After a flight of almost 1.5 hours (from Brussels), we arrived at Marco Polo Airport. Venice also has a second airport, Treviso. It is a little further away and most low-cost companies land here.
From Marco Polo Airport you have three options to reach the city:
• Bus or taxi: There are buses and taxis to Piazzale Roma, the city's edge. From there you have to travel by foot (with your luggage) through the city.
• As you are in a city with so much water, I think a water bus is a better option. You can take the Alilaguna ferry. This takes about 45 to 90 minutes (depending on the location of your hotel). A return ticket costs about 30 euro.
• The most useful is, of course, a private water taxi. In 40 minutes you are at the destination. The taxi will take you as close as possible to your hotel. It costs about 120 euros (one way).
We chose the private water taxi. The video below shows you how much fun it is.
Where to stay in Venetië?
Venice has a wide range of hotels. We chose Ca’della Corta Corta in the district of Dorsoduro. After some searching, we arrived at the hotel and were told we were upgraded to an apartment a few blocks further.
The apartment was superb and very spacious (perfect for a family). As we entered the hall, expectations were immediately high as the entrance was fantastic. Beautiful old floors, artistic lighting and an antique gondola as decoration. Due to this, the apartment itself suffered a little. It was spacious, but it was time for a refreshment (read: the bathroom needed replacing) and for the decor, the owner should consult an interior designer.
The owner came every morning with some croissants and pistolets. An Italian breakfast is pretty sober. Fortunately, lunch and dinner are fantastic in Italy.
Things to do in Venice
From our hotel in Dorsoduro you can walk to Accademia within 10 minutes. Here is the Gallery dell'Accademia, a museum where the most beautiful collection of Venetian painting is exhibited. Opposite the museum you can cross the Grand Canal through the beautiful wooden Ponte dell'Accademia. Grand Canal is the canal that stretches from Santa Lucia to San Marco through the center of Venice.
From here you can walk to San Marco square or to the Rialto bridge in 10 minutes.
You can of course also take the Vaporetto and admire all this beauty from the water. You pass by San Simeone Piccolo, Fondaco dei Turchi, Ca 'd'Oro, the Pescheria and some beautiful palaces. At the main sights, get onshore for a restful break.
About halfway through the Grand Canal, you will find the Rialto Bridge. The name of the bridge comes from 'Rio Alto', high bank. Originally, this neighborhood was the place where the bankers settled. Later it became a market. Today it is still one of the busiest places in Venice. At first there was a wooden bridge. The stone version was built only in 1591 and was the only bridge over the Grand Canal until 1854. From the bridge you have a fantastic view over the canal.
Further along the canal you pass the Riva del Vin, where the wine was unloaded. Just past the Accademia you pass a Peggy Guggenheim museum on the right with a beautiful collection of modern art. Just before you leave the Grand Canal, you pass the imposing Santa Maria della Salute. This giant baroque church was built at the end to the plague epidemic. In November, a mass of believers with burning candles go to church. Inside is a painting by Titian.
When you descend at the end of the canal you are close to San Marco Square. At the head of the square is the 13th century Basilica di San Marco. If you leave the square on the right of the basilica, you will see the familiar bridge of sighs. This bridge linked the Palazzo Ducale with the jail and owes its name for the sighs that smote the prisoners while they were on their way to court.
When you look at the basilica you have the Torre dell'Orologio on your left hand side. The high tower for the basilica is the Campanile. The original tower collapsed in 1902. Right of the basilica is the Palazzo Ducale, the Dogen palace. From the vaporetto you have a beautiful view of this architectural piece of art.
The square itself was named by Napoleon as the most beautiful reception hall. Watch this video and you'll understand it right away.
Take some time to look for Harry's bar. If you step off the vaporetto at San Marco Vallaresso, you will immediately cross the bridge. A few meters further on the right side you will find the bar. In the 1930s, Giuseppe Cipriani could open his own bar with the support of a rich American. The bar became a huge success and received many famous guests across its floor. Ernest Hemmingway, Truman Capote, Charlie Chaplin, Dutch Queen Charles and Diana and many others enjoyed a drink.
Of course there is more to see in Venice, but one day is perfect to see the highlights.
Shopping in Venice
Enough culture? Then Venice is also an excellent destination for shopping. The Mercerie, the area between the Rialto and San Marco, is the most popular shopping area. In former days, expensive fabrics were sold here, but nowadays every designer wants to be in this district. Design is interchanged with nice souvenir shops and small boutiques. It is lovely to stroll along the windows and enjoy all the beauty.
In the district of Dorsoduro, you will find more traditional shops and art galleries.
Looking for an original souvenir? Then buy a beautiful Venetian mask. For this you can go to the many stalls, but for a beautiful copy you must be at Ca 'Macana or Casin dei Nobili. or A miniature gondola belt will be found at Forcole, one of the only remaining gondola builders.
I myself found the Fondaco Dei Tedeschi (as much as the "warehouse of the Germans"), next to the Rialto Bridge, absolutely amazing. This historic 13th-century building was bought a few years ago by the group behind Benetton and converted it into a luxurious shopping mall. Valentino, Jimmy Choo, Gucci, .... They are all there. Even if you do not feel like shopping, you have to walk in here. The building is beautiful. You can also walk to the roof terrace to enjoy the fabulous view over Venice. We could walk straight to the terrace, but apparently we were lucky. Sometimes there is a giant queue here. You can book (free) tickets.
You have one more day (and your wallet isn't empty yet)? Take a bus at Tronchetto to McArthur Glenn Designer Outlet. The outlet is situated about 1 hour outside of Venice. A returnticket costs 15 euro.
Where to eat in Venice?
Food is an important part of my holidays. In Venice you are in the right place. In the countryside, a hearty farm kitchen is served. In the city, due to its location on the trade route, a very refined kitchen was created. The Adriatic Sea is a source of delights and nowhere in Italy are as many fish and crustaceans eaten. And of course, they serve the most delicious pastas here.
Our Local Jack from Wanderjack told us of his favorite osteria '4 Feri' in the district of Dorsodoru. In this narrow alley behind Campo Santa Margherita square, you will find many small, cozy restaurants. Pane Vino e San Daniele is also a must. The appetizer with coquilles and razors is blissful!
Not far from the Rialto Bridge, Ristorante Sempione. is located. We went in because of a gigantic hailstorm. I can highly recommend the risotto.
Since eating vegan is a huge trend, I can recommend you the following post on being a vegan in Italy.
Do you have an extra day to spend? Check this 2 day itinerary fro Venice.
Totally in love with Venice? There are many incredible places to visit in Italy.
There are so many other Italian islands. Many years ago I fell in love with Sicily. I have to check my old pictures to tell you all about it. But for now, you can find all you want to know about it over here.
Map of Venice