Venice is one of those ‘must-see’ places on everyones bucket list. And that definitely felt like the case when we visited, it was the busiest place in Italy by far. I do like Venice (this was my second time visiting), but it was sad to see over-tourism at its worst. It was extremely crowded and there was trash everywhere. It wasn’t even quite peak season yet when we visited, so if you are able to you should definitely try to plan your visit here during the off-season.
If you’re staying in the city, hotels in Venice are very expensive. Our hotel in particular was the most expensive one of the four we stayed at while in Italy. We stayed at the Rialto Hotel, which had both pros and cons. Our room was adorable and overlooked the Rialto bridge, which was fun. However this meant it was also in the center of the action and was constantly noisy from dawn until practically 2 am. Our curtains were also sheer, which was concerning due to lack of privacy and annoying at 5 am when I woke up at sunrise. Definitely do your research when you look into hotels and if you choose to stay outside of the city, keep in mind the entry fee to be implemented in 2023.
Venice was the one city that I did not meticulously plan. I really wanted to visit the neighboring town of Burano, but unfortunately our time was limited and it rained which impacted our plans a bit. We saw many sites from the outside and went inside the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace).
- Gondola Ride
- Palazzo Ducale (included the Bridge of Sighs)
- Rialto Bridge
- Giardini della Biennale
- Venetian Arsenal
We booked a second photographer in Venice (after first booking one when we were in Rome) and once again had a wonderful experience with a local. Since our other photoshoot was in front of the Colosseum I booked the Hidden Venice shoot, which is off the beaten path and explores the beautiful canals of Venice. Our photographer Silvia can be found and booked on Airbnb.
The dining options in Venice weren’t our favorite and once again we found the food in Venice to be the most expensive out of everywhere we went in Italy. One of the restaurants we ate at (which I will not write here since I don’t want to recommend them) had amazing reviews but we didn’t love the food and the waiter kept pressuring us to tip. But there was one place (pictured above) we loved so much we ended up eating there twice.
- Gelatoteca Suso – Possibly the most famous gelato in Venice, it was good but once again more expensive than any other gelato we had
- Rossopomodoro – Delicious pizza, what more could you ask for! We actually ate more than just pizza and everything we tried was delicious. Bonus, this location is massive so you most likely won’t need a reservation, we were seated almost immediately both times we ate here. Rossopomodoro is actually a chain with over 70 locations in Italy alone.
Tips and Tricks
- Gondola Rides are cash only, and weekday rates are 80 euros for a 30 minute tour and 100 euros after 7 pm. (yes you read those prices right) The price signs are found all over Venice so don’t let someone try to overcharge you. That price is not per person but for everyone in the gondola, up to 5 people.
- Skipping the line for museums is easier than you think. We encountered a huge line to enter the Doge’s Palace, but the museum had a sign advertising buying tickets online. We bought tickets for the next day and bypassed yet another extremely long line.
- As the day trippers leave, the city becomes much quieter at night and there are live bands playing music at Piazza San Marco. It’s a great way to relax after a long day of walking.
- Speaking of Piazza San Marco, you can’t sit and/or eat there unless you’re sitting at a cafe.
Have you visited Venice? If so, did you feel it lived up to the hype?