We arrived in Venice by train from Cortona. Venice was the number one city I was looking forward to the most. Collin had been to Venice before but for me it was a totally new experience. Before arriving I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have always known that there are no cars and its all canals. I had a hard time imagining that. No cars? Really? Ok! I knew I needed to see this in person. All I knew was what I had seen on pictures and movies.
As we walked to our AirBnB I was truly overwhelmed by the beauty.
I realized some people have good and bad experiences in Venice. When we planned our trip Collin didn’t really want to go to Venice. He said he didn’t like it, he remembered it being dirty and smelly. I remember saying that it if that was the case I wanted to experience it myself and have my own opinion. He respected that and said “ok let’s go then!”
Our AirBnB was located near Church of Frari which is one of the largest basilicas of Venice. Our host gave several restaurant recommendations and places to visit. She mentioned all the popular sites were Piazza San Marco, the Rialto Bridge, Saint Mark’s Basilica and others. We decided to drop off our stuff and go explore. On our way back to the Airbnb we made a quick stop at the grocery store to pick up a few items.
Day 1: Exploring Venice
We decided to get lost through the alleys, take photos and enjoy each others company. It was a bit chilly throughout our stay so if you are going to Venice at the beginning of October don’t forget to bring a jacket. We started our day by heading to Rialto Bridge, one of the many popular sites in Venice. It gets very crowded with tourists, highly recommend arriving early. It’s a great spot to take a picture of the Grand Canal. There are lots of souvenirs shops around if you need to pick something up.
We then headed to Piazza San Marco, another popular site in Venice. It is such a beautiful square. As you walk you can see so many doves and of course lots of tourists. Piazza San Marco is surrounded by many shops, restaurants and cafes. These two are sights totally worth going to check out.
Our Airbnb host had recommended a restaurant called “Al Profeta”. It is a well known place by Venetians. We decided to have dinner there. Very cute place, located on Lunga S. Barnaba. We both had pizza because…why not?. The restaurant had a nice atmosphere and the staff was polite and friendly. It quickly become our spot to eat almost every meal while in Venice.
The pizza was AMAZING. We were so happy we found out about this place from the moment we got there. We made several trips there for lunch and supper. 100% recommend this restaurant.
We kept coming across shops filled with masks. So many details, colors and different kinds. These are typically worn at the Carnaval which happens in Piazza San Marco. It is fascinating the beauty in each of these masks. Back in the day these masks used to be worn to hide the identity or social status of the person. It is now on my travel bucket list to be in Venice during Carnival, can not wait..one day!
Day 2: Murano
Hopped on the vaporetto which are the water busses and made our way to Murano. You can pay per trip or get a pass for 1, 2 or 3 days. Our plan was to go to Burano the day after so we went ahead and got a 2 day pass. It cost us 30 euros each and we could use it as much as we wanted.
We arrived in Murano, which is one of the islands near Venice. Known for its glass making. Every shop has incredible items all made of glass. From amazing jaw dropping chandeliers to classy and simple jewelry.
One of the things I was looking forward to the most was the famous Gondola ride. When we started planning our trip one of the things I looked at the most was having an amazing Gondola ride. I wasn’t sure what that meant but I had been reading and a lot of people didn’t have good experiences. Some even said it was a total waste of money and would not recommend at all. It is known as a tourist thing to do, but I couldn’t go to Venice and not do this. It was my mission to make sure or at least try to have one of those unique experiences.
I read lots of reviews on tripadvisor. I came across a hand full of travellers who recommended a guy named Luca. After reading several reviews his name kept coming up so I decided to go ahead with him, I decided to email him. I gave him a date and around what time. He sent us back all the pricing as well as a picture of himself so that we would be able to recognize him.
His trip is away from all the busy canals. Meet up point is the Jewish Guetto, which was a 30 min walk from our Airbnb. We arrived as he was just getting back from a trip with other travellers. He introduced himself and helped us get in, shared with us how long he has been working as a gondolier and how it runs in the family. He actually has been doing this for so long that his license number is 3.
Luca was very knowledgeable about the water, the buildings and the history of Venice. As we went along he sang to us an authentic Venetian song. It was so romantic and overall an amazing experience.
If you are interested his email is: [email protected]. For further reviews simply search “Luca gondola ride Venice” and you will find hundreds of amazing reviews.
Day 3: Burano
Another popular island near Venice is Burano. It is known for its colorful houses and their lace. We heard that the reason for the colorful houses was so that the fishermans could see their houses when it was foggy, interesting! We decided to walk around and go into all the different shops. Lots of lace items from table cloth to clothing. All very beautiful and unique.
We decided to head back, it was starting to rain. Our flight home was early the next morning. On our way back to our Airbnb we made a quick stop at Al Profeta for dinner.
Got to our Airbnb, packed and talked about how amazing this trip had been. First trip together was a total success.
Woke up bright and early to head to the airport. We took a bus to the airport for 8 euros each. The bus was nice and comfortable.
Our overall trip through Italy was one in a lifetime a trip. We were so content on how we planned it and how many days we gave ourselves in each city. We had time to explore and get to know them, never felt rushed. I can truly say I can not wait to go back to Italy. Next time we will probably visit the Amalfi Coast or the south.
Until next time, Alannah✌🏻