3 days in Venice
Venice is the capital of northern Italy's Veneto region. It is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals. Venice is one of my favourite cities in Italy, with its postcard-perfect spots, Gothic palaces and the famous Rialto market. It is like a window to the world, and totally different from other European cities. The only downside is that is packed with tourists.
Venice has a Mediterranean climate with warm summers and fairly mild winters. Spring is the best time to visit Venice. The coolest month is January and the warmest is August. November is the wettest month.
We visited Venice in May and the weather was warm and sunny during the day. During the evening you will just need a light jacket. It was perfect!!
There are two main airports in Venice: Marco Polo Airport and Treviso Airport. So depending on the airport that your flight lands into, you have different ways of transport to reach Venice.
We arrived to Marco Polo Airport and decided to use the water bus (operated by the company Alilaguna) , which is convenient and far cheaper than a private taxi. The round trip from the airport to Venice is 27€ and you could purchase your ticket at the airport (ticket office or vending machines) or on board. If you would like to purchase your ticket in advance for a discounted fare, visit this page Tickets From the Airport to Venice.
The average price for a private water taxi from Marco Polo Airport will cost you around 120€.
If your flight lands into Treviso Airport you could take a bus that connects the airport with Piazzale Roma, the bus terminal in Venice. The journey will take around 40-70 minutes and you could purchase your ticket at the airport. The return ticket will cost you 22€. Don't forget to validate the ticket before use! Once you arrive at Piazzale Roma you can take a vaporetto. Each ride costs 7.50€.
To move around Venice, you could either walk or take the boat. I suggest you to walk as much as you can, and take the boat if you are visiting one of Venice islands.
PLACES TO VISIT AND THINGS TO DO
Start your day at Piazza San Marco, which is the main public square in Venice. Allow time to walk around and take it all in. This piazza is outstanding!
There are many sites to see in Piazza San Marco. You can start by visiting the Palazzo Ducale, one of the most iconic buildings in Venice and, personally, one of my favourites. I loved everything about this place! Here you can also see the cell where Giacomo Casanova was imprisoned. The ticket price is 25€.
Admire the Basilica di San Marco, a really impressive church and one of the best known examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture. The admission to the basilica is free, but if you want to visit the museum the cost is 5€.
Pay a visit to the Campanile di San Marco where you will enjoy great views all over the city. The ticket price is 8€.
Take a gondola ride across the Grand Canal. During the day, the price for a ride is around 80€; and from 7 pm increases to 100€. It's a 30-40 minutes ride and it's great as you could enjoy this beautiful city from another angle. The gondoliers are friendly people and will answer all your questions.
Your second day could start at Rialto Bridge. This is the oldest bridge on the Grand Canal and the most famous in Venice. You could stroll around the little shops and try to get a picture without the crowd!
Continue with a visit to the Rialto Market, where you could find many stalls selling fresh products. I personally think this market is a must-see.
Stop for a typical Venetian drink like an Aperol Spritz (Italian wine-based cocktail) or "un ombra" (a glass of wine).
If you are into art, you can't miss the district of Dorsodouro where you can find Gallerie dell’Accademia, for classic Venetian masterpieces (Entrance: 12€) and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, which houses modern works (Ticket:12€).
Dorsodouro is a nice place to walk around and have a look at its many indie shops and vintage fashion boutiques. This district is also well known for its unpretentious eateries and its informal bars, so it's perfect to enjoy an aperitivo*. Don't leave Dorsodouro without visiting Ca' Macana, the shop from where Stanley Kubrick ordered several masks for his final film Eyes Wide Shut. I couldn't resist it and I bought a Venetian mask from this shop.
Go back to Piazza San Marco at night. The ambience is totally different, less crowded, with music and couples dancing at the terraces. So nice!
It's your last day in this beautiful city, so why don't you visit some of its islands? Start by visiting Torcello and the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta. From its campanile you can get a fantastic view over the lagoon. The price ticket is 12€.
You could continue with Burano. This was my favourite island, with its colourful fishermen's houses and shops selling lace and glass products (these last ones coming from the nearby Murano island). I would suggest you to to stop here for lunch and try some seafood.
Head back to Murano which is famous for its long tradition of glass-making. Here you can purchase some crafted souvenirs.
Enjoy your last aperitivo* of this trip... Buon appetito!
Note: If, like me, you like to send postcards to your family and friends while on holidays, remember that in Italy you need to deposit them in the yellow mail boxes. Don't post them into the red boxes or they won't reach its destination!
FOOD AND DRINK
The Veneto region is well known for its wines, so you need to try them! Also, as mentioned before, the aperol spritz is a really traditional drink which is an Italian wine-based cocktail.
I love Italian food and I really enjoyed the Venetian cuisine. If you are visiting this city, there are some traditional dishes that you don't want to miss:
Cicchetti: Cicchetti is like Venetian tapas, that you usually have with a drink, like a glass of wine or an aperol spritz. Cheap and tasty! You can try them for the Italian aperitivo*.
Baccalà Mantecato: A dish made of stock fish. It's creamed cod and it's served as an appetiser, usually with polenta bread.
Sarde in Saor: A plate that consists of sardines, onion and balsamic vinegar.
Spaghetti in nero di seppia: Pasta dish that includes pieces of squid slowly cooked with tomato sauce. Then the pasta is coloured with the ink of the squid, giving the plate its characteristic black colour. Delicious!!
Buranelli: It's a doughnut-shaped cake typical from the island of Burano.
*aperitivo: A light meal that takes place at the end of the workday as a kind of warm up to dinner (Normally between 7 pm - 9 pm).
My personal recommendations:
Bar Pasticceria Ballarin, perfect for coffee and a sweet breakfast. Address: San Giovanni Grisostomo, 5794, 30121, Venice.
Officina San Barnaba, a little gem where we enjoyed a fantastic aperitivo with amazing cicchetti and great service located in the district of Dorsodouro. Address: Calle lunga san Barnaba 2715b, 30123, Venice.
WHERE TO STAY
For our stay this time we chose an apartment, Cà Venier . We booked it through booking.com. Cà Venier offers great facilities and an excellent location. You can easily walk to Rialto market (6 minutes walk) and Piazza San Marco (15 minutes walk) and you are really close to Fondamente Nove stop where you could catch the boat that goes from and to the airport; and where you could also take the "vaporetto" if you wish to visit the islands of Torcello, Murano and Burano. You will also find many restaurants at your doorstep.
If you would like to book this accommodation, you can do it here Cà Venier.
Venice is an expensive city, so I suggest you a budget of 300€-350€ for a 3 day trip. This will cover food, drinks, transport and shopping.