๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น 10 Tips: Venice, Italy ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

Travel

Venice is one of the most amazing, unique places on earth. We spent 4 days + 4 nights there and even in that amount of time, we probably barely scratched the surface of what there is to see and do there!

But I thought I would pull together 10 tips for when YOU visit Venice! ๐ŸŽ‰ Also, I’ll include our 4 day itinerary at the end of this list! ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป

Tip #1: Get lost!

When it comes to Venice, there is so much to see! Even with a map, you’re going to get lost. While most of the time, that seems like a bad idea, in Venice, it’s the exact opposite. If you wander through the streets and bridges going over canals, you will find some great things. You can never go wrong with the pastry and coffee places you find, the small hole-in-the-wall churches usually have decadent mosaics and paintings on their ceilings, and you can stumble upon hidden landmarks!

Take for instance, Liberia Acqua Alta. This place is apparently very hard to find, and due to our short time in Venice, we had sort of ruled out seeing it…until we just found it on accident one day! We had set out and decided to tackle a different area of our Venice map we hadn’t seen when we found it! So, get lost. Wander and see what you can find!

Tip #2: Get a Venezia Unica Card.

These are cards that not only provide unlimited use of the city’s vaporetto system, but also have other benefits, like seeing popular tourist destinations AND even free WiFi for a day if you are under 29!

My husband Tim and I got the “Rolling Venice Card” for 72 hours which included as many rides on the vaporetto as we wanted and WiFi for a day! It was well worth it because even though Venice is a very walkable city, you will want to see it from the canals also! This card also covered our water transport to the outerlying islands of Burano and Murano, which are a must see!

The important thing to note here though is this: TheVenezia Unica Card DOES NOT cover transportation from the Marco Polo Airport to Venice.

For that, you will have to book a desperate transfer via an Aliguna Waterbus on the Blue Line, which was right around โ‚ฌ40-54, if I remember correctly.

Tip #3: See Burano and Murano! But if you have to pick one, pick Burano!

Now, this one is subject to opinion, but out of the two islands, I liked Burano the most! It is great for pictures and has the colorful buildings and even a lesser known Leaning Tower that Instagram dreams are made of! ๐Ÿ˜ However, if you are going based purely on seeing the lace making or glass making, go to Murano for the glass making.

It is amazing to see the glass creations there and for some reason, it just seemed more visual and was cooler to see than the lace making on Burano!

The vaporetto ride from Venice to Murano is shorter than the one to Burano. I think our ride to Murano was about 10-15 minutes while the ride to Burano was closer to 30-45 minutes from Cannaregio where we stayed.

Tip #4: Check out a mask store or atelier!

A trip to Venice isn’t complete without seeing a mask maker and exploring one of their stores! Even if you don’t come during Carnivale, Venice’s February celebration where people dress up in costumes and masks, it is one of the biggest trades known strictly to Venice!

We visited a store called Sogno Venezia Atelier and the owner Julia had a wealth of information on the art of mask making and she makes all her own costumes!

Masks are only part of Venice’s allure and mystery, but be sure not to miss out on learning more about them!

Tip #5: Stay in Cannaregio!

This is also just opinion, but I felt like Cannaregio was the best and most central location for us when it came to staying in Venice! We were not far from the airport, we were away from the touristy areas and in more of an actual Venice neighborhood, but still within walking distance of the sights, and we were close to the Ospedale stop, or Hospital! You never want to think you’ll need it, but it was nice to know it was close!

We also were near plenty of markets, which we went to to buy fresh produce and things to make meals at home sometimes!

Tip #6: Go during the shoulder or “off” season.

March is considered a slow time in Venice. It is typically a little chillier and right after Carnivale, so flight prices drop. We scored our tickets for around $700, which was a great deal when compared to anywhere from $1,000-$2,200!

If I can suggest though, go in late March or be prepared for cold temperatures. We layered a lot. March is also the time for “high water”, so you will see higher water and even flooded streets in Venice due to the rain. We had to use catwalks to walk over the water sometimes, but if worse comes to worse, they do have these strange looking rain boots you can purchase everywhere. They look a lot like Saran Wrap that just goes over your feet! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Tip # 7: Ride down The Grand Canal.

This is just a MUST. And kind of a given, but you have to see Rialto Bridge from the canals. It is a beautiful sight, not to mention, a relaxing ride. You will get some of your best pictures riding the vaporetto! They have these awesome little back sections of the vaporetto boats where you can go out a door and literally be in the open air. Just hold onto your phones! You don’t want to drop that into the canal!

Tip # 8: Take a gondola ride…but during the day.

Day fares for gondola are cheaper than at night and you’ll get less grainy, higher quality pictures. Now, while the vaporetto is great, gondolas are amazing because they take you down the tight, little back waterways of Venice that are quiet, secluded and interesting. We saw hidden passageways, passed a private courtyard where a couple was drinking red wine and they toasted us… ๐Ÿท๐Ÿ˜‚

It was all very Venetian and we wouldn’t have seen any of it if we hadn’t gone for a ride! The fare is generally โ‚ฌ89, but you can ride up to 6 people in a gondola and that total is split amongst riders, it is not per person!

Tip #9: Go to Cemeterio Island.

I did not take many pictures at Cemeterio and some people think cemeteries are morbid, but I thought it was a cool experience! If you like seeing how Venetians live…and how they died, Cemeterio is an interesting place to go. It is a 5 minute ride from Cannaregio across the channel.

There are beautiful monuments there and even windows that just face off into the sea. While wandering around, we came across a landing of black and white tiles that just gently sloped into the canal and we discovered that it is there that boats dock to offload coffins.

It’s impossible to realize all the things that are different about Venice until you really stop and take a look.

Tip #10: Talk to some Venetians.

Whether it was talking to our waiters at the trattoria down our street, Julia at the mask shop, or anyone we encountered, the Venetians are an interesting people. They are very passionate about things and are set in their ways. They certainly won’t go out of their way to help you, but they are nice if you catch them in a good mood.

If I had to rank all the towns on their “friendliness” that we went to, Venice wouldn’t have the top spot, but more on that later! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Bonus Tip #11: Get used to “Italian Time”.

Italians have their own clock that they go by, whether it’s getting somewhere and meeting up with someone or just eating dinner. Dinners are usually 4 hour affairs with multiple courses and you have to ask for your check, which was strange to us Americans.

One reason for this is that Italian waiters are paid a living wage. In America, waiters barely make $3 an hour and live on tips, so it’s all about turning tables. Get used to taking your time in Italy and you will enjoy your trip so much more!

Those are all my tips for Venice! ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿท๐Ÿ•

Here is a brief itinerary of our time in Venice! ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป

March 14th: Landed in Venice

*On this day, we basically ate dinner near Rialto Bridge(very touristy, but the pizza was good) and went to our VRBO home to catch up on the time change! Not much accomplished this day.

March 15th: Murano & St. Mark’s Basillica

*We rode over to Murano to see some glass making and also checked out St. Mark’s Basillica and square! We did a lot of wandering this day and got a lot of ground covered!

March 16th: Burano, Riding a Gondola, and Riding Down Grand Canal

We rode over to Burano early and also had lunch there! Poppy had fish with the heads on. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜‚ We also rode the vaporetto all over, including down The Grand Canal, and got gelato. ๐Ÿง

March 17th: Cemeterio, Libreria Acqua Alta and Sogno Venezia Atelier

We saw a bunch this day! We explored Cemeterio, Libreria Acqua Alta and I bought a Venetian mask!

Stay tuned for my next blog on Florence, Pisa & Lucca!

And there is a quick video I made of Venice, which is on my IGTV, or Instagram tv! I hope you’ll check it out!

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\\Where You’ve Been//Where You’re Going//

A Musing, Life

ย  I think, a lot of times, when we say we want to travel, we are looking for perspective.ย It’s nice to get away for a while. Sometimes, we’re too close to our own lives to see potential, or see things that other people might see from being around us for only 5 minutes.

Maybe they would see that we put up with crappy relationships or we sell ourselves short. Maybe they would see that we are too worried about what other people think. I think that’s part of the reason I like to travel. You uncover truths about the world, see things from another perspective…and come back to your own life and see things you were to close to see before.


These are pictures of me as a kid. I’m not very “country” at all, but if we were talking about personality pics, this one would sum me up pretty well. Hands in pockets. Looking off to the side. Mischievous, but quiet. Laid back.

Things you might not be able to tell from this picture:

I’ve always loved to read. So much so, that I went to the library for recess one day in 3rd grade and stayed hidden in the stacks of books for hoursย until someone found me and I had read through a few books.

I suck at math. Algebra, statistics, really any kind of math. People start mentioning numbers, I walk the other way or change the subject.

I’ve been through some shitty stuff. I’ve also had good things happen to me.

I didn’t graduate college.

I have stacks—like an old tote fullย of notebooks I filled from 7th-12th grade. I used to write more than socialize during high school.

I have a way of seeing through people. I think they call it “discernment”, when you just know someone is being fake or a situation is not good. I can’t really explain it to other people.

Hydrangeas are my favorite flower.

Chai lattes(iced) are my favorite.

I don’t care what most people think, but when someone attacks a personal dreamย of mine, it’s crushing.

It’s good to know where we’ve been…so we know where we’re going. I guess, I was inspired to write this entry because of how young I am in these photos. That girl didn’t care. She did what she dreamed about doing and didn’t give a crap what anyone said to try and dissuade her.

That girl also didn’t know where her life would lead her. To an awesome husband who loves thrifting as much as she does. To a house, one she hates to clean sometimes, but it is pretty cool to say she owns. A much nicer car than she had before, one that she paid off in only a year. To a rabbit and hamster, too tiny little furry things she never thought could be so special to her. To a time in her life where…there’s nothing to lose.

This is my year. A year to travel and just do things. Life is short.

I think that there are endless possibilities. And anyone who doesn’t? I don’t care. I’m not jaded, despite what’s happened to me. I see opportunities, everywhere. I’m ready to make things happen.

And I think that little girl in the pictures would be proud of me, for interpreting life in my own way and turning it into what I want. โœŒ๐Ÿป


Don’t stop believing in yourselves, people. I know that is cliche to say, but just. Don’t.ย You can do anything. Sometimes life doesn’t take us where we expect it to, but we make the most of it when we get there.

Tips for Saving ๐Ÿ’ฐ So You Can Travel

being thrifty, how to, Travel

ย The last few days have been excruciating.

You know that feeling you get when you really, REALLY want something? It could be some ridiculously, towering dessert, covered in chocolate and caramel. Or a certain piece of clothing (Okay, you caught me. I really wanted that shirt because it was perfect! ๐Ÿ˜ซ) that you just knowย would fill that gap in your wardrobe.

I’ve been really, really wanting something the past few days, something I can’t just go get at the store, the drive thru, or anywhere else: TRAVEL.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I have been trying (and pretty successfully, most days) to come up with ways to save for a big, jet-setting trip to Italy. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น I thought I’d share some of those ways with you all, in case any of you are trying to do the same thing!

Or hey, even if you’re saving up for a car or a house, or anything else! These tips have actually helped my husband and I save up enough to buy the house we’re in now and pay off two cars! ๐Ÿš—


1. Make a Goal Board.

I think it helps you a TON to have a Goal Board, or just a physical representation of what it is you want. The map pictured above is my version of one—Tim bought this map and I’ve stuck red pins in the places I’ve been. It hangs in our living room and I see it everyday; it’s a good reminder of all the places I want to go.

I know people who have done similar things for weight loss goals or getting healthy, by hanging up clothes they want to get into. Or I’ve heard of people just jotting down what it is they want. They make a plan. When you have a plan, it makes your dreams more real and it gives your goals feet. I also post inspirational pictures of where I want to go as my phone’s wallpaper. It even makes me think twice about online purchases! Pictures of Cinque Terre are waaay better than anything I could get on eBay!

2. Stop getting _______.

For me, this was coffee. โ˜•๏ธ Coffee, going out to eat, seeing movies, impulse buys, whatever it may be, cut it out. These things all add up really quickly. I started making coffee and more meals at home. We have a Netflix account, so we just binge watch our favorite shows, like Prison Break, instead of going to movies. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Just look at those types of expenditures that seem to happen 3+ times in a week and consider eliminating them, or at least making a promise that you’ll only go once a week. You’ll be amazed at how much this helps you save!

3. Download a Budgeting App.ย 


This is an example of our budget on an app called Good Budget. It’s free on the App Store ANDย it doesn’t require you to link your personal accounts, like Mint and some other companies, which I just don’t trust.

I really like it because Tim and I can be on it at the same time and put any purchases in there in real time. As you can see, we’ve come up with different categories—you can make up to 10! This has helped us so much to be able to go back each month and look at how we spent our money…and how we wasted it.

4. Get a Total $$$ for your trip.

It helps to have an actual, concrete number in mind. For example, I think I will need right around $6,000 for the trip I want us to take. Having that number in mind helps me to make adjustments to our budget, cut back on spending and it gives me something to work towards!

5. Anything extra you can, save it and DON’T touch it!ย 

When I say don’t touch it, I mean DON’T. TOUCH. IT. Put it away in an account and add to it, but never take from it. This is the only way to really make any headway on saving!

Do you all have any tips for saving money for trips? Are there any trips you’re wanting to go on in the next few months? If you’re on any right now, feel free to share pictures! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I’ll be living vicariously through you and drinking my homemade iced coffee!

Venturing Towards Adventure

how to, Life

I think, if you were to ask people, the majority of them would be up for a trip, vacation, excursion, adventureย of some kind. When you talk to people about going somewhere, their eyes light up, or you can see their weariness. You can almost sense their troubles, but for a brief moment, they let them go and just…imagine.ย 

Or, if you’re me, and you mention your desires to go places, more specifically Italy, people either roll their eyes and say it’s impossible, or tell you you will get killed by a terrorist. Now, I hated every math class I ever took and didn’t pay any attention in them, but I think the odds are more in my favor for getting to Europe than being killed by a terrorist. Or, at least, I hope they are, because if they aren’t, that would suck. ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ค And be very anticlimactic.


Haters are gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. Which is why I usually keep these dreams to myself…or to this blog, or when I’m asked point blank, I will say what I want to do.

I’ve been trying to do more to make these dreams happen too. Actions speak louder than words. I’ve done all the research for places to stay in Italy, train travel, exchange rate, and time of year that’s best and cheapest to go, but would also appreciate any advice from readers out there that have been or are trying to go like I am!

Most of my efforts have been in saving money. It’s never been hard for me to do; it’s actually sort of my first instinct. My problem is impulse buying, but I have been doing better the last few weeks, eating meals at home, questioning whether I really need this or that, or just holding something and saying to myself, Do you want trendy clothes or do you want to sun at a villa on the Amalfi Coast?

It’s hard when we live in a society that is all about instant gratification, but it can still be done. I’ve also been trying to sell stuff on our new etsy page, Edison’s Place. I put a link in my bio section here on the blog—I’ve been trying to regularly put things on there!


I’ve also been taking little Twix for walks. โค She is so stinking cute!!! Her harness has skulls on it; I think it’s a good reflection of her character. She’s such a killer. ๐Ÿ˜‚


I also explored some different parts of town while I was petsitting the last few days. I actually took these foggy pictures this morning on a walk down by the Tennessee River. It was neat to just appreciate the beauty, something I’ve felt the need to do ever since we got back from our trip to Maine.

I was looking for quotes about rivers earlier and this one struck me:

Rivers cut through rock not because of their power, but their persistence.

I will get there, eventually. It just takes a lot of willpower and persistence.


If anyone else is out there struggling to achieve a dream or goal, just know you’re not alone! ๐Ÿ˜‰