After spending some time in Rome (read about it here!), my dad and I caught a train to the second destination on our European adventure: Venice, Italy. While charting our travel route, Venice was the last city we squeezed into our plans, and I’m glad we did because it ended up becoming one of my favorite places in the entire world. Venice was love at first sight.
Located on the northeastern border of the Adriatic Sea, Venice is comprised of over a hundred different islands, separated by canals. It is a pedestrian city, meaning there are no cars, bikes, or other land vehicles. The city streets are all for walking, and the available method of transportation is by water. We stayed in the main area of Venice, the Rialtine islands. The entire area is less than two miles wide, so you can easily explore it all on foot.
On the southern side of Venice, you reach the sparkling water of the Adriatic Sea. On a clear, sunny day, it is absolute paradise.
Also on the southern side of Venice is the famous St. Mark’s square. Fun fact: this area flooded by over a meter earlier this year… I’m happy we got lucky with better weather! It was 50-some degrees and sun throughout our stay. We took some time to go in St. Mark’s Basilica and have a look around the museum.
Because we traveled in December, holiday lights decorated the city at night. One of my favorite areas was the Rialto Bridge, one of the largest bridges in Venice.
My favorite thing about Venice was the ambience. Walking the narrow streets enjoying a scoop of gelato, poking around the little shops while a gondolier paddles by, I enjoyed every minute.
So many little stands with scarves, hats, and gloves, all made in Italy!
Last, but not least, THE FOOD WAS FANTASTIC. Our best meal was at Ristorante Saraceno. I ordered their house red wine and vegetarian lasagna, and it was one of the best meals I have ever consumed. I’m salivating just thinking back on it.
Overall, Venice was definitely a highlight of our trip! It is one of the most unique and charming cities I’ve ever visited. I will absolutely return someday.
My travel tips for Venice:
- Pack light! The city isn’t “wheel friendly”, so getting your luggage around can be tricky. Bridges cross all of the canals, so if you can’t lift and carry your luggage, you’ll want to find an alternate method of transporting it. We ended up hiring a porter to move our luggage (charge is per bag… once again, pack light!). Water taxis are also available.
- Check out the Murano glass. The Venetian island of Murano is known for its glassmaking, and you’ll see it everywhere in shops around Venice. It’s beautiful, and if you are looking for a special souvenir or gift that is exclusively made in Venice, this is it!
- Keep some coins with you. I found that public restrooms in Venice charge a small fee (around 1€) for use. An upside to this is that they are typically very clean and well stocked.
- Pasta. Wine. Gelato. Repeat. Your taste buds will be happy here.
Have you read my other Eurotrip posts?
- Traveling Europe: Rome, Italy
- Traveling Europe: Geneva, Switzerland
- Traveling Europe: Grenoble, France
- Traveling Europe: Paris, France
- Traveling Europe: London, England