Venice

It took planes, buses, and boats to get to Venice and it was rather late when we did arrive. The public water taxi is sufficient (and cheap) to get you anywhere but with luggage and exhaustion, we took a private taxi and certainly paid for it…but for convenience, we would probably do it again.

Public Transportation

Public Transportation

We stayed at Ca’ Vendramin Di Santa Fosca and thought it was a great location. From the taxi stop, it’s a short walk through a nice shopping area but in a private enough area to be quiet. The hotel itself is really cute with a lot of character. We would definitely recommend it.

Unfortunately, the restaurants we did go to weren’t memorable enough to document so I can’t share any must eats.

We did have some pre-dinner drinks near the realto bridge at Cantina al Pesador

To do

You will find private gondoliers everywhere trying to sell you on a private boat ride. They’re rather expensive (by our standards) and the photo op just didn’t seem worth it.  Instead, we opted to sit at the back of a water taxi and go from the top of the Grand Canal to the bottom while listening to Rick Steve’s audio tour and loved every minute of it.

Gondola Rides

Gondola Rides

From there…we hopped off and checked out Doges’ Palace & St. Mark’s Square – Definitely make your way through Doge’s palace if you have any appreciation for architecture.  The Doge’s personal rooms were very nice but not near as spectacular as the Palace of Justice and governmental rooms.  But you can’t take photos!  I kept imagining what it would be like to design my own home in this style.

St. Mark's Square

St. Mark’s Square

Bridge of Sighs

Murano glass blowing – We simply ran out of time to do this but really wanted to take a boat ride over to Murano for the glass blowing..and to buy some glass! If you have time, check it out! Most of the Murano glass in Venice is a bit of an investment and I wondered if it were better priced in Murano.

We did Rick Steve’s walking tour of Venice. We found this to be short and sweet and interesting. He points out some historical bits that we wouldn’t have learned otherwise from some of the main visitation spots.

Souvenirs

You will find Murano glass along many of the shops in Venice (and the isle of Murano!). If you’re interested in buying some of the glass, set a budget, as prices can get out of hand. Also, ask the store owner where the glass was made. It’s a fair question. Sometimes Murano glass isn’t actually made in Murano. If it is made in Murano, ask for a certificate of authenticity. For larger pieces, negotiate prices! Packing glass can be complicated so tell the shop owner of your challenge and for smaller pieces, they will wrap your glass in bubble wrap and pack it nicely for you. For larger pieces, inquire into shipping your new treasure back home.

Other recommendations made to us

Hotel Dei Dragomanni

Osteria Testiere

Cheers!

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