Venice was the first stop on our almost two month sojourn through Italy and for us, it was overwhelmingly enchanting and an all-consuming experience of everything Italian.
As a city rich in history, architecture and art there is more than enough things to keep any tourist busy for a week. A great place to start is Piazza San Marco where there are three must see’s (all of which are best when visited early in the morning!).
First, admire the beautiful façade of St. Mark’s Basilica with almost 2000 year old horses protecting it from above and intricate carvings adorning the arched portals.
Walking inside, the enormity of the Basilica becomes obvious and you could easily spend hours exploring its golden domes and the treasury, now a byzantine museum.
Secondly, take a walk across the square to the bell tower. Once high above the floating city it’s easy to appreciate the amazing feat achieved not only when Venice was built but of its continued maintenance. From the boats speeding across the lagoon to the hidden roof top terraces, you get a glimpse of all the unique Venetian ways of life.
Finally, the Doges Palace. If you haven’t already watched Medici: Masters of Florence, it’s definitely worth checking out not only for the gripping storyline but to begin to understand the enormous importance of buildings such as the Doges Palace in the 15th century. It was pivotal in creating this incredibly wealthy state and in the lives of Venetians themselves.
This is seen from the very entrance passage covered with gold and continues through the many frescoed halls.
This is also where you can take a walk over the Bridge of Sighs, named aptly due to its purpose of bringing prisoners their last glimpse of Venice before imprisonment.
Outfit details: Hallhuber Coat (similar from new season), Zimmermann jumper (similar from new season), Nobody Jeans (here), Massimo Dutti Ankle Boots (similar from new season), Mimco Bag (similar), Kate Spade Earrings (similar) and Bailey and Nelson Sunglasses (similar).
After thoroughly exploring the square, be sure to take to the surrounding streets. Wander over the bridges and beside the delightful canals, not knowing exactly what you may find.
We travelled over to the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute for a different perspective of Venice. This beautifully understated Basilica is a wonderful contrast to St Mark’s Basilica.
J and I also took Venice’s version of a bus, the vaporetto, down to the Rialto Bridge. It’s a true hive of activity here with gondeliers and aperol spritz aplenty.
Lastly, no trip to Venice is complete without a ride on a beautiful gondola. We took a ride from our local stop and drifted past beautiful monuments such as the Opera House and and even our apartment!
The mist set in on our journey through the canals but it only made for a more romantic and mysterious journey through the enchanting city.
Breakfast was a typically Venetian affair at our local bar. It was the perfect spot to people watch as we enjoyed our caffeine hit at the bar. A gondolier strolled in at 9:30 am for a cheeky shot of Campari one morning. J looked at me with a look that said “We definitely aren’t living in the right country”! Cornetti and cappuccini filled, we were fuelled for the day.
While out exploring, lunch is the perfect time to take a seat at a canal side restaurant. We were tickled pink with Bar Foscarini on the Grand Canal near the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.
On the recommendation of our host, we visited a little local restaurant which had delicious seafood but lacked the beautiful views we were becoming a little too accustom to on our stay. We did make a few delicious dinners from local produce back at our apartment too.
On arrival to Venice we were greeted by a delightful Englishman from Truly Venice Exclusive Rentals (who were fantastic throughout the booking and stay!). He guided us through a charming square, over a tiny bridge to a huge set of wooden doors.
Through the entrance hall and up a small set of stairs, we stepped into our exceptionally large, modern, open plan apartment with windows running along its length. After taking us through the apartment ins and outs, activities, transport and food our host assured us he was never more than a phone call away, which is a nice feeling when travelling.
We truly hit the jackpot with this apartment. What I failed to mention was the absolute joy those windows beheld. Not only was there a view of a charismatic canal but it was a favourite with gondeliers.
J and I could have spent hours listening to “as the moon hits your eye” sung and played on the accordion, the heavenly sounds drifting up from the gondolas below. We couldn’t help but dance around the kitchen between glimpses of the surreal scene below.
When we ventured out, we were perfectly located, close to corner bars, supermarkets, shops and only 5 minutes walk from St Mark’s square. The perfect distance for convenience and peacefulness from the hoards of tourists.
Taking a trip out onto the lagoon to discover the islands of Venice couldn’t be a more perfect way to spend a day. Burano and Murano are a must but take a look at this post to discover their beauty.
xx The Strawberry Story