At the beginning of February Adam whisked me off to Venice for a couple of days and I’ve finally got around to writing up my favourite parts of the adventure. So, here are my top 6 picks of things to do in Venice…
This is a bit of an obvious one, I have to admit, but I just couldn’t write this up without mentioning the food. Pizza, pasta, everywhere, everyday. Even the takeaway pizza by the slice was incredible. To be honest we spent most of our time in Venice eating and I would highly suggest that you do the same. Italian food has got to be one of my favourites and I can’t imagine feeling much happier than when surrounded by all the pizza and pasta I can eat.
I also got my hands on the chocolate, pistachio and sea salt gelato from Suso Gelatoteca and just so you know, it might be some of the best gelato I’ve ever eaten.
Take a ride in a Gondola
One of my absolute favourite parts of the day was going on a Gondola on the Grand Canal by the Rialto Bridge. Before we went a few people had been slightly negative about the Gondolas but I think they were the most fun. I do think it helped that as we went in February it wasn’t peak season so the canals were really empty which helped make it feel quite special. Our Gondalier was also hilarious, my favourite part being him telling us that they are obviously just for the tourists and pointing out the homes of random playboys! I am really pleased that the rain held off until the afternoon and we got to enjoy our Gondola ride in peace… I don’t know how great it would have been if we were all soggy!
Buy an authentic Venetian Mask
Before we went one of the few things I wanted to bring back from Venice was a Venetian Mask and sure enough there seemed to be a shop selling them at every corner. We we so lucky though that the first one we found had some of the most beautiful ones we saw all day long. This shop in particular even had the actual workshop within it. Being able to actually watch the man making some of the masks helped make me feel like less of a sucker tourist and really appreciate the effort that went into the one I bought.
Take in Saint Mark’s Basilica
This was a definite highlight of our trip. I’m generally quite partial to a wander around a church/cathedral as I love soaking in all the history that’s attached to them. Saint Mark’s Basilica is a truly beautiful building both inside and out, with the interior view from the landing quite breathtaking. You’re not allowed to take photos inside but I didn’t mind this as it helped you really look at everything and take it all in.
One of my favourite things to do when I visit a new city is just wander about without a plan and Venice is one of the most perfect placed for this. All of the little streets have so many quirky little details and I adored walking across all of the many bridges and staring down the canals. We actually found Il Mercante this way, just from wandering about and it’s a nice way to get a feel for the city. Even the rain in the afternoon couldn’t dampen our spirits. I kind of loved having to pop in and out of the all the shops and keeping dry under all the twinkly lights. Just don’t forget your map…
Cocktails at Il Mercante
Our first night in Venice we found this amazing cocktail bar called Il Mercante which I loved so much I could probably write a whole blog post on just this bar. Here I enjoyed THE BEST COCKTAIL I’ve ever had and we loved the place so much we even returned on our final evening. The menu is small and select, with the cocktails inspired by the travels of Marco Polo and the stories they attached to each of the cocktails added something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Anyway, If you’re ever in Venice I would really recommend this place as although quite small it has so much charm, especially when you’re seated in the upstairs section.
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading my top 6 picks for Venice and let me know what your own favourite things to do are. I already want to go back and get a chance to visit some of the surrounding islands… Until next time…