Last week I shared a little sneak peek of my weekend getaway to the world famous lagoon city Venice in Italy. Traveling to cities like Venice can be a bit of a challenge: it is one of those cities that is high up on people’s travel bucket lists and you feel constantly confronted with the danger of drowning in mass tourism. In order to minimize this peril I recommend to travel around this time of year to Venice. The carnival is over and the late spring/summer season has not yet kicked in – it’s the right momentum to dive into the unique experience of a dreamy weekend getaway to Venice.
Let me start with the hotel: Searching for a hotel if you are a bit design-savvy can be the next difficult task. Venice is very classic in its beauty and aesthetics so the majority of good hotels contribute to this coherent visual appearance and are rather classic – the kind of Venetian thing people have in mind. Baroque opulence, lots of curvy patterns and colours, curved wooden furniture and pompous chandeliers I am talking. But after a little bit of online research I managed to spot a beautiful hotel that applied a slightly different design language: The Palazzo Barbarigo placed directly at the famous Canal Grande. It still showcases a strong reference to the Venetian heritage but has toned down considerably on the interiors’ opulence. Plus they have a super cute little balcony with one table for two to enjoy a breakfast with the magnificent view of the Canal Grande. Moreover, finding the hotel is a magic Venice experience: You take a ‘vaporetto’ (water taxi) from the bustling Piazzale Roma square and get off at San Toma station and walk an extremely narrow zigzag lane that will lead you to one door – the hotel entrance.
The entire city of Venice is historical and enchants its visitors from the first moment you step on the island. Despite the tourists you will feel the magic of past times when walking the narrow streets and passing the numerous bridges over the canals. The busy Rialto bridge connects the two sides of the Canal Grande and is a special attraction for all visitors. Some charming restaurants are placed just underneath along the canal. But if you want to experience a very good dinner with tradition Venetian dishes dating back to the 17th century, I recommend booking a table at the Bistrot de Venise. Located between the famous St. Marco square and the Rialto bridge, this restaurant offers impeccable service, divine dishes and an overwhelming list of local wines. I tasted black squid ink spaghetti, calf’s liver cooked in red onions with polenta and an orange flavored pana cotta all topped with an excellent bottle of red wine from the Veneto region. Delicious!
Regarding sightseeing I can’t help but admit that I did what I like most in Venice: Roam the streets pretty without any planning of what to see and where to go. After a few minutes you are sort of lost although it is pretty easy to find the way to the two main landmarks, the St. Marco square and the Rialto bridge as both are clearly marked everywhere. If you want to enjoy the full Venice experience, take a gondola ride from literally all over town (it can get pricey though and if you book the music/singing version it can get a bit tacky too LOL), go to the Santa Maria della Salute church opposite of the St. Marco square to enjoy great views, enter the St. Marco Basilica to experience a ‘golden moment’ and stunning mosaics and do pay the entrance fee for the gallery on top of the cathedral as you will have the best picture moments up there and won’t be squeezed with too many tourists as the majority sticks to the free church entrance.
If you feel exhausted from all the walking and photo snapping, take a break at the historical Café Florian on the St. Marco square. It is the oldest café in Italy and is an experience in itself. Traditionally clad waiters, an interior like from a movie scene, an arched alley with (sometimes) a live orchestra playing classic tunes and the most divine hot chocolate – these are just a few observations I made during my little stop there. However, be prepared for luxury prices too. If a live orchestra is playing all guests (except kids) will be charged an additional music fee and a good hot chocolate will cost you around 10 Euros. But it is worth the one-of-a-kind experience! And since you are now in the spending mood, I recommend a stop-over at the Venchi chocolate boutique to stock up on the best Italian chocolates ever! And if you want to scream out a loud ‘Mamma mia’ while eating ice cream, I recommend a visit at one of the Grom gelateria boutiques – you will thank me, trust me!
Venice is unlike other cities the best place to walk around and discover the magic of the islands on the go. Keep a map with you as you will eventually get lost and it is a little adventure to find ones way back but it will reveal the beauties of Venice in an unforgettable manner – you will feel like a cast in ‘The Merchant of Venice’ and fall in love with the city. Stop by wherever you see a little café to enjoy an excellent espresso and whenever you feel tired of walking take one of the many means of transportation on the water.
But enough dreaming for today: Happy Monday everyone!
Igor, what a gorgeous post!
I LOVE Vencie but haven’t been in years so enjoyed every picture. Do you have a new camera or lens? i think these are the best photos yet, each and everyone. Stunning.
Your recommendations are good. If there for the first time, one has to experience it in full glory, with all the inflated prices LOL.
Can’t wait to see you this week. It’s been toooooo long x
Thank you, Tina! I’ve used my new 35 mm lens so I guess that’s the reason. Very happy you noticed it:-) Oh and definitely you have to go all the way in Venice when visiting the city – no point in being tight-fisted when floating the canals of la Serenissima:-) Looking forward to seeing you later this week!!!
Wow!!! It’s lovely to see a city so close to me through your photos, they are really beautiful. PS: after five years studying in Venice and million times here, I still get lost and need my smartphone blue dot to find the way!!;)
Ah good to know, Elisabetta! So I was right to recommend at least a map whenever you start your Venice adventure:-) I think Venice is one of the few cities in our world that can totally captivate you throught its density of history on every step.
Traumhaft… und eines Tages sterbe ich 🙂 für diese ocker- und terracottafarbenen Hauswände, die der Zahn der Zeit so herrlich angefressen hat…
Ich glaube, Venedig wäre ja eine Dauer-Inspiration für Deine Arbeit/Deine Designs:-)
Da hast Du ganz recht! Und ich muss da auch dringend mal wieder hin. Berauschend!
Oh my, what a photo feast!
I’m taking this all in with my noodles (no latte now). It brings back so many good memories. I was in Venice on a hot summer day in July many years ago but we got lucky, there weren’t that many tourists on that particular day. Now I just want to go back and take it all in again.
Thank you for the wonderful visual tour … love the balcony with the table and how wonderful is that photo of the St. Marco square?
Thank you Lisa. It is quite a challenge to take photos AND enjoy your trip as the entire city is an ongoing photo opp:-) But I think I balanced it pretty well:-)
Oh man, you’re giving me some serious wanderlust…gorgeous!
Traumhaft schön Bilder, Igor. Schöne farben, schöne Stimmung – da vermisst man gar nicht die Sonne und denkt, dass es genau so sein sollte. Nur noch 10 Tage, dann gehts nach Venedig!
Großartig Maike – ich hoffe, nein ich bin mir sicher, dass Du eine tolle Zeit in Venedig haben wirst. Falls Du sonst irgendwelche Fragen hast, immer gerne!
wow and WOW!! What a trip and thanks so much for all the tips! can’t wait to stay in that same hotel as well (I am not falling for the same mistake I made in Paris) and that cafe …. OMG!!
Your pictures are just incredible! Now I hope it’s not a bad time to visit this dreamy city in early January!
I visited Venice the very first time during New Year’s Eve and it was as enchanting as now – it has a very special atmosphere, a bit like in the ‘Merchant of Venice’ 🙂 You will be inspired!
not too cold? Love to stay at the same spot as you with the balcony to the river …
Gorgeous photos! Never been to Venice because I’m waiting for the right person to share the experience with. Hope he comes soon, because what I’ve heard the city is slowly sinking
That’s actually a wonderful idea, Louise! Venice is a very romantic city and best explored as a couple!
Never been to Venice Igor. You’ve captured it wonderfully. Certainly a very old world & classical town. I do love the mosaics & religious iconography. So are there any modern parts in Venice?
Thanks for sharing your trip. G
There is actually no modern part on the islands. The modern world of today starts beyond the connecting bridge on the mainland:-)
Beautiful pictures! Venice is my favourite place in the world.I used to spent my Summers there when I was a kid. Since then, I try to go back at least once a year!
Beautiful, Igor! I was in Venice almost 15 years ago and the one thing that struck me most was the light, it also reflects on the water which makes the light so particular & special. I was there for the Venice Biennale, and the contemporary art was such an interesting contrast to the old city. And you sure keep your sweet-indulgence level high after Brugge 😉
Igor your trip is so lovely, my friend Imrana visited here at last year and she had a large number of images and some beauty captured by her.. All the way with you and my friend i got that this place is too awesome….
Igor, WOW. Just, WOW. I love Venice and the way you have captured it is the way I remember, authentic and beautiful. Your photography is stunning and so magazine worthy. I feel as if I am there with you and by the way, you are so handsome! Thank you for sharing Venice through your eyes. xx
oh oh oh
wie gut, dass ich diesen herbst noch nach venedig fahre
mille grazie : )