September 21, 2015

A Long Weekend in Venice

The past few weeks have been extremely busy, hence the lack of posts, but my husband and I were lucky enough to find the time to jet off to Venice for a fantastic long weekend.

An inexpensive1 hour and 20 minute flight from Paris Orly, Venice is certainly a city within reach. Before arriving, I had notions of what this well-known Italian destination would hold. Many travelers tout its charm, while others complain of an overrated tourist trap. My impression? An incredibly beautiful, historic city that far exceeded my expectations. Yes, early September still means hoards of tourists from around the globe, however seeing this magnificent and unique city under the glorious Venetian sun was an experience that I will remember for years to come.

Below, a few of our favorite addresses and outings. Buon viaggio!

Taxi in Venice, Italy
Venice, Italy by night

One of many canals in Venice, Italy

Where to stay
Hotel Bernardi Semenzato
Cannaregio - Santi Apostoli 4363/66 - 30121 Venezia

Located in the Cannaregio district of Venice, this small family-run hotel is a great place to rest your weary traveler's head each night. Rooms are reasonably priced, clean, and include breakfast each morning. The hotel is just behind the main shopping street Strada Nuova, and within a few minutes walk of two vaporetto stops (Ca d'Oro & Fondamente Nove).

Hotel Bernardi Semenzato, Venice, Italy

Where to eat
Pizzeria La Perla
Cannaregio,4615 30121 Venice

Not far from the Hotel Bernardi Semenzato, Pizzeria La Perla is not to be missed. Having eaten our fair share of pizzas around the city, this was the last place we stopped before heading home. As they say, good things come to those who wait, and my oh my was that true! This meal was by far one of the most enjoyed of our entire trip. Their extensive menu is entirely in Italian (unlike more touristy restaurants in the area), so don't forget your mini dictionary before settling in to your table!

Cannaregio 3844 (Strada Nuova - Ca' d'Oro) 30121 Venezia

Who can resist a few scoops of gelato when visiting Italy? I certainly couldn't, and made it my daily mission to head to GROM each afternoon for my goƻter. Here ingredients include fresh fruit, free range eggs and no artificial colorings, aromas, preservatives or emulsifiers. And in case you can't make it to Italy, there's even a GROM in Paris (81 Rue de Seine, 75006 Paris)!

Pizzeria La Perla, Venice, Italy

Where to visit
Besides wandering Venice's tiny winding streets and bridges (Tip: A city map is essential!), there are plenty of landmarks, museums, etc. that are worth a visit.

  • Piazza San Marco: Stop by the world-famous square both morning and evening for two very different experiences. Take in the impressive Basilica di San Marco during the day, or enjoy a quartet concert outside some of the area's restaurants at night.
  • Palazzo Ducale: Just next to the Basilica, the Doge's Palace is an extraordinary example of the superpower that Venice once was. The incredible architecture and rich history are fascinating, plus this is the only way to gain access to the iconic Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs)!
  • St. Mark’s Square Museums: If you have visited the Palazzo Ducale, your ticket (18€)  also grants access to several other museums inluding the Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale and Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. If time permits, it's nice to do a quick tour to get the most bang for your buck. 
  • Ponte di Rialto: To get the best view of one of Venice's most famous bridges, and many other gorgeous buildings, hop on Line 1 of the vaporetto for a scenic tour down the Grand Canal. 
  • Murano: A quick vaporetto ride from Venice, the island of Murano is famous for glassmaking. Here you'll find several glass factories and a large selection of shops selling beautiful jewelry, dishes, chandeliers and more. 
  • Lido: If you want to spend a relaxed day at the beach, the island of Lido (around 40 minutes from Venice by vaporetto) is perfect for just that. Most sections of the beach have been privatized by resorts, however a beautiful sandy public beach still remains. As with most beach towns, there are also plenty of souvenir and gelato shops to explore.
Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy
Gallery near the Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy
Palazzo Ducale, Venice, Italy
View from the Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs), Venice, ItalyBallroom in the Museo Correr, Venice, Italy
Murano, Italy
Public beach on Lido, Italy

Do you have a favorite spot in Venice? Feel free to share below!