I know what you’re thinking—-FINALLY Avery has gotten back on here and decided to blog! I’m sorry I’ve been gone for a while. Life has been beating me with a stick lately, if I’m being honest. 🤷🏻♀️ It’s no fun.
Anyways, I thought I’d share some pictures of our Italy trip in this entry and then do some follow up blogs with tips for each city AND our itineraries! 🇮🇹👍🏻
Here are the cities I’ll cover after Venice:
•Florence & Pisa
•Sorrento(with some stories about Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast thrown in there!)
AND, if you haven’t already, you can check out some vlogs I did of each city on my YouTube channel! 👇🏻
They’re fun and set to music, and I may eventually do some more in depth videos! 😉
Venice was, simply put, one of the most amazing, gorgeous, unique places I’ve ever been.
On this trip of a lifetime, we had 5 adventurers: me, my husband,Tim, my grandfather, Poppy, and my mom and dad. We were in Italy from March 13th-March 30th—roughly 17-18 days, if you discount traveling by airplane for the majority of two of those days.
We spent 4 days and nights in Venice alone! I had read a lot of articles from other people saying that “2 days was perfectly sufficient and enough time to see Venice.” 😂😂😂
Those people are idiots. Don’t listen to those people. If you plan on seeing Venice in your lifetime, you really want to devote more time to it because it’s a great place to explore! And you will get lost, trust me.
We stayed in the Cannaregio neighborhood of Venice, which is the northernmost region, and a straight shot from the Marco Polo Airport by Aliguna Waterbus. We stayed in a VRBO rental that was actually the home of a famous artist from the 1700’s, Francesco Guardi. It was such a convenient place to stay—away from crowds near Rialto Bridge and other touristy places, but still close enough to walk to those places! We were at the Fondamente Nove stop, one stop up from the hospital at the “Ospedale” stop.
For that reason, we saw tons of yellow “Ambulanza” or ambulance boats that would go rushing by!
There are so many things you don’t even think about before coming to Venice. You might know in your mind that there are literally no cars and everything is done by boat, but witnessing that in person is a whole different thing! Venice also has trash boats that come by and collect everyone’s trash at different pickup points around the city. We took the trash from the VRBO we were staying at to one of those points before leaving and some men in yellow uniforms took it from us. Where the trash goes from there, I have no idea, but since Venice is literally made up of thousands of islands, my guess is they have one just for trash! 🤷🏻♀️
We also saw a hearse boat. At the Fondamente Nove stop, where we were staying, we were directly across the channel from Cemeterio Island—-you guessed it!—-Venice’s only cemetery! We actually went across and explored one day and there are tons of graves for priests, nuns, your everyday citizens, and so many more people from every walk of life. I did not take any pictures out of respect for those people, but it was very interesting. One thing we quickly noticed was that many Italian cemeteries have pictures of the people on their tombstones! It’s rare to see that in America.
It was kind of neat—it really gave you a feel for who those people were.
Italy itself is such a fascinating country! I will have to do a completely different blog entry on tips for traveling to Italy—the culture is so different! For instance, many people in Italy don’t own dryers! So we would see laundry hanging everywhere, which was actually really pretty.
Of course, we also saw many gondolas and gondoliers throughout Venice—which was magical.
Pictured above is the famous Rialto Bridge, which is always a crowded place! We walked over it and took a vaporetto down The Grand Canal and underneath it! It is a beautiful bridge, but the great thing about Venice is that there are bridges everywhere! There are so many different kinds, some of them have delicate ironwork, some have no railings at all, but every one is more unique and beautiful than the last!
We did the usual touristy things in Venice, which included eating some pizza! I fed Tim some pizza in a piazza for this picture! 😂 We had a lot of Italians scoffing at us and laughing at us for this one, but we did it anyway because why not?!
Out of all the pizza we had though, Naples had the best. 👌🏻
While we’re on the subject of food, Italy has some great cuisine. 🍝 There are the obvious things, like pasta, pizza and bread, but they have exceptionally good coffee and espresso!
Tim and I were delighted that it was so good and so cheap! In America, the land of the overpriced coffee, you usually spend anywhere from $2.00-$5.00 easily on some frappuchinoed to death, sugary concoction, but in Venice, we enjoyed espresso for as cheap as €1! It was incredible and that stuff packs a punch, so this little shot was all we needed! We did not let my dad have any. 😂 Long story short, he once had some cappuccino from a gas station in Atlanta, which has not that much coffee in it at all, and it resulted in a spontaneous trip to The Container Store, where he then zoomed around, buying over $200 worth of organizational shelving, which he has still yet to use. 🤦🏼♀️😂 My dad can’t do coffee.
But ANYways—Venice in particular has some delicious seafood! Again, it is distinctly Italian, so you have to be careful what you order, but these were some scallops I got on the island of Burano which were great! Not pictured are some fish that Poppy got—with the heads still attached. 😳
You’ll be happy to know that Italy has some of the best pastry shops around! Some pastries have liquor in them, some are covered in powdered sugar, but all are delicious. I often joked with my family while we were there, that even if we got lost, it was okay, because we were bound to find a scrumptious pastry place! Pictured above is a place called Rizzo’s Bakery and then a Kosher Bakery in the Jewish Ghetto section of Venice, which is a very neat area to explore.
