Venetian Masks, Vivaldi, Saint Mark's Square, Gondola Rides, & Gelato
Venice + You + Your Honey = MAGIC
When booking this trip to Northern Italy, my husband and I knew we wanted Venice to be on the list of destinations. I had never been. He hadn't been since he was 7 years old. We have heard it has been increasingly mobbed by tourists over the last 10+ years, and were a bit concerned we would be turned off. Upon following some tourist dodging advice from fellow travel bloggers, we calculated our plans accordingly. And fell in love with Venice together.
First bit of advice... drop your bags and just have a wander. Wander along the streets until you get lost. The side streets of course. Once you see a mob of tourists, turn. If you see more, turn again. The advice worked! We found some cute cafes and noticed the people surrounding us were not wearing white socks, sneakers, shorts, and fanny packs... they were in business attire or everyday wear... with fine leather shoes of course. ;-) The other bit of advice that worked!? Get up early. I mean EARLY! We got up both days with the sun to grab a quick jog and workout in Saint Mark's Square in front of the basilica. It was EPIC! The Grand Canal and all its landmarks were glistening gold in the morning sun. And hoards of people weren't obstructing our views. We did quick showers and again, beat the tourists to the lines for the palace (Palazzo Ducale) and later the Guggenheim Museum.
If you're heading to Venice, there are a lot of ways to explore the Grand Canal. But I had my heart set on a gondola ride through the Grand Canal and also the side streets/side waterways. It was EXPENSIVE! 80 euros for a half hour during the day and 120 euros in the evening. We bit the bullet and forked over the cash. It was just my husband and me... but I guess a way to lower the cost per person is if you were with another couple. So maybe consider that!
An amazing place for an amazing view and drink (sparkling water with lots of lemon at the moment for this pregnant lady!)... head to the top of the Danieli Hotel. Sunset was stunning! I promise you will not be disappointed... except maybe with the bill. It can be punchy! This is why I suggest a drink instead of dinner. ;-)
Listening to live music in a Gothic church, palace, or other landmark is such a treat. We have done this in other European cities and wanted to make sure to find a place to soak up more culture through music. We found a Vivaldi performance in a church. We got to hear Vivaldi's Four Seasons. It was just fabulous. As was the gelato we bought on the street afterward. If you're looking for some classical music on the floating city in a particular neighborhood, here is the link. There is also a popular interactive opera experience. Click here for that.
Enjoy the pictures and YouTube vlogs! Be sure to leave me a message on social media and let me know what you think! AND... where you want to go next. Thanks for exploring the world with me!