Oh Venice, you were just amazing. This was Dan’s favorite city of the trip and because he was so excited, it made me more excited about seeing the city for the 2nd time. He even wanted to wake up early to explore! Considering he’s a dude who loves his sleep, this was a big surprise.
We flew into Venice in the early afternoon and took the longgg ride on the Vaporetto (AKA Venice’s water bus) from the airport to our hotel, near St. Mark’s square. We somehow ended up in a room with a canal view and our own private balcony. Luck was with us. And then we ventured off for our first bout of exploring, with a requisite stop at St. Mark’s Square to see all the pigeons and then further on, some good seafood at a new spot called Local. Sidenote- make dinner reservations in Venice!! I had tried before we left but every one I spoke with was on holiday while we were there (like most of Italy- Agh to live in Europe) and I gave up. Luckily we found a place. Our server at Local was awesome and recommended a bacaro for a good beer selection for after dinner- Bacaro Risorto. Locals were spilling out into the streets with a drink in hand and the bartenders were surprisingly knowledgeable on beer. We tried several collaborations between Sierra Nevada and an Italian brewery outside Padua, Crak. It really topped of the night.
The next morning we went to Ca’ d’Oro- I’ve always found the gothic style to be a just stunning. As beautiful as it was on the outside, and while the museum was nice, I wouldn’t recommend it if you have limited time.
Afterwards, we went on a free walking tour. The stories of the history of Venice were great, but what I really loved was hearing about everyday life in Venice. Living in a place that isn’t easy to get to and has limited supplies, a place that floods every year, and what do they do with their trash?! Life styles are much different without cars 🙂 After the tour, we tried some cicchetti (Venetian tapas) at a local place near the Rialto bridge and the owner was just the friendliest.
With daylight left to burn, we hoped on the water bus to Burano. Famous for lace making, I was in it for the colorful houses. I kept thinking… wouldn’t it be odd if people from all over the world kept taking pictures of your home? I still took pictures… but at least felt a little bad about it 🙂 We also stopped into a grocery store where they poured wine out of a keg for 2 euro. You were supposed to bring your own jug. Whoops. Luckily they had a spare, giant, water bottle hanging around for us.
Once we were back in Venice, we did like the Venetians and had an aperitif. Everyone typically stands either in, or outside, the bars, so we joined. Spritzes are really popular drinks but after we tried one, we decided to stick with wine. Then we headed on to dinner to try some risotto- according to our walking tour guide, it’s their best dish outside seafood. And yes, it was delicious. He also warned that the pizza in Venice isn’t as great as the rest of Italy since they aren’t allowed to have wood burning ovens! News to us.
And then some last minute walking around before our train to Florence… Those doorbells! And that light on the canal! Insert lots of emojis with heart eyes. Mm, love mornings.
Over all, we didn’t do many can’t miss, traditionally touristy things. And it was fantastic. I think if you’re in a place that makes you ohh and ahh just by walking around, it can be great to just stroll and take it all in. I say that having already done some of the touristy things and really enjoying them 😉 ha! I do think Venice gets a bad wrap- people think it’s only tourists and just packed to the gills. Which is kind of true if you stay in the main areas. But if you manage to get off a bit, it’s magical! Oh and we loved the pharmacy with the counter of actual Venice residents- when we visited it was around 52,000.