WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
– There are a few ways to get to the middle of the city from the airport, but we decided on taking the Alilaguna water bus, which was the most inexpensive option. You can order tickets online, or directly at the airport. Another way to get to the center of the city is by purchasing a private water taxi at the Consorzio Motoscafi when you are at the airport.
– Venice is easy to walk, but you can also purchase a pass to their vaporetto (public transport), which I highly recommend. This definitely came in use the day it was raining while there and also when we had to go to the train station.
– Venice uses the euro, so make sure to exchange currency at the bank or an ATM. Most places take cash and some take card.
– A few scams to watch out for: Men handing out roses, ATM skimmers, and men handing out bird seed.
WHERE TO STAY:
– There are many small neighborhoods within Venice and we tend to lean towards the sections that were less touristy. We ended up staying off of the road Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, which was amazing. I could not recommend this area of the town more. It was quiet, but still had great options for food and things to do and it was a quick walk to the touristy areas of the town. I know of one small hotel on this street, but we chose to stay in an airbnb which we will definitely do again next time.
WHERE TO EAT:
Places we tried that I recommend:
- Vecio Trani – We loved this place! It was really close to our apartment and it was one of the best paninis and cicchetti we had the entire trip.
- Nevodi – Great restaurant! We ate dinner here and it was fantastic. Highly recommend the tiramisu!
- Do Spade – Great little place to get cicchetti. We really loved it!
Other places on my list:
- Al Merca
- La Cantina
- Ca’ d’Oro
- Lino Fritto
- Ai DiVini
- Banco Giro
- Cantinone-già Schivavi
- Gelateria da Nino
WHAT TO DO:
– If you read my Rome Travel Guide, you will know that I put “eat and drink” on there, as well. I truly believe that if you are eating and drinking al fresco in Italy, your life is perfect. Therefore, I am adding that to this list, as well. Eat and drink in Venice!! If I could go back today, I would bar hop and get cicchetti at as many places as I could!
– Head to the greenhouse, Serra Dei Gardini and grab a cup of coffee and relax. This is the first place we had coffee in Venice and it was so nice! Our tour guide for the day, Lorenzo brought us to this place and I am so thankful we found it! This wasn’t one of the places originally on my radar, but it was gorgeous.
– Go on a tour of Venice! We booked Lorenzo through Italian Days Food Tours and he went over and above our expectations. We were not supposed to meet him until the evening we arrived, but as soon as I stepped off the plane, I had a message from him explaining how I could get to the water bus station. This ended up being really helpful because Venice’s airport was a bit confusing to navigate. Once we arrived at our stop (Lorenzo even told us where to get off!!!), he was standing right there waiting for us, making sure we arrived safely. He then asked if we wanted to go to coffee with him later that morning as a “welcome to Venice.” We were already blown away. Fast forward to our tour: Lorenzo was HIGHLY knowledgeable on all things Venice. Each site we saw came with a full description of what it was, the meanings it had/has and some background on it. If you want to see the main places of Venice, that is great, but honestly, you will not get any information on what it is and why it is there. If you want to fully understand what things are, I highly recommend booking with Lorenzo. After our tour, he even came back to our apartment and made us peach bellinis AND booked our dinner reservation! He was AMAZING and I am so thankful that we found him! Please, please, please, if you are going to Venice and want a tour, book him. You will not regret it.
OUR VENICE ITINERARY:
Day 1: Our plane arrived in Venice right around 9am. Per Lorenzo’s instructions, we made our way to the water bus station at the airport and it transferred us to the center of Venice! We met Lorenzo and our airbnb host and then dropped our bags off at the apartment. While we were waiting to check in, we had lunch at Vecio Trani (on their sign it says the name is Spani, so don’t get confused!) After that, we met Lorenzo for coffee at the greenhouse and then finally checked in, explored some more, got gelato from a random stand and checked out the Coop for some wine and beer. YUM! Later on, we met Lorenzo for our tour and we saw SO many amazing things in Venice! During our tour, we went to Do Spade for cicchetti, which was fantastic. We ended our tour with amazing Peach Bellinis (do you want the recipe?!). We had dinner at Nevodi, which was by our apartment and then we were exhausted, so we went to bed.
Day 2: On Day 2 we were headed to Bologna, so we didn’t have much time, but we had coffee and breakfast and then headed to the Vaperetto to catch a morning train. I was SO sad to go because I really did fall in love with Venice, but that just means that I have to go back very soon!