I’m excited to finally share some of our travel tips and images from our Spring trip to Italy! Italy is one of my favorite places on earth, I began my obsession with this country long ago and feel fortunate enough to have visited several times and even studied abroad in college. I have Italian roots and someday hope to visit the area my dad’s family was from. There are so many other places I want to visit (spending time in France and Portugal are at the top of my list) but Italy always tugs at my heart strings. The food, history, art, culture and people keep pulling me back. Venice isn’t for everyone, but it’s worth a visit if you’ve never been, it’s unlike any city in the world, entirely built on water. For my third trip we decided to only spend 24 hours in Venice and I have to say it was the perfect amount of time. Today I’m sharing our 24 itinerary that allows for plenty of sight seeing, spritz sipping and relaxing as well.
Me after 24+ hours of travel!!
Hotels rooms are notoriously small and expensive in Venice — I did a lot of research and found a few hotels worth sharing.
Hotel Flora: We stayed at this gem and I have to say it was perfect! I actually discovered it on Pinterest! I loved every ounce of the historic, ornate design details, quaint and quiet courtyard and delicious breakfast. The room was tiny but we made it work — and the location made up for it! Tucked away at the end of an alley this hotel feels miles away from the swarms of tourists.
Ca’Pozzo Inn: Located in the Cannaregio neighborhood, this hotel is further from the main attractions (and crowds) of Venice but in a neighborhood full of great restaurants — and very close to the train station and it’s very affordable (rooms average $150/night). The design is very sleek and modern and my friend enjoyed staying here!
The adorable courtyard at Hotel Flora where guests can enjoy breakfast.
The only way to Venice is by boat! Most likely you’ll be arriving via train to the Santa Lucia station. Depart the train station and catch a Vaparetto (water taxi) to your hotel and enjoy this scenic tour of Venice by boat! Be sure to contact your hotel before you travel and figure out the closest Vaparetto stop so you’re not dragging your suitcases too far! I worried about looking silly doing this but then realized everyone has to do it!
After you check in, ease your way into sight seeing by meandering through a museum on your first afternoon in the city. I’d suggest reading a guidebook and determining what your must-see sights are before you arrive. Rick Steve’s is always my go-to for Europe trips. A few options….
Venice is best explored by getting lost in the many alleyways, side streets and piazzas. After your museum trip wander the streets and pick up some gelato on the way.
As the sun begins to set — Try a ‘cicchetti crawl’ to enjoy some classic Venetian appetizers that most restaurants serve up in the late afternoon and early evening. And don’t forget to order a spritz, Venice’s signature cocktail! Try to stop by the Rialto Bridge as the sun is setting for a stunning photo opp, be prepared for crowds + lots of selfie sticks.
A delicious assortment of cicchetti after walking for miles and miles!
Head back to your hotel to relax and get ready for dinner.
A few dinner options to check out are below. It can seem hard to find authentic Venetian food because there are so many tourist trap restaurants but it certainly exists. I spent a lot of time on Trip Advisor and talking to people who had suggestions — this blog post is also a great resource.
Our dinner at Promessi ai Sposi
On our last day in Venice we woke up EARLY and headed off the island around 2pm and this itinerary worked great for us!
A rare sight — a nearly empty Piazza San Marco!
By afternoon all of these seats along the square will be full!
On your last day in Venice, wake up early and enjoy browsing Piazza San Marco before the swarms of tourists arrive. After meandering through the piazza, enjoy the best view of Venice from the top of the bell tower. Get in line as soon as you see tourist queuing up — it opens at 9am in season and 9:30am off season. After your trip to the top indulge in coffee and a sweet at Caffe Florian. Since you’ll be early you won’t have to deal with crowds (we had the entire place to ourselves). It’s worth the splurge for the experience in the world’s “oldest coffee shop”!
A foggy view from the top of the bell tower.
Inside Caffe Florian, the oldest coffee shop in the world.
Make your way towards the Academia Bridge. Cross the bridge and enter the Dosoduro neighborhood. Here, visit either the Academia Museum or Peggy Gugenhiem Museum. After you’ve taken in the art it’s time to eat!! Walk towards Bar Alla Tolleta to try Tramezzini –Venetian style sandwiches. It’s said that the club sandwich originated in this area and this bar has a wonderful assortment all displayed in the case up front. It fills up fast when it opens so aim to arrive close to lunch time if you want to sit and rest your feet (or enjoy a Prosecco with lunch)!
It’s hard to pick just one sandwich at Bar Alla Tolleta.
After lunch make your way to the tip of the peninsula – for a beautiful view. Head back towards Academia Bridge stopping at Venice’s best gelato shop, Gelataria de Nico on the way before you depart Venice!
I love the pink glass in these street lamps.