I’ve long dreamed of visiting this infamously romantic floating city. Venice is a city of tiny islands 118 to be exact connected my canals and bridges. There is seriously no other place like it in the world! While having Mum in London we really wanted to take her somewhere in Europe and this little floating city was at the top of our list. However you won’t see her in many photo’s because unlike her daughter she is not a fan of the camera…I did manage to get her in a few through!
We stayed at Hotel Danieli and were treated like royalty as soon as we stepped off our private water taxi and into this grand palace. Our jaws dropped as we took in the beauty, elegance and history of this fabulous hotel! It’s central location is right on the waterfront over looking the Lido, just a few minutes walk from both St Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge. It also happens to be the hotel where the movie ‘The Tourist’ was filmed! So this had me channelling my inner Angelina Jolie and had me feeling like a movie star!
Each day we started off with breakfast on the roof terrace at Danieli Terrazza. The view was simply breath-taking – I would totally recommend having breakfast, lunch or dinner here if you are visiting Venice, even if you are not staying at the hotel itself.
We headed out to find sun shining and the water glistening! First stop was St Mark’s Square as we wanted to get there early to beat the tourist crowds. My eyes lit up, it was huge! I felt so tiny standing in the middle of it. Pictures don’t do it justice. Lots of shopping, eating and sights to see including St Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace! All it took was is a handful of birdseeds to transform me into a human perch for a fluttering mass of pushy pigeons. Such an awesome photo opportunity! The two columns framing the entry to the city from the sea are the two patron saints of Venice…Interesting fact, you will never see a local walking in between these two columns as it is considered bad luck due to this being the location of public executions back in the day. However you will find tourists walk through these all the time!
It was so hot while we were in Venice. We were so happy when we came across this cute little juice bar called Frulala. An awesome pit stop for a refreshing frozen yogurt or a “all natural” liquid blend of mixed fruits and ice (virgin or with alcohol). We decided on the citrus, mint and pineapple smoothie. It was just what we needed, refreshing and light!
Next we were off to see our first sight of the Grand Canal and cross the Rialto Bridge which is the oldest and most famous Bridge to cross the Grand Canal. The one thing I would recommend while visiting Venice is to just get lost!! Because you properly will! It’s amazing what you can find down every nook and cranky. I simply adore the Italian colours, tiny little alleyways and the enormous selections of pasta and gelato everywhere you look! Venice is all about getting lost in the little streets and finding a great spot to sit and people watch. Jake and I sat down by a little canal and watched as we saw people in gondolas floating past anticipating our own ride later that evening.
The best way to discover Venice is my boat. A Gondola ride to be exact and for me it was like a dream come true. I always wanted to do it from the time I knew it existed. It’s the perfect way to see the real Venice and remember, it’s tradition to kiss under each bridge!
After our gondola ride. we decided try some delicious Italian food and of course a few glasses of Prosecco! “Da Mario Alla” was delicious! We finished our meal off with chocolates and port before strolling back through the alley ways and St Marks Square to our hotel.
The next day we decided to venture out to towards Punta Della Dogana where the Grand Canal meets the Giudecca Canal. We found the alley ways were less crowded and you could enjoy the scenery. We made our way to Basilica Santa Maria Della Salute which is one of the most architecturally perfect structures I have seen with magnificent views inside and outside. It was lovely to sit on the steps in the shade and watch as all the boats go past.
We strolled along the waterfront until we came across a very nice restorante, called ‘La Calcina”. We sat under the umbrellas with the breeze flowing through from the canal. I have to say there is a reason why the Italians are so well known for their food!! I tried Gnocchi for the first time which is little pasta dumplings made from potatoes. It was incredible and my new favourite thing to eat. On our way back to hotel we indulged in some decadent gelato!
That evening we headed back to St Marks Square where we sat in front of an orchestra. I would highly recommend getting a table in front of one of the five piece orchestras around the square and enjoy the ambience, people watching and entertainment. We sat here most of the evening soaking up the atmosphere.
Another beautiful day in Venice! We decided to do as the locals do and catch a water bus ride along the Grand Canal. This is a totally diffeent perspective from walking along the canal amongst the crowds. The views are more panoramic, you can feel the cool breeze and you get to join in the everyday life of a Venetian on the water.
We came across this Magnum Store just by chance and it was a delightful find. You could get your own magnum creations made right in front of you with your own choice of toppings and chocolate!
We ended our Venice trip by feeling like James Bond in our own private water taxi which picked us up from our private hotel entrance to the airport. Our final ride in Venice was exhilrating and the highlight of our afternoon!