Travel Tips for Venice Italy
I am so glad we finally made the trip to Venice, Italy! I had worried that Venice was overly romanticized in popular culture, and I would be disappointed. However, we actually had the best time, and maybe having low expectations helped.
Sure, there is endless history, art, and culture to be discovered, but it is honestly just a beautiful city. My best advice is to find a rooftop or sit along the water somewhere with a takeaway pizza and just marvel at the color of the water and how it literally sparkles all day long.
Outfit Details: Zara Mini Puff Sleeve Dress (similar here and here, on Poshmark here, here, here, and here, use code DONNARIGGINS), Soludos Striped Flats, J.Crew Tassel Earrings (also similar here and here), Zara Woven Rattan Bag (on Amazon here), Diff Sunglasses, Nadri Criss Cross Ring
We did go out and explore, but always found ourselves back at our hotel taking in the views from the restaurant patio, hotel room balcony, or rooftop bar. I learned about the Bauer Palazzo hotel from the countless other bloggers who have stayed there.
While it is a splurge, I wanted to be sure that we had a positive experience in Venice and our stay at the Bauer was perfect in every way. It is conveniently located steps from the ferry terminal, St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco), and endless designer shops. The hotel also enjoys a stunning view of the iconic Basilica di Santa Maria from every turn.
When we did go out to explore the sights, we loved finding our way among the endless alleys. I had every intention of getting up early to see the sights sans crowds, but I was fully exhausted after our whirlwind tour of Croatia’s beautiful waterfalls (see here and here).
Instead, we enjoyed a late buffet breakfast at our hotel, and then set out to face the challenge of taking photos in direct sunlight among endless crowds. I’ve found patience is the only trick in these scenarios.
Our first stop was just around the corner to see St. Mark’s Square in all of its crowded glory. I even visited one of the vendors to buy one of those classic boater hats for 20 euros! They unfortunately had run out of my size, but I wanted to share this tip because I’ve seen so many boaters hats linked on Instagram for well over $100!
The vendor will assure you this cheaper souvenir is “Made in Italy,” and maybe it is or maybe it’s imported from China, but hey, it will keep the sun off your face and it’s just for the ‘gram anyway, right? (See how I protect my skin from the sun here)
We were not out in the sun long, before we were melting in the summer heat, so our second stop was to a gelato stand! Two scoops each of pistachio and strawberry for me and double chocolate for Dan. Next we wandered over to the Galleria dell’Accademia to escape the heat.
There are actually so many museums and exhibits that you can wander into in Venice. In one church, we stumbled upon a gallery of violins. In the Galleria Academia, we saw a lot of beautiful paintings from various time periods, many of which showed how little and how much Venice has changed throughout it’s history.
Next, we tried to see the view from the Ponte dell’Accademia, but unfortunately the view was completely obscured due to construction on the bridge. I ventured around some buildings to get at least one perspective of the view. For photographers, this is one of the wider canals with a famous winding view of the Basilica di Santa Maria and the surrounding colorful buildings. Hopefully, it will be open for you!
Our last stop was to visit the beautiful Rialto Bridge. We actually got our first view of the Rialto at sunset as we arrived on a private water taxi from the airport. I remember being so mesmerized on that ride. Venice is truly unlike any other city.
I will say that the Rialto Bridge is the only place that felt truly, overwhelmingly crowded. Even in St. Mark’s Square, there is space to break away from the crowds. At the Rialto, we just had to wait for our opening on the pier for photos.
If you saw us that day, you know we took ten thousand photos on that little wooden dock until a crowd gathered behind Dan patiently waiting for their turn and a man finally yelled at us in Italian to let someone else have a turn. What can I say, we are perfectionists… and I still wish we had been able to take one more so I could reformat for 4:5 and make sure the top of the bridge was in the shot. Sigh.
Afterwards we returned to the Bauer to watch the sunset from the rooftop bar with Bellinis (and a minty cocktail for Dan) in hand.