One of the most visited cities in the world, Venice, is full of romance, history and unique vibes of Italy and Aperol shpriz!
When I am in Venice, I like to start my walk around the city in the morning, around 7-8 a.m., as in summer it is already too hot and too crowded from 11-12 o'clock.
Hotel in Venice
This time I came to Venice for just a couple of days and, to fully enjoy Venice, I stayed at the hotel "Londra Palace", located right on the Riva degli Schiavoni, which isjust a two-minute walk from St. Mark's Square and one step from the pier S.Zaccaria.
And from my own experience, if you are going to Venice for impressions or on a romantic trip, this is the best hotel to stay in and get acquainted with the city! More photos and a detailed description of the hotel are on this page.
If you come to Venice by bus, car or train, it is most convenient to start exploring the city from Piazzale Roma. There is also a big multi-storey parking lot right on the square, where you can park your car for few hours, if you came to see Venice in one day.
And if you are staying in the hotel in the city, then, in the morning, hurry up to see St. Mark's Square when there is no one there yet!
San Marco Square (Piazza San Marco) is the place without which it is not possible to imagine the tour around Venice! This is where the Byzantine-style St. Mark's Cathedral is located as well. And opposite it, there is Bell Tower of St. Mark, where you can climb on top for €8 to see the city from above.
It is also worth looking at Doge's Palace, as you would not completely see Venice without it.
There is the Bridge of Sighs on one side of the palace. It connects the former courtroom with the prison. And no matter how much I would like to assign romantic meaning to this