Venice was the first stop on our trip. Walking out of the train terminal, I audibly gasped at the beauty in front of me. To be honest, I had heard mixed reviews about Venice. Some friends consider it their favorite city in Italy, while others are not a big fan. True, it is very crowded and feels like a "big city" (it reminded me a lot of the North End in Boston, where I used to live), but it also has so many positive traits. The unique, winding streets, watching gondolas float by, and the ridiculously gorgeous Saint Marks Basilica, to name a few. My favorite part, though? Taking a day trip to Burano which is only about an hour away via ferry. (Burano is my version of a rainbow-colored heaven, check out our pictures here.)
While we didn't stay long, we wanted to compile a few tips for traveling to Venice. Please share anything we may have missed in the comment section!
- Our initial question was "how long should we stay in Venice?" We settled on two nights, but I wish we had stayed three. You only need one day to see Venice, and then I'd recommend another full day to take the Vaporetto (ferry) to Burano and surrounding areas.
- The Vaporetto leaves from the same train station you likely arrived at, Venezia S. Lucia. There is luggage storage located near Platform 1 where you can pay to store your luggage. Your ticket gets you on-and-off access all day long, for stops throughout Venice, as well as Burano (my favorite) and Murano (aka "Glass Island"). The Cimitero (cemetery) island looked like a really intriguing stop, too. If you're headed to Burano, go earlier in the day if possible, or give yourself plenty of time. When we were leaving there was a line of a couple hundred (!) people trying to get on a boat to Burano (from Murano, where you have to connect).
- Another big question was "where should we stay?" We wound up booking an AirBnb apartment that was close to the train station, which was perfect. I would recommend staying as close to the train as possible so you can skip the water taxi and walk to your lodging. The streets are super bumpy and full of stairs/bridges, though, so you may want to consider hiring one of the porters that hang out in front of the train station to take your luggage. (I wish we had!)
- The two main points of interest in Venice are the Rialto Bridge and Saint Marks Basilica (Piazza San Marco) which are located only a few minutes apart. Saint Marks is free to get inside, but you cannot take bags. They have a luggage office, but they won't take cameras or valuables. This presented a problem, because JJ's backpack is specifically for his camera, so he was stuck. We wound up taking turns walking through the church while the other sat outside with the backpack.
- Weather the first week of April was pretty chilly the first day, and pretty warm the next. (A range of somewhere in the neighborhood of 55-70 degrees F.) You may notice that in every picture my hands are in my pockets, which is because they were cold! (And I'm looking to the side because it was crowded, so I had someone staring me down trying to move in so they could take a picture, no matter where we went. Consider it my awkward "hurry up and take the photo face." ;-) ) Besides my hands being cold, I was very comfortable in this outfit. Most people were dressed very casually, in jeans, hoodies and sneakers.
Jacket: Wilson's Leather, $150
Top: J.Crew, $60 (identical)
Jeans: Hudson/Nordstrom Rack, $79 (similar, similar)
Belt: Limited, $15 (similar, similar)
Shoes: Coach c/o Amazon, $60
Purse: My Stella & Dot
Sunglasses: Jessica Simpson c/o Ross, $10 (similar)
Necklace: My Stella & Dot
Earrings: My Stella & Dot
Approx. dates: Top and belt are 1 year ago. Jacket, jeans, shoes, purse are 6 months ago.
At the end of our trip we'll be sharing an "Italy Travel Guide" with general tips for things like etiquette, traveling between cities, etc. These are our Venice-specific recommendations. Do you have any tips for Venice that we missed?