Hello lovely humans, today’s post is about one of the most treasured weekend breaks i have had the pleasure of enjoying.
Where?Venice – Italy.
Booked with ?British Airways.
Upon arrival we hopped across the bridge on the bus and i was immediately astounded by the beautiful landscapes. The small enough island surround by blue sea looked beautiful as you crossed.
With it being January everyone was huddled in coats, scarves and jackets which actually prove to be too much when the sun did come out, later that day. Temperatures in Venice usually is around 3-6 degrees, so ditch those bikini’s and grab your umbrellas.
Once we arrived across the bridge. We instantly head to our hotel and dropped off our bags. We stayed at The Hotel Canal, perfectly situated from the main parking area within Venice the hotel was very easy to locate, within a small walking distance. This is ideal if you have bags or cases that you don’t want to be dragging around. The hotel itself has a traditional Italian feel, the shuttered windows that overlook the grand canal (if requested) really make you feel at home. What i will say is, don’t book this hotel if you are used to 5 star, modern apartment type hotels. This shabby little traditional treasure is anything but chic.
What to do?
During the day Venice is ideal for long strolls and relaxing walks. With the island being so small, there is no need to use transport. Get those legs moving, grab a pair of comfortable shoes and spend the day following painted signs on the sides of streets and houses like your own little maze to Piazza San Marco.
Piazza San Marco, is breathtaking. Theres something quite exquisite about the beautifully grand architecture framing the simple ocean. The musicians playing in the square as you sit and watch the world go by, creates the perfect ambience for your relaxing break.
It’s not just the centre of the square itself that is beautiful, if you can, then do take a stroll along the front of the square and pop into some of the smaller restaurants and enjoy the delicious menu’s they have to offer. In most places we stopped sandwiches/ pasta became an easy and reliable snack, the Italian’s know how to do food.
During the late afternoon/evening, we noticed that Venice got a buzz about it. Locals flooded the streets, meeting friends for drinks became obvious at around 7/8ish in the evening. A concept to us that felt a little strange, come late-late (after 11pm) Venice was basically quiet again. As Londoners the idea of a relatively quiet bar after 10 seems almost laughable but here a Bellini at 8 was much more fitting.
One of the places we visited in Venice was called Barco Jazz, the cocktails here were delicious. The small place, was filled with locals and the environment felt super accommodating and welcoming. We moved onto another little place called Taverna del Campiello Remer it was a little louder here and live music was playing, we instantly fell in love. The waiter showed us to a little table near the back on stools with candles lighting the walls and old fashioned tapestries and trinkets all over, it felt more like we had gone back in time and were sat in someones house as apposed to a bar. I remember it cost around 8Euros for a cocktail, 3Euros for Spritz and around 3-4 euros a glass of wine. If you did pay 8Euros however, you could help yourself to the little tapas-esque buffet they had at the front. We spent a good few hours here, relaxing, chatting and listening to someone play the piano by the fireplace.
Perhaps one of my favourite memories from our Venice adventure was the masquerade parade that passed through us on the Saturday. The most beautiful costumes, the extraordinary masks and the insanely passionate performers flooded the streets and flaunted their costumes. This captivated me. I was in awe of the talent and feel that covered the city. We spent the next few days looking in all the shops and admiring the different mask works around the island. We eventually did choose one for ourself a beautiful red and gold mask with lace around the trim and sheet music engraved on the mask.
Last but not least, what would a trip to Venice be without going on a Gondola? You have to do it! Quick tip though; do not go straight to the centre for a Gondola get one a little out and head into the centre on your route. This is going to save you a lot of money, you will find with every inch you move closer to San Marco the price increases. If you’re into learning about the city this is the perfect time to listen and enjoy. The guys are full of local information and can show you landmarks only accessible via boat/gondola.