Have you ever been to those places that you love and yet, you know you’re never going to return to? That was Venice for me. It was so beautiful and yet, when I took one last look before getting in to my taxi back to the airport..I just knew.
Okay, picture this with me. You just arrive in Venice, it’s 10pm at night and you’ve been working all day. You’re eager to get back to your hotel because you want to be up bright and early for the one day you have to explore. You’ve just jumped in the taxi (€40 Set fare) and you’re crossing the large foggy dark bridge into Venezia, you’re super excited. You have a plan how to get to the hotel, it’s going to be just a 20 minute walk from the bus station to your hotel. You start walking confidently with maps by your side.
Okay, now picture this for me. Google maps stops working, It can’t find the streets that you are on, it’s wet, it’s flooded, you are now squeaking with your shoes. It’s telling you to get a boat to cross the water, No body is about and you’ve been walking around for 20 minutes now, crossing every single bridge each time getting more and more nervous you might actually not find your hotel tonight and you will sleep on the street. You finally find the boat to cross the water and get off. To get lost again. Ah.
It sounds rather dramatic but that is exactly what happened to us. We eventually made it to our hotel at 12.36am with such relief that they would let us in at such a time, we ended up asking another hotel for directions and also briefly making friends with another family who was also completely lost. We then crashed and woke up early any way.
Waking up bright and early, we decided to get the good kind of lost for the entire day and see where we end up. We had our 24 hour boat ticket (€20 each) so the entire island was ours to explore. Our first stop was St Marks Square.
I had read on many blogs and people telling me that St Marks Square was always SO busy, so I wanted to get there early enough that there was no crowds. (We later returned and it was so busy! So if you want to go, I’d advise making it your first stop as early as you can) It was a quite flooded, but I was still in awe of the Basilica up close.
We then walked along the water front for a while, stopped in a museum (€20 for 4 museums although we just went in 1, so it was mega expensive) and I then decided the main mission of the day was to find new shoes. I was stupidly wearing suede dolly shoes and my feet were so wet I could honestly wring them out and it would not be enough.
After finding some new boots (thank you h&m) we stopped for lunch. My number 1 piece of advice that people gave to me whenever I mentioned the word “Venice” was eat off St Marks Square because you will pay triple for rubbish quality food. We ended up eating quite a while away from St Marks and paid a decent amount for an average lunch. My other half tried the traditional Squid Ink Spaghetti with Cuttlefish (€20) and enjoyed it. For anyone wanting to try it he said it was only a slightly bit fishy and had a texture of creamy pesto. I on the other hand didn’t get brave and just had normal pasta.
For the rest of the day we ended up exploring cathedrals, little gardens, and also this cute book shop.
If you are a book lover, this is your dream shop. It is full to the brim of books of every thing you could think of. In the garden it also has steps made out of books with a view looking on to the canal (if you are brave enough to climb them as they wobble a little. I definitely climbed them though!)
We also used our 24 hour boat ticket and went along the canal. I would personally 100% recommend this option over a Gondola. The Gondola experience is €80 per person and roughly lasts 40 minutes. I’m sure it would be a great experience and if you have the money then do it, but the boat is a cheaper option and takes you from one end of the island to the other and you can get off where ever you want and jump back on.
Two things I got asked when I arrived home was “Did you buy a mask?” and “did you go to the glass blowing factory?” unfortunately no to both of them. After having to buy new boots and some how spending a lot of money (I took £200 and had to get an additional £130 out! I don’t know where it went) I decided not to get a mask. As for the glass blowing factory, we did get there but when we tried to get in we heard “No! groups only!” from the guard so we gave it a miss.
When dinner came around, I felt we had done every thing that Venice had to offer and we just stopped by a local pizza restaurant by our hotel and chilled out for the rest of the evening. I looked at my counter on my IPhone and we had walked give or take 12 miles and we were knackered. (Not including the night before and getting lost!)
I’m really glad I got to see Venice for a weekend. A lot of people said to me that you should not stay for more than 3 days and I definitely agree with them. I was obsessed for a while that I wouldn’t ever get around to seeing it. It is sinking you know! Perhaps not in our life time but it is definitely worth a weekend visit. We stayed in Hotel Cà Alvise which was lovely and a hotel I definitely recommend!
The next blog post will be based on my weekend in Berlin for Christmas Markets! I fly on the 9th December and I’m excited. I really need a pep in my step this year for Christmas so I can’t wait to see what Berlin has in store.