Imagine hopping in a water taxi and going down canal after canal, passing the cutest little homes and buildings that seem as if they are just floating! As you go down the canals, you pass by gondolas, fishing boats, ferries and personal boats (instead of cars) !! It is a totally different way of life here with the bustling waterways, busy piazzas, and rows of gelaterias!
Welcome to Venice…
Venice is one of those places everyone dreams of visiting, as it should be! This is my 4th time visiting this stunning floating Italian city and I still love it! Every time I go I fall in love again! There is something special about walking down the little alleys and piazzas with gelato in your hand! The endless bridges and canals will always keep me coming back!
We stayed at one of the most beautiful hotels in all of Venice… The world famous Gritti Palace right on the Grand Canal! This hotel served as a residence for the 16th-century Venetian Doge Andrea Gritti.
My favorite way of arriving at the hotel is by boat!! You can take a water taxi down the marvelous Grand Canal to the “boat valet” where you are greeted by the kind staff of the
The English playwright Somerset, who was a frequent guest once wrote: “There are few things in life more pleasant than to sit on the terrace of the Gritti Palace.” He was right!
The Gritti Palace is definitely one of the most elegant hotels I have ever stayed in… It feels like you are staying in a real-life palace! I surely felt like royalty here in this magical hotel! Every room is truly fit for a queen!
What to do?
#1. Visit Piazza San Marco & The Doges Palace.
There are many piazzas throughout Venice, yet Piazza San Marco is definitely the most important and most famous square in this city. Napoleon once called it the “Drawing room of Europe”. This square is home to the Doges Palace which is a landmark in Venice! This square is a big lure to massive flocks of pigeons as I am sure you have seen in photos, all of these birds come because the massive crowds of people feed them, so now they call the endless windows in the piazza home.
#2. Explore the Ghetto.
The ghetto in Venice is definitely the lesser known area to explore… My family and I have been to Venice multiple times and this last time was our 1st time exploring the Ghetto. I definitely recommend visiting and eating in the ghetto, it is way less touristy and less busy for sure!
#3. Ride in a gondola
This is by far the most popular and most Venetian thing to experience in Venice I would say! Most people think of Gondolas when they hear Venice. 2 hundred years ago, there were about 10,000 Gondolas in Venice. Yet the aristocracy preferred horses to boats. Yet when horses were outlawed from the streets of Venice, the noble class embraced gondolas as a respectable form of transportation.
#.4 See an opera.
Is there really anything more Italian than seeing an Opera?!? I have to say, seeing an opera in Venice was truly magical and worth experiencing!! We saw the famous La Traviata, there is nothing like the voices of the singers that literally hits the ears like melting butter! It is so fun to see a show fully in a different language, full of culture, history and talent!
#5. Visit Libreria Acqua Alta.
This bookstore is the most beautiful in the world in my opinion! It is truly incredible how all of the books are in bathtubs, so when Venice floods all the books rise with the water!! This bookstore is also home to many stray cats that relax all over the bookstore, it is quite a hoot!
Where to eat?
#1. Ristorante Antico Martini.
This quaint restaurant is nestled right by the famous La Fenice Opera House. Everything from the food to the atmosphere is very elegant and cozy! This restaurant is definitely worth a visiting in the evening to enjoy dinner on the patio surrounded by the candlelight!
#2. Vino Vino.
Right next door to Antico martini is the more casual sister restaurant Vino Vino! This is a more down to earth/cozy restaurant! (Less high-end) I just fell in love with this charming patio with the cutest lanterns and vines growing! The food was absolutely amazing, we had some delicious Burrata, minestrone soup, Branzino, and a couple of yummy pasta dishes they recommend!
#3. The Gritti Terrace.
As I was saying before, The Gritti Palace is one of the most well-known hotels in all of Venice. Well, the restaurant is definitely included in its popularity! I mean, going off of how beautiful every detail of the hotel is, you can only imagine how incredible the food is! Chef Daniele Turco is the culinary genius here and never fails to impress!!!
First of all, when staying at this luxurious hotel you, of course, have the privilege of enjoying breakfast on the beautiful terrace on the grand canal! This is by far my favorite part of staying here is waking up, getting dressed super quick to get to this heavenly breakfast as soon as possible so I can enjoy every precious moment of it!!
With breakfast being such a special experience, you can only imagine how marvelous dinner is! I truly enjoyed the impeccable service and attention to detail of all the staff! Everyone was truly so kind and had great hospitality! This was by far the most high end & formal restaurant we attended, yet worth every penny! I had this delicious quinoa salad with roasted peppers, a delicious warm eggplant puree, and an olive balsamic sauce that was swept across the plate! All of the flavors together were truly a perfect blend!
#4. Ristorante Ai Tre Archi
What a true gem… Who knew you could find some of the most incredible restaurants when you’re just wandering around a new area?! While exploring the Ghetto on the other side of the Island, we heard about a few very good restaurants to try, yet they are the popular ones so they were full… That just happened to work out perfectly for us, as we stumbled upon this Mom and Pop restaurant that blew us away!! We were seated inside right by an old brick wall with beautiful iron sconces dressing it! All of the tables inside started to fill up, but not with tourists, they were all locals that work in the ghetto and said that this is their daily lunch spot as it is the best food in Venice! I am so happy we discovered this amazing restaurant! All of the food was just so amazing! I could tell
Sometimes seeing things just is not the same as reading about it… I filmed our entire magical experience here in Venice so you can truly experience it with me!
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Thank you for reading all about the fun my family and I had in this dreamy floating city!! I hope I inspired you to want to visit this magical place!
Until the next adventure,