We had an early morning flight from Dublin, it was a nice clear day and we had glorious views of the alps. I made a mental note that I must spend time in the alps at some point! Once we landed in Venice we bought tickets for the Alilaguna boat (a public transport boat) and it dropped us quite close to our hotel. There are a lot of bridges in Venice – around 400 of them! It sometimes might not be easy with rolling luggage depending on where you stay, so pack accordingly.
Our B&B was located in a quiet square (Giacomo dell’Orio) and our room was really nice, we even had a little terrace with a small table and chairs. We were in close proximity to everything that a person would want to see in Venice.
The thing I loved the most about Venice was meandering along all the little canals, it was like walking in a beautiful painting. We thought Venice was superb, and even though it was quite busy with tourists we still found many quiet spots to enjoy.
The architecture is really great!
I loved all the little alleyways – I have a love for pretty, quaint, narrow streets!
There were so many shops selling masks. Some of the masks were really beautiful and also very expensive. Venetian masks are an old tradition and mainly used for Carnival, but sometimes they are used for hiding identity and social status.
One of the most popular areas to visit is Piazza San Marco. It was constructed in the 9th century and enlarged in the 12th century after a canal and dock were no longer in use and filled in. The architecture in the square is beautiful!
Saint Mark’s Basilica built in Byzantine style, was originally going to be an extension of the Doge’s Palace. Instead, it was made to house the body of Saint Mark the Apostle who they named protector of the city. This basilica is where the Dukes of Venice were consecrated. It is stunning and you can’t miss seeing it if you are visiting Venice. The mosaics and frescos are incredible, it’s definitely worth going inside for a look.
Don’t miss going outside on the balcony of the Basilica, the views were really nice.
The Doge’s Palace is an amazing example of gothic architecture and it was the former residence of the Doge of Venice. He was the supreme authority of the Venetian Republic. It’s an absolute must see, I was in awe with how beautiful it was inside. The frescos and paintings are amazing! I could have wandered through the rooms for hours looking at the ceilings, walls, and floors.
From the Doge’s Palace, you can walk through the ‘Bridge of Sighs’. This is where prisoners would walk from the prison to the courts. Legend says that prisoners who crossed the bridge on the way to their prison cells would ‘sigh’ as they caught their last views of beautiful Venice through the tiny windows.
One of the exits from Saint Mark’s square is right at the waterfront. It’s a nice area to take a stroll while the sun sets.
Another thing I loved about Venice… Prosecco on tap. In Canada we have beer on tap but in Italy you get Prosecco! If you enjoy the bubbly like I do, then indulge a little at one of the many stand up bars around Venice. I mention the stand up bars because this is mostly where you will see the locals take a drink and for good reason – it’s very reasonably priced.
One thing we thought we would do in Venice but opted not to, was a gondola tour. There were just too many boats going at the same time, huddled together, and the gondola operators would yell back and forth to each other in conversation. We saw this every day that we were there. It didn’t seem very romantic or relaxing to us (it was probably different before mass tourism). Maybe next time! However, we did take several public boats throughout our stay that provided us with great views along the Grand Canal.
A really nice way to spend the day if you have the extra time is to take a boat to the outlying islands of Murano (the glass blowing island) and Burano (the colourful houses island). It’s a great way to the spend the day!
We absolutely loved our time in Venice, who knows maybe one day we’ll return!
Where we stayed: B&B Patatina 👍