Venice! What a charming city and relaxing haven from more fast-paced destinations in Italy. There’s enough culture and history in Venice to spend an afternoon in search of the historic sights, namely bridges and basilicas, and taking the vaporetta or water bus to the neighboring islands of Murano and Burano feels like a mini-adventure itself. Here are my best tips for exploring Venice in a day and a half.
- Seafood – Upon our arrival in Venice the first thing we did was search for good food. There is DELICIOUS seafood in Venice, unsurprisingly. We ate at Trattoria Pontini, which was just down the street from our hotel. I would highly recommend it and I’m glad we did lunch since there was a huge line for dinner on our way back to the hotel. My friends and I got an assortment of seafood pastas and platters, but I’m sure anything on their menu would be delightful. Squid ink cuttlefish is also big in Venice. We had it for lunch the following day at a different restaurant, and I would definitely recommend trying it.On a fashion note, the chambray off-the-shoulder top that I’m wearing was purchased last summer at the Gap, but both chambray and off-shoulder tops are still super on trend right now. Here are a few similarly cute options available at Old Navy, Goodnight Macaroon, and Draper James.
- Sights – After lunch, we walked down to the piazza San Marco and saw the basilica San Marco. On the way, we stopped by some iconic Venetian bridges, the bridge of sighs and the Rialto bridge, the oldest of the four bridges spanning the grand canal. Stop for some gelato on your way to these sights – there are dozens of gelaterias along the way! There is also a decent selection of discounted authentic Italian leather in Venice, so check out some of the the leather handbag boutiques as well.
- Excursions – On day two we bought a day pass for the vaporettas or water busses in Venice, which are the main means, besides walking, of getting around. A day pass was only 20 euros to use for 24 hours; it was definitely worth it to be able to hop from island to island and back to Venice.
- Murano, home of Murano glass – The first island we visited was Murano, where Murano glass is produced and sold. There are probably hundreds of glass shops on the little island of Murano selling glass goods – lots of jewelry and some pottery and other goods – of varying quality and price. Look for the jewelry that comes with a special certification sticker and shops that are designated by a “certified Murano glass” sign. We asked a few shopkeepers about this and they said that this glass and the metal on the jewelry is better quality and will last longer.
- Burano, home of lace – Next stop on the vaporetta was Burano. There were just as many lace shops here as glass shops on Murano – probably a hundred or so! The lace scarves, dresses, clothing, and accessories also varied greatly, from casual and cute scarves for seven or eight euros, to luxury lace dresses that ran for several hundred euros. No matter your price range or what type and quality of lace you’re looking for, it’s easy to find something for any taste at this haven for lace.
– la fille americaine