• 13th March 2016

An Italian Adventure: Venice

Venice bridge

Our last destination in Italy was Venice. I’ve always wanted to go to Venice as it’s such a unique place. There’s nowhere else in the world like it!

As soon as we arrived, it already looked beautiful in my eyes. The Grand Canal was indeed very grand and the cobbled streets looked like they could have been taken right out of a model village: they were so picturesque and very clean.

Venice Gondola ride

As there are no cars in Venice, we had to find our way to the hotel on foot. This was nice as we could explore Venice from the word go, but it was also a bit of a pain having to lug our bags in and out of all the people and wheel our suitcases down the little streets. Nevertheless, we found our hotel soon enough and it was definitely worth it. The hotel was gorgeous and in a great location, only a 15 minute walk away from the famous Piazza San Marco.

We arrived at lunchtime on the Sunday and were leaving on the Monday so were fully aware that we didn’t have a lot of time in Venice. After a quick stop off at our hotel, we got straight back out there and began exploring. We decided to head to the famous square first as that’s where all the main tourist attractions are based.

Wondering through the streets, I loved stopping to take in the atmosphere and look at all the different bridges. They all have their unique styles and just look so beautiful above the canals. The water is an amazing lagoon blue which sparkles in the sun. It really is a very magical, surreal place. The shopping in Venice is great as well. There are plenty of little shops, many selling the famous Venetian masks, and everyone is so friendly.

St Mark's Church in Venice

The square is dominated by the stunning church of St Mark. This really is the most beautiful church I’ve ever seen and is even more beautiful on the inside. I particularly loved these four magnificent bronze horses that stand inside the church. These originally stood above the porch of the church in 1204 but have since been moved inside to the museum for conservation purposes. They really are beautiful statues and the detail in them is incredible.

Doges Palace also stands in the square and is a must-see when visiting Venice. The Palace itself is beautiful. I loved walking through and imagining that I was a Princess! It must have been so wonderful and grand to live in a place like that. As well as touring all the beautiful rooms, you also get to go across the Bridge of Sighs. The name comes from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh as they crossed the bridge. Looking out of the small windows, they would get their last look at Venice before heading down to their cells. You get to tour the cells as well which is pretty cool and creepy!

The Museo Correr is also worth a visit. You begin by visiting beautiful rooms with stunning and extremely detailed chandeliers. Again, you can imagine the very wealthy living here back in the day. It suddenly gets very museum-like though with plenty of artefacts enclosed in cases and paintings to look at. There are what feels like hundreds of rooms so if you are really into your museums, I would leave a good couple of hours for this one.

Venice viewGoing up the bell tower is also definitely worth doing. Unlike in Florence, this bell tower has a lift which was great as by this time of the holiday, we were absolutely exhausted! You get the chance to see some great views from the top. Try and get the timing right as well. We managed to get up there for midday when the massive bell rings. It was great to see it swinging over everybody’s heads!

We ate at the most gorgeous restaurant in Venice. Cross the Rialto Bridge from the right side, turn left on the other side and go to the third restaurant along. This was recommended to me by my grandparents who insisted that they do the best pasta…they weren’t wrong. I had the most scrumptious carbonara I have ever tasted. It was extremely creamy and had the perfect blend of cheese, bacon and chicken. I have honestly never tasted pasta as perfect as this!

On our last day in Venice, we just had to do a Gondola ride. All of the Gondolas in Venice are at a fixed rate of 80 Euros for around half an hour and for up to 6 people. If you have 6 people, that’s pretty good if you split it between you. There were only two of us but 40 Euros each was definitely worth it. It was one of the best things I have ever experienced. The water was so calm and peaceful and you can get away from the busyness of the large crowds. It is a great way to explore the city by going up all the little canals. I definitely would recommend!

So this brings my Italian adventure to an end. I hope you have enjoyed reading all three parts as much as I enjoyed visiting all of the places! I don’t think I could pick a favourite place as they were all so different. I would definitely love to visit Venice again though for a long weekend as I feel like there is so much more to explore there!

If you have missed any posts, you can go back and read them by clicking on the travel tab at the top of the page. Next week, I’m going to be posting my top 10 tips for travelling around Italy.

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