Venice: Gondola with the wind

Venice is the closest I have been able to get to time traveling. In the few years I have began traveling more, when I mention Venice I am frequently irked with people’s questions for me. I get “Does it smell?” “Is it as is dirty as people say?” To which my internal response is “SAY WHAAAAA?!” and my in person response is to immediately take out my phone and start scrolling through the pictures from my two trips. Venezia is absolutely mesmerizing and I can’t imagine someone traveling here and not loving it.

Venice is unlike any other place I have traveled, there are no cars on the main island and every canal and bridge will make you want to stop and take 50 pictures. Getting lost in their incredible piazzas and brick streets will make you question whether you’re dreaming (Seriously, as I am typing this I am using my whimsical voice). Okay, now on to more important things…

What to do, what to do… My biggest recommendation for any city I have been to is to walk as much as you could, and luckily in Venice there aren’t many other options. Walk the streets and stop in for a cappuccino, a gelato, but not necessarily a slice of pizza,as they aren’t particularly known for that here. I would recommend a tour of Doge’s palace if you are interested in history or architecture, or art (so everyone), the palace is pretty incredible. (I use viator.com for a lot of my pre-planned tours)  Typical Italians, painting entire ceilings with real gold *classic*. My absolute favorite part of the tour is that you actually get to cross the bridge of sighs because it is overly dramatic, and I can relate.IMG_6618

My other activity that comes highly recommended, by me, would be to take a tour of the islands. Murano, Burano and Torcello are three unique and incredible places to spend a little time. There are two ways to do this, book a guided tour, or take the water taxis at your leisure as the different lines run to all of the islands but this requires a little more planning. I like to do it the old fashioned way, with someone else doing all of my work for me a.k.a. the guided tour. This lets you see the glass making done in Murano, the idyllic colorful houses of the fishing and lace making village of Burano,

and explore the island of Torcello and their 7th century church. IMG_0522.jpg

All three incredible in their own rights, but Burano has a special place in my heart as it sells fritta mista (mixed fried fish) and is particularly instagram worthy.  IMG_6550

Now onto my favorite part of any blog, the food. In general, I would suggest findings more “off the beaten path” restaurants, as those looking out onto the Piazza San Marco tend to be expensive, and as a rule of thumb I don’t go to restaurants that have pictures of the food on the menu. For breakfast, grab a cappuccino or espresso at a bar with a croissant or pastry, this is the way they eat here. Quick tip, most places in Italy charge a table fee for sitting, in lieu of a tip, which is also generally not given in Italy. Due to this table charge it may save you a few Euros to sip as you stand. Try the seafood, but be careful about ordering a typical antipasto of Venice. I made this mistake in Burano with my sister and we were politely presented with four courses of fish and other seafood that were semi-unidentifiable, some resembling shrimp but definitely not tasting like them, hmm… If you are in Venice, do yourself a favor and make a reservation at Trattoria da Remigio as it is incredible and serves a lasagna that tastes like eating a cloud. They also have an appetizer that is crab meat served in a crab head and is molto delizioso.

When you travel to Venice there isn’t much need for a specific plan or timeline because getting lost in the streets there is incredible enough. As far as additional advice goes, don’t try to climb down the steps to the canals when you’ve had too much to drink, not a lagoon meant for swimming, walk around at night, especially restaurants at the Piazza have bands playing outside, and when you get back, tell me if people’s doubts on this city don’t perturb you too.

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