Hello lovers! I asked our followers on S-kin Studio's Instagram whether you would like a series of blog posts on our trip to Italy last month and you all said yes to a city by city guide, so here I am with our first post on our first destination - Venice.
It's so bittersweet writing this as recently Venice was completely immersed under water due to high tides! I was lucky enough to witness Venice when it was nice and dry, and easily Venice was one of my top 3 cities that we went to in Italy.
We stayed at Hotel Filù and booked through booking.com. We stayed in Airbnbs for the rest of the trip, but found that hotels in Venice was slightly cheaper. We were only a ten minute walk from the train station in Venice, which made it super convenient for when we need to travel to our next destination (Milan). Public transport is an entire ordeal that we slowly figured out over the course of our trip, but I'll get to that.
The view from Ponte delle Guglie, a few steps away from our hotel
The hotel was in walking distance to the central area. Well, let's be honest Venice is so walkable that you would be happy with any location really. We did a lot of walking in Venice, as there are no cars or other modes of transport. It made it really fun to explore and really get lost in the beautiful cobblestone alleyways of this wonderful and romantic city.
We knew that Venice was very walkable, so on the main island we just walked everywhere. If you wanted to travel to the islands, you will need to buy tickets to the 'vaporetto', or water buses, which costs 7.5 € for 75 minutes. They circle around the surrounding islands and there are multiple stops on the main island depending on where you want to stop and where you want to go. We wanted to go to the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, which was only two stops by water bus from the station in San Marco. We also took the water bus back to our hotel, but in the opposite way, and within 5-6 stops we were at Guglie.
Places to see
Of course it is entirely up to you and your personal preference, but we recommend visiting all the popular places in Venice like the San Marco Piazza, the Doge's Palace, The St Marco's Clock Tower, Rialto Bridge, and if you're into art, the Peggy Guggenheim Gallery.
Piazza San Marco
I'm wearing our Accrux Constellation Hoops!
We took a tour for the St Marco Basilica, as well as Doge's Palace (through VenetoInside) and they were definitely worth the money as it was so fascinating to hear the guides speak about the history of these beautiful buildings. If it wasn't for the tours we wouldn't even know interesting things like the Bridge of Sighs, or that Doge's Palace houses a prison with multiple cells, and that people used to be able to just 'nominate' others to be thrown in jail through a letter dropping system.
The Bridge of Sighs
Places to eat
Venice is known for its seafood, as the city is essentially a big island! We loved dining at L'Oste Ria (close to our hotel), where the seafood was fresh and you could see the chefs working on your meals as you sip on some cool wine.
The squid ink fettuccine was absolutely delish!
If you are looking for a quick lunch, I would recommend to make a quick stop by Rizzo and trying their fresh sandwiches. These aren't your average sandwiches, as they have such a wide variation with the best cold meats and highest quality of cheeses and produce. There's quite a few around the city as well, so you won't struggle to find good quality, affordable lunches if you go a bit peckish.
When in Italy, you can't NOT stop and try some Italian coffee. Our favourite place to experience true Italian style coffee was Pasticceria La Donatella, a coffee shop that doubles as a doughnut patisserie! We truly enjoyed the 'stand and drink' coffee experience so much here that we came every single day! The doughnuts and croissants were to die for as well.
If you are looking to spend a little extra moolah and experience a Venetian lunch, I would say to go to Da Cherubino. We stumbled by this place on accident, but oh boy do they have the most amazing crab fettuccine and cabonara. Their seafood dishes are so so good, and cooked so simply yet so well.
Whilst planning for this trip I read up on a lot of travel guides, and I always find it interesting and helpful to see how others budget to try and predict my own when travelling. When we were in Venice, our budget was a little stretched as it was quite expensive to get around the island (not to mention we went on the wrong water bus heading to the wrong direction once!), we stayed at a hotel so we had to eat out most of the time, and of course it is a huge tourist destination so everything gets bumped up once you get to where you want to go.
All in all, here's how our budget looked like for 3 nights in Venice:
Public transport: €30 ish for the airport transfer, and around €40 for getting around the islands.
Everything else: €50-€100
Next destination: Milan & Bologna
We stayed in Milan for two nights and Bologna for three. More on this in the next blog post!
I hope you enjoyed the first segment in this Italy travel guide. Have you visited Italy? Venice? What was your favourite thing? And if you haven't been, are you planning to any time soon? Tell me in the comments!