to pretty much all the major attractions that you may want to see. We stayed in Venice Resorts, which is basically a collection of apartments that also provide a breakfast service and free wifi. Perfect! The rooms were spacious and homely and we found them just what we needed for the duration of our stay. We were treated to breakfast every morning just up the street at a tiny family-run cafe that overlooked one of the many canals. If time had stopped on one of those lazy mornings, I simply would not have cared. It was bliss!
What To See:
The Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge are definitely worth a visit when you are in Venice. The canal is pretty break-taking when you see all the boats heading up and down. It is incredibly relaxing to just stroll along the side, looking at all the restaurants and just watching the world go by. Unfortunately, the Rialto bridge was under renovation when we visited but it I believe it was the first bridge to cross the canal.
Another key thing to visit is Saint Mark’s square! The atmosphere is unlike anything else with many people bustling around, high-end shops lining the perimeter and classical music playing in every restaurant. There is also the basilica and a large tower to take a trip up if you’re a fan of large panoramic views. One thing I would suggest is to not eat in St Mark’s square as it is absolutely extortionate! There is a ‘music charge’ per person just to sit down which could make simply grabbing a coffee very expensive! Overall, I didn’t find venice that expensive as long as you avoided the main tourist sections.
One final thing that you may not have heard of is the Scala Contarini Del Bovolo which is a lovely ornate spiral staircase that is quite off the beaten track. It is a beautiful example of Venetian architecture and is a must see in my opinion. It would only take a few minutes to visit but it is pretty breath-taking!
Overall, I would have to say that Venice is my favourite citIy to date. It has everything: fantastic food, friendly people, beautiful sights and incredible architecture. I don’t often go back to a city again once I’ve visited it as I feel like I want to see as much of the world as possible and revisit my favourites later on in life when things may have changed, however I would visit Venice again tomorrow in a heartbeat. It really captured my heart and the memories Tom and I have taken from those 4 days will last us a lifetime. I am incredibly lucky to have been able to visit it with the person I love and would recommend it to anyone! Next time I go I’d like to visit the islands such as Murano where they make the special glass. There are lots of shops selling the glass but I would have liked to have visited the factory shop to buy it first hand. Have you visited Venice? Let me know your favourite places!