If I could use a single adjective to describe Venice, Italy, it would be dreamy. Venice is so dreamy!!! I think it’s a combination of the water, the ornate gondolas, the fact that there are no cars/mopeds in the entire town, the colors of the sunset, and more!
In this Venice travel diary, I’ll share what we did, ate, day trips we took, where we stayed, and what I wore! Similar to my Rome travel diary, I’ll start with a diary and photos, and end with some short bullet points on tips, as well as links to shop my clothes.
From my mom’s and my research, we figured that the best place to stay in Venice is San Marco. I felt validated by this when my Director at work told me back in the day she used to date a Venetian and that San Marco is the nicest, haha! We loved our Airbnb (FYI not handicap friendly, although Venice in general isn’t very handicap friendly) and the host! She was super helpful about recommending restaurants in the area, navigating the vaporettos (water taxis), and showing us where the grocery store was. It is quite easy to get lost in the windy streets of Venice so my first tip for you is to get a map!
We spent 3 nights in Venice. When we first arrived, we took the vaporetto (water taxi) to the San Samuele stop to meet Alessandra from our Airbnb. She told us that that night was a special festival called Festa del Redentore. On the third weekend of July of every year, they have a festival where they build a pontoon bridge from Zattere to Giudecca. People celebrate the Holy Redeemer to give thanks to the end of the plague. There are street vendors, fireworks, people docking their boats in front of the church, balloons, etc. We had dinner at La Feluca near Alessandra’s place (great seafood and spritz!!) and then wandered around the festival. Alessandra had recommended to us a gelato place called Nico’s in Zattere along the water and it was great!
The next day, we had lunch in Piazza Santo Stefano at Ristorante Santo Stefano! Nearby there are a lot of upscale shops for my shoppers out there. Naturally, I gravitated towards Yves Saint Laurent haha! But of course they have all the Italian classics including Gucci and Prada. Then we walked around Piazza San Marco and visited the famous Basilica di San Marco. Heading towards the water, we stopped for gelato at Al Todaro before looking into the boat fares for Murano, Burano, and Lido.
Murano and Burano are islands off Venice; Murano is known for it’s glasswork and Burano is known for it’s colorful houses and fine lace! We decided to visit the two islands that afternoon just to get an idea of what they were like, so we could spend an entire beach day in Lido the next day. I REALLY, really love Burano!! It makes my list of the top 5 things I saw in Italy. The colorful houses were each incredibly unique and picturesque, it made me so happy!
After Burano, we headed back to Venice to have an amazingggg dinner at La Rosa Rossa. Best pizza and house cabernet sauvignon of the whole trip! [My mom is quite insistent that I stress to y’all how good this restaurant was. As I was writing this post, she popped her head in and asked, “Did you write about La Rosa Rossa yet?!” Haha!!] One of my readers told me she was going to be in Venice for her honeymoon the week after me, so she wanted recs before my travel diaries went on the blog. She DMed me pics of her and her husband at La Rosa Rossa for lunch and said they loved it! Yay!!
The following day, we conceded to my sisters to spend an entire beach day in Lido! The water taxi from our apartment in Venice to Lido is only about 10-15 minutes. We posted up at a private beach called Venezia Spiagge Spa and spent the whole day there soaking up the sun! The vaporetto pass we bought was a 24 hour pass for 16 euros, so we were able to do Burano, Murano, and Lido all with the same ticket.
We made it back to Venice in time to take a sunset gondola ride!! For some reason I was under the impression that they were 80 euros per person, but they’re actually 80 euros per gondola. Considering we have a family of 5, it was a pretty good deal. Then for dinner we went back to La Rosa Rossa where I had a rosemary steak that changed my life #dramatic 😉 . We also ate gelato at Gelato di Natura (recommended by a friend!).
Venice was a beautiful experience, but I was excited for the next leg of our journey! Cinque Terre had been at the top of my travel bucket list for almost 5 years and I was so ready to see it! You can read about our Cinque Terre adventures (and the road trip pit stops to Padova and Parma on the way) on the blog tomorrow!
Tips in Venice
-It’s easy to get lost, so get acquainted with a map.
-Budget for water. Remember “frizzante” water means sparkling water.
-Wear something that covers your shoulders and your knees when visiting Basilica di San Marco. If not, they’ll give you a cloth shawl to cover yourself for 1 euro.
-You can visit Murano, Burano, and Lido in one day easily. We didn’t do it this way, but it’s doable!
-You can drink Spritz almost anywhere in Italy, but Venice is known for it! Order at least one 🙂 .
What I Wore:
Outfit 1: Top- c/o Chicwish, Shorts- Express (similar here and here); Sandals- Rebecca Minkoff; Clutch- Nordstrom; Hat- Nordstrom
Outfit 2: Dress- c/o Shein; Hat- Nordstrom; Sandals- Steve Madden (similar here); Clutch- Nordstrom; Earrings- Kenneth Jay Lane; Necklace- BaubleBar
I got so many compliments on the red embroidered top from Chicwish that I wore the first day exploring Venice! It’s easily one of my favorite tops in my closet right now. The palm print dress from SheIn was perfect for a beach day and my gondola ride! It comes in a few prints and is only $15. I’m wearing a size small in both for size reference.
Have you ever been to Venice? What’s your favorite part?!