This is a church door in the Jewish section of Venice—-there are also monuments and a museum of Jewish history, going all the way back to the 1300’s and up into World War II history.
Fruit stalls are also abundant in Venice and many other cities in Italy. It was so nice being able to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, which we did on occasion, to cook with or eat on the go.
Gelato is another Italian specialty that you have to try! 🍧 “Menta” or “Mint” is one of my favorite flavors! You can find gelato stores all over the place and while this one came from SUSO Gelato, a highly Instagrammed place, it was definitely one of the more touristy shops. Rome definitely gets my vote for the best gelato by far! 👍🏻
There is so much to taste, experience and see in Venice. Pictured above is a gorgeous church right on The Grand Canal, the famous Bridge of Sighs, and St. Mark’s Basillica, which are just around the corner from each other.
One of the best ways to see Venice is by vaporetto. There are so many boats in Venice, it is easy to get them confused, but I generally remembered it this way:
Aliguna Waterbus(The only line running from Marco Polo Airport. The blue line.)
Vaporetto(The public boats everyone rides everywhere. There are stops all over the island. Generally, the cheapest.)
Water Taxi(Expensive, private lines that hold only a handful of people. Like a taxi in New York. You’ll pay a lot to ride on one of these!)
Gondola(Smaller, traditional boats piloted by gondolier. You will pay about €89 Euro for a ride and it is more expensive at night!)
Traghetto(These look like gondola, but are cheaper and take you across The Grand Canal. Great if you want a picture in a gondola, but don’t want to pay as much! However, gondola rides are more enjoyable on the back waterways—The Grand Canal is a choppy and busy place!)
One of the most recognizable things in Venice other than Rialto Bridge, is this art piece called “Support” by Lorenzo Quinn, a piece representing global warming, something that is more evident in Venice than in any other place in the world. When we visited in March, it was during “the high water” or rainy season. We saw a lot of people wearing these plastic bag rain boots and walking on catwalks, which were literally erected all over the city to help people walk above the water! Pretty crazy stuff!
We had to visit Murano and Burano, two outerlying islands of Venice too!
Murano is known for its glass making.
Burano is known for its colorful buildings and lace making.
From our place in Cannaregio, they could generally be reached in about 30 minutes to an hour. Murano was neat, but Burano was absolutely beautiful. DO NOT PASS GO. You have got to at least see Burano, if you pick between the two! You can get some great pictures, great food and see one of the lesser known “leaning towers”, a church tower in Burano that is listing over to one side!
Italy has around 11 “leaning towers” including the most famous one, The Leaning Tower of Pisa. Apparently, Italians are over ambitious with their building plans and the ground is extra soft in Italy—which accounts for why there are so many!
Anyways, Burano was worth it! 👌🏻 It’s like walking through a crayon box! 🖍
Of course, no trip to Venice would be complete without visiting a mask shop and maybe even purchasing one to take home! This was a very traditional and gorgeous mask I purchased in one of Italy’s favorite colors, burgundy, from Sogno Venezia Atelier.
Julia, the owner, was fantastic, going into all of the history on the masks, which were used back as early as the 1300’s. They were worn by noblemen and peasants alike; the idea was that it made for a more even playing field. No one knew who anyone was, therefore commoners and wealthy aristocrats mingled together, often doing some unsavory things such as gambling, having affairs and so much more! It was amazing hearing such incredible stories and seeing such fascinating creations. We were in Venice after Carnivale had passed, the famous holiday in February where everyone dresses up in masks and costumes, but Julia showed us a costume she was working on. She makes them all by hand. 😱
Another great place in Venice that has to be seen to be believed is Libreria Acqua Alta, which you have probably seen on Instagram, as it is very Insta-worthy. 💁🏼♀️
I had actually resigned myself to the fact that we wouldn’t be able to see it. Again, this goes back to the “2 days is enough time to see Venice” argument. 🙄 Even at 4 days, it is hard to cram all that Venice has to offer in, but we actually stumbled upon this place by mistake! Funny because it is apparently one of the harder things to find!
It is a rather ordinary bookstore, but go back to the very back, and you have this staircase made of books! The book lover in me felt bad for books that had been out in the rain, but once I told myself they were probably mostly encyclopedias anyway, I felt better about it. 😂
Venice is a gorgeous place. Out of all the cities we went to in Italy, I think it was my favorite. It was less stressful because there are no cars(More on that in a future entry😂) and it is so quiet at night it’s unbelievable, also due to the fact that there are no cars, making it the polar opposite of another place we stayed in, Castellamarre di Stabia, where it literally sounded like Vespas were going to come crashing through the windows of our VRBO we stayed at! 😂🤦🏼♀️
Venice is a place I’d reccomend ANYone go to. It’s one of the prettiest places in the world and truly a wonder.