Venice, Italy is one of the most romantic cities in the world, literally known as "The City of Romance." Who wouldn’t want to visit Venice? So many love poems, songs, and paintings were inspired by this magical floating city. I hope to go back with Joe one day! I visited Venice with a girl friend in 2010 on a three week trip traveling through Europe. It is such a relaxing and beautiful town -- one of those cities like Santorini that looks even more picturesque in person as it does in pictures.
Download this city guide (with GPS maps) on your smartphone here to have it handy for your trip!
This little city at the northern end of the Adriatic Sea only has about 80,000 residents, but sees over 25 million tourist visits each year. Venice consists of a series of scattered islands -- there are 118 islands within Venice’s 212 square-mile city lines. With 400 foot bridges and 170 boat canals connecting the city, it is easily accessible to get around. Most tourists stay near Piazza San Marco the entire time. During my visit, we took a day to visit some of the outer islands, which I fell in love with just as much as the city center because each island had its unique charm.
Sant’Erasmo and Mazzorbo are the islands best known for great food. Sant’Erasmo looks vibrant green, as most of the city’s produce comes from here. Mazzorbo is a gourmet island with only one chic hotel/restaurant. Mazzorbo is connected by bridge to Burano, my favorite island of all. Burano is a well-known island famous for its rows and rows of bright, pastel-colored buildings and lace shops. I also went to Lido during my visit. Both Lido and Pellestrina are islands known for amazing beaches. If you end up visiting any of these outer islands, you won’t be let down. They get you away from the touristy crowds and allow you to simply relax. It only takes about 30 minutes to get to the outer islands from Piazza San Marco, so you can stay on any of them and explore all of what Venice has to offer. Venice is really easy to get around because you can take water taxis everywhere. They are relatively inexpensive and doubles as a poor man’s version of the river cruise!
I can’t wait to go back to Venice one day! Check out more travel guides from The Urbanite Insight here. If there's a particular city you're headed to, let me know in the comments section below and I'll move that to the top of my "travel guides yet to write" list!
My Venice To-Do List
download it here!
Get lost in the alleys: this was actually my favorite thing to do in this city — try wandering around with no plan!
Campanile di San Marco: a bell tower with an amazing panoramic view of the city
Ca’ d’Oro: a private palace on the Grand Canal, now turned into a museum and art gallery
Gondola Ride: these are expensive, but if you have the extra cash it’s a bucket list item for most
Piazza San Marco: you’ll find lots of people, shops and restaurants in this square
Top Rated Restaurants:
Osteria Boccadoro: a typical Venetian restaurant that uses only homemade products. They have an extensive wine cellar, located away from the tourist area in a quiet Venetian square.
Al Covo: a charming rustic style seafood restaurant
Cocaeta: a quick and cheap spot to grab amazing crepes
Antico Forno: Great place for carry out pizza
all’Amarone Vineria: cute wine bar with a selection of pizza and pasta
Islands to Visit:
Burano: the cutest island with pastel-colored buildings and lace shops
Sant’Erasmo: the orchard of Venice, full of vibrant green produce growing
Mazzorbo: the upscale and chic hotel/restaurant, Venissa, lies on this island by itself, which is connected by bridge to Burano
Lido: upscale and expensive island with beautiful beaches where celebrities stay during the Venice Film Festival (not as expensive during the off-season)
Pellestrina: an island with lovely beaches that is mainly a fisherman’s community with a cozy village feel
Guidecca: the brooklyn of Venice, which gives you amazing views of the main island’s St. Mark’s and the Doge Palace