WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING VENICE

Many people who visit Italy, make it a point to tour Venice. I mean, how does one resist a charming city floating on water? The answer is, you can’t. Filled with romance, mouth watering food, and beautiful people, it will be hard for you not to enjoy Venice.

Here are a few things to note before visiting:

You will get lost

I think you will find this on every bloggers list of things to know before visiting Venice. And it’s almost always followed up by the standard, “But it’s okay!”. Because it is. I felt as though this point was almost too obvious to include, and yet it arrives at the top spot of this mildly-well-put-together list. More often than not, getting lost is dreadful. Emotions are running high, deadlines are being missed, and time is being wasted. But look at Venice as the largest game of hide-and-go-seek you will ever play. After all, if you are following someone and turn your head for a single moment, you might miss where they’ve disappeared to. You can’t consider most of the walkways Venice as ‘streets’. They are more so paths and alleys. And don’t get me started on the bridges. There are too many to count! In a single canal alone.

Love is in the air

Call me a hopeless romantic, but Venice had me feeling some type of way. I felt romance in the air everywhere I went {other than when we passed by the fish market on the gondola, then I smelled rotten fish and wanted to vomit}. Moving on. Venice is giving Paris a run for its money in terms of the city of love. There is something about sharing a bottle of champagne on a private gondola, or ducking beneath tiny walkways and squeezing through gaps in alleys. Candlelit dinners on the edges of the canals were remarkable, and the beauty of venetian masks and hand crafted jewelry couldn’t be compared to anything I’d seen before. Venice made it easy to be in love. My suggestion, forget Paris {gasp!} and head straight for Venice for a honeymooners holiday {whether you are on your honeymoon or not}.

Jk, never skip Paris. But you get the idea.

Accommodation is expensive, but worth it

Any popular tourist destination is going to be relatively expensive. However, add a tiny village floating on water and you can imagine the competition for outsiders trying to snag a place to rest their head at night. On average, I hoped to spend $30 US a night on accommodation everywhere I went {and for the most part stuck to it!}. I was traveling with someone at the time which made sharing the price of accommodation much more manageable. Instead of paying for two beds in a hostel priced at $20 each, we would ‘spoil’ ourselves and hire an Air Bnb for $50-60 and split it. This was a game changer, especially in Venice.

There are somewhat reasonably priced hostels in Venice, but for the most part you can expect the empty your pockets anywhere you go. We ended up with a small, ‘worn-in’ Air Bnb apartment in the middle of Venice. And what a difference it made! In order to get from the ‘mainland’ to the floating city, you must travel along a very long bridge via train {which is totally unbelievable in itself}, but it’s quite a haul. Looking back now, I think it would have impacted my time {negatively} in Venice had I not stayed so central. And on the ‘island’ itself. Accommodation is expensive, but in this case worth every coin.

Venice is a stylish city

I never made it to Milan, so I can’t compare, but the men and women in Venice were so fashionable.  Shopping in Venice is actually highly rated world round, but again tremendously essssspensive. You’ll find everything from high end brands to knock off labels. I ended up buying a hat in Venice {that I may or may not have already previously purchased and lost multiple times}, but wished I had a little more dough to spend on the materialistic guilty pleasures I share with a majority of the world. Ugh, consumerism. I doubt you will ever run out of beautiful things to photograph in Venice, but if you do, point your lens at any of the locals and their get-ups, and you won’t be disappointed with the results.

Eat like a local, I repeat, eat like a local!

There is nothing worse than not doing your research, or attempting to ‘wing it’ like I do so often, and eating what seems to be store bought noodles with butter and some parmesan {I thought I ordered alfredo…?} at an ‘authentic’ Italian restaurant while in Italy. There is also nothing better than stumbling upon a small, reasonably priced, obviously local spot with the best Italian food you’ve ever tasted while in Italy. Both instances happened to me during my short time in the country, with the latter occurring in Venice. If you retain any information regarding Venice, let it be that you must eat at Enoteca Rio Marin. On our first night in Venice, my travel partner and I were exhausted and wanted to find a simple Italian meal near our Air Bnb. That’s when we found Enoteca Rio Marin. Technically a wine bar, this cozy eatery offers outdoor seating on the edge of the canal and unforgettable food. It was one of the best meals we tasted in Italy and we continued to return every night we were in Venice.

Venice has it’s own language

While doing research upon arrival to Venice, I discovered that the city had its very own language! I found this tidbit of information to be very interesting and I was intrigued to find out if I could notice a difference. Turns out I couldn’t. Mainly because I’m illiterate when it comes to other languages… I still barely know basic Spanish after practicing it for years. Venetian is actually said to sound more like French and Spanish than Italian! Again, I was clueless, but it may be fun to pick up on if you have a knack for languages.

Pack light

With the lack of cars to bring you to your accommodation, you’re going to have to carry your belongings at least a portion of the way to your home base. Trust me, the cobblestoned streets start to become more of a nuisance than a novelty when you’re hauling a suitcase through them.

And finally…  

It floods

I mean, duh. Why didn’t I think of that? But it is something to consider if you are planning an off-season visit to Venice. If you thought you would beat the crowds, avoid the inflated rates, and tour the city in November or December, you may want to think again. Read more about it here.

You really can’t go wrong with a trip to Venice {even in the middle of a flood}. It is truly one of a kind, and one of the most magical places in the world {according to me}.

Over to you, have you ever been to Venice? What did you learn during your trip?

 

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