I finally made a blog after wanting to for so long! So, I thought it would be fitting for my first post to be about my favourite place in the world, Venice. Venice is beyond anything I ever imagined it to be. The food, the people, the atmosphere, the excitement of the day and the city lights at night. If you ever have the opportunity to go, do not hesitate to book those flights! They can be super cheap at times so keep an eye out, as I got 2 return tickets for both me and my boyfriend for under £100. We were there for 5 nights with no maps and zero knowledge of places to visit in Venice prior to going but we found some gems and visited some amazing places! So if you’re planning on visiting this amazing place, read on…
La Mela Verde
Don’t get me wrong, I like ice cream, but the ice cream in Venice is 100x better than any I’ve ever tried!!!! The gelato shop we visited was called “La Mela Verde” which is located along a beautiful canal and their house speciality is the “Conocrepe”, a fresh crepe covered in Nutella, rolled up into a cone and filled with ice cream, then covered in a layer of thick cream. A.K.A HEAVEN. Definitely a must-have.
Trattoria Da Giorgio
For our first meal, we visited Trattoria Da Giorgio which is located on the edge of the canal and sat outside (despite the freezing weather) as the view was lovely and the tables were decorated with cute little flowers and fairy lights so the scenery was a 10/10. As I have an unhealthy obsession with carbonara, I thought it would be rude not to order one when in Venice, so we both ordered one each and they were to die for. The waiter also brought us over a Bellini which was amaaazing so we ordered a few more and an aperol spritz each. Aside from the food, the actual price of the food was incredibly cheap for Venice, the drinks were also reasonable and the atmosphere definitely topped it off. 100% recommend.
Venice’s “nightlife” is pretty hard to find. There are hundreds of classy wine bars but no cocktail bars in sight, so we turned to TripAdvisor. We found some good reviews about a bar called “Harry’s bar” so we set off to find it. Little did we know, Harry’s bar is the birthplace of the Bellini, where it was first created, so when we finally got there and saw the price of the drinks I nearly fainted. Unless you have cash coming out of your ears or you’re interested in the history, don’t go there!!! So after discretely slipping out of the door, we turned to TripAdvisor again and found something more promising. “Bacaro Jazz” is a bar located just next to Rialto bridge and definitely had the kinda vibe we were looking for and was full of locals and tourists from all walks of life, including an American couple and a group from Oxford who invited us onto their private boat for a makeshift booze cruise. The cocktail menu is also infinite and the ceiling is made of bras. I would definitely recommend if you’re looking for somewhere more upbeat!
St. Marks square
Also known as Piazza San Marco, St. Marks square is the most popular attraction of Venice and holds the Basilica and Campanile. If you’re looking to be a tourist for the day, this is definitely the place to soak up the culture. It’s free to enter the Basilica downstairs and a couple of euros to enter the upstairs section, however, the view from the upper balcony is definitely worth the money.
Another aspect of st. Marks square that may intrigue you, is the pigeons. The pigeons are incredibly human-friendly and will never ever respect your personal space. Trust me on this one! If you walk through the square with food, you must be prepared to fight for your life. It does make for some good photos though.
The Magnum Shop
One of the best places ever. It’s located near the Fondamenta water bus station and inside you can create your very own magnum from scratch. You can choose between vanilla or chocolate ice cream on a little stick, which is then dipped in either white, milk or dark chocolate. You can then choose 3 toppings ranging from marshmallows and smarties to dried cherries and raisins. To top it off, it’s then drizzled in your choice of chocolate and sealed with a little “M”. It is a little pricey (I think it was 5 euros per magnum) but to create your own personalised magnum it’s definitely worth it! You can also stay for a coffee or an alcoholic beverage to go with your ice cream.
Dal Moro’s Fresh Pasta to go
So after googling where the best pasta was in Venice, this place came up over and over again. One of the best parts about Venice is that their takeaways are prominently pizza and pasta and this place was definitely worth the hype. Dal Moro’s is a small hidden gem a few alleys away from St. Marks square and offers a choice of various pastas such as spaghetti, penne and tagliatelle , sauces such as bolognese, alfredo and pomodoro and toppings such as bacon, tomatoes and parmesan to create your own masterpiece. They also sell squid ink pasta if you’re daring to try new things. I decided to have tagliatelle with bolognese sauce and tonnes of parmesan and it was amaaaazing and we sat on the edge of Rialto bridge to eat it and watch the boats pass by.
Osteria al Squero
At the time we visited, Osteria al Squero was #1 for food in Venice on TripAdvisor and we thought we would try it out. It’s located nearby the Academia water bus stop and if you want to step out of the touristy side of Venice, this is the place to go. It’s super cheap and seems to be a favourite with the locals. It’s very small and there’s only a few seats inside, but there is a canal with a wall to perch upon outside and overlook the canal and the gondola station on the other side. Osteria al Squero mainly serves chicetti (little breads with meat, fish, cheese and vegetable toppings) and bits of finger food such as arancini and they’re all priced at around 2 euros each. They also sell spritz and bellinis for 2.50 which is amazing for the money! It’s definitely a place you must visit if you head towards that side of the city. Especially if you plan on visiting the Peggy Guggenheim Collection as it’s just around the corner!
Peggy Guggenheim Collection
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a modern art museum situated along the grand canal and is one of the most visited attractions in Venice. I looove modern art and as soon as we passed this on the water bus I knew I wanted to go. There were various exhibitions on showcasing surrealist paintings such as the work of Rita Kernn-Larsen which was especially intriguing. The beauty of modern art is that it can be interpreted in any way you like, but I felt as if her paintings expressed the way she felt towards herself and the gap between dreams and reality. Her work is similar to Dali’s and his work was also showcased at the gallery. Although the exhibitions inside are amazing, there is also a beautiful garden full of abstract statues and work by various artists. If you’re a student you get cheaper entry so bring your student card!! We probably spent about an hour to an hour and a half there, but I would also definitely recommend exploring the surroundings as it seemed to be the “arty” area of Venice.
Burano, Burano, Burano… just wow. Burano is a fisherman’s island located half an hour from mainland Venice and is just downright beautiful. Families there used to paint their homes bright colours to show where their house ended and their neighbours began, and this tradition has stuck. Burano is also known as the “colourful island” as there are no dark corners there. Everywhere you look, there is a rainbow of colour and it’s impossible to not be amazed.
To get to Burano, we got the vaporetto from the San Zaccaria stop near San Marco. There were a few changes to different boats and overall it took about an hour to get there after waiting for boats to arrive. However, it was totally worth the waiting. We were lucky because the weather was beautiful when we arrived and it’s such a gorgeous place to just stroll around and take in the scenery. There were also loads of restaurants and cafes there and plenty of ice cream shops to keep tourists busy (we got one, of course).
One thing I would definitely say is GET UP EARLY AND GO! Don’t wait around and get there around 1 o’clock as by this point the island was jam-packed and we left shortly after. Burano also suffers from severe flooding each winter and many residents of the island have moved to the mainland of Venice. So go now whilst you still can!!!
I hope this little guide has inspired anyone to visit any of these places! There are so many more things to see in Venice, but my most valuable piece of advice is to just get lost. Soak in the culture, appreciate the architecture, breathe in the air of Venice and make sure it’s a memory that you’ll never forget.