Visiting Venice, Italy: A 24 Hour Itinerary
Visiting Venice, Italy: A 24 Hour Itinerary
So, you want to go to Venice.
Prior to writing this post, I did a little research. I was curious as to how many of you wanted to see Venice, thus like the millennial I am, I headed to social media. Using the poll features on both Facebook and Instagram stories, I asked the simple question: Is Venice, Italy on your bucket list? And the results?
Everyone wants to go to Venice.
If you are one of those “everyones,” you’re in the right place.
If you are one of few, the three lone souls that said they had no interest in Venice, then you are also in the right place. We’ve been there. Our empathy for you is strong. Venice. Venice. Venice. Venice: the city overfilled with tourists. Venice: the city for “romantics”. Venice: the overrated tourist trap. We were there.
“Let’s just rule out Venice and have more time in Tuscany.”
With only nine full days in our tour of Italy, we had some decision making to do in terms of which cities we would hit. Rome, the Amalfi Coast and Florence were all indisputable, but time was tight and it didn’t look like Venice would make the cut.
Nevertheless, at the end of the day, curiosity kills the cat.
Thank goodness for curiosity.
MORNING: PIAZZO SAN MARCO
Tay’s Travel Tip #1: Walk through the city early. You’re tired. You need coffee. You need rest. You’re in the place of your DREAMS. Wake up. Don’t wait for your itinerary to start. Stroll through the silent streets. No one is awake. No tourists. No locals. Just you and the seagulls (especially in Venice). Imagine how many other people have walked this same Venetian alley way as you. Take the perfect photo in front of the famous landmark. Wake up early.
Things to see:
Piazzo San Marco
In every great city is a great square. In Venice, it’s Piazzo San Marco. It houses the Doge’s Palace, the Basilica di San Marco, the San Marco Campanile (bell tower) and the majority of the pigeons in Venice.
Tay’s Travel Tip #2: Although tempting, DON’T HOLD THE PIGEONS. Come to find out it’s illegal … so unless you want to be a law breaker (like we were) you better skip out on this one.
Steps off Piazzo San Marco is the Doge’s Palace. Although Palace is quite fitting, the Doge’s Palace was the heart of the political life and public administration of the Venetian Republic. But don’t’ be dismayed, it’s one of the most beautiful buildings we visited on our entire trip. It’s combination of history, government, architecture, textiles and scenic views make it a Venice must.
Basilica di San Marco
The Doge’s Palace and the Basilica di San Marco are next door neighbors, so getting from one to the other is quick. The Basilica’s fame is seen in many photos of Piazzo San Marco, however, the interior is kept secret. That monumental interior, with ceilings and walls covered in incredible hand painted tiled murals, cannot be photographed, videoed or even snapchatted. No photos allowed means no photos below. This one you’ll have to see for yourself.
Tay’s Travel Tip #3: You can’t take any bags into the Basilica. There will most likely be a long line when you arrive. If you wait in that long line with your bag, you’ll be redirected to the bag drop where you will receive a ticket to enter a short line. Don’t get in the long line. Go straight to the bag drop. Receive the short line tickets. Skip the long line.
Right off the square you’ll find a group of men in striped shirts just waiting to take you on the gondola trip you’ve dreamed your entire life about. And, if you’re willing to pay $70 euros for a 30-minute ride and listen to your gondolier chat on his cell phone the entire time, it’ll be the thrill of a lifetime. Dreamy, right?
LUNCH: RIALTO BRIDGE
Things to see:
Rialto Bridge and Rialto Fish Market
Post San Marco square, we took an easy walk towards the Rialto Bridge and the Rialto Fish Market. The bridge is the oldest of four spanning the canal, and every tourist in Venice was trying to walk across. You don’t to allot too much time here as seeing the bridge is as simple as walking across it. Once across, you’ll find the Rialto Fish Market, which will be a much more authentic experience of Venice. We arrived while everyone is packing up, so if it’s something you actually want to see, I’ve provided the hours below.
Fresh produce market (7:30am-1pm Mon-Sat) Pescheria market (7:30am-1pm Tue-Sat)
AFTERNOON: THE VENETIAN LAGOON
Things to see:
Did you know Venice is housed in a lagoon and surrounded by little islands? Just a ferry ride away, there are many options to choose from, but the most famous are Murano and Burano. Murano is known for its glass-making and Burano for its lace-making.
You can take a private boat tour to the islands, but you can also hop on the Vaporetto (the Venice Water Bus). Routes and lines can be found here.
Tay’s Travel Tip #4: Take the public transportation. If you’re in London, take the tube. In Europe, take the trains. In Venice - take the Vaporetto. The Italians use the Vaporettos to get around. And honestly, in Venice you don’t have any other option except to swim.
Lacemaking Museum and the Colorful Houses Burano
The only “real” thing to do in Burano is see the lace-making museum. It costs a few euros to enter and takes a quick 10 minutes to see. It’s really quite small, and probably not that interesting unless you enjoy textiles, fashion design, or hand crafts. If not, you’ll probably want to skip.
However, you SHOULD NOT skip out of Burano. If you’re in Venice, GO TO BURANO. The island itself is tiny. You can walk its circumference in just a short matter of time. You can stop for a snack (like we did) or purchase some fine garments of lace. Spend the rest of your time walking through the narrow streets and exploring the different vibrant colorful houses with every step.
EVENING: LIVE THE ITALIAN WAY
Tay’s Travel Tip #5: Where ever you are in Italy, evenings are the time to be spent the Italian way. Find an amazing restaurant. Sit, eat, and drink wine for hours (it will probably take that long for the waiter to check on you anyways). Stroll around the city at dusk or dark. The Italians will be out until after midnight. You should be too.
In Venice, I recommend using your evening to do the same. Find a local show to attend (we found this one which was amazing) or keep it open so that you can head back to an area you found really interesting and wanted to explore a little more. Give yourself some space to soak in the sights, sounds, smells, colors and people around you.
AT THE END OF THE DAY
At the end of the day, at the end of our 24-hours in Venice, our hearts towards the city we almost skipped were completely changed. Venice: the city where there are no cars. Venice: the city with almost as many seagulls as there are people. Venice: where gondolas aren’t even close to being the best part. So whether you’re sitting on your couch, in your car, or at your desk debating whether you should head to Venice, I’ll make it easy for you. Don’t be like us. Take our advice. Go to Venice. Even if you only have 24-hours. It will be the best 24-hours of your life.
Book your flight now.
Italy not on your list this year? Click here to see why a trip to Germany at Christmas will be the most magical thing you can do in 2019.
I’m a 25 year young, everything enthusiast. I am a passionate girl at heart, with a deep love of Jesus, family and friendships. Things that make my life joyful are #1 my husband #2 my dog #3 plants #4 my camera.
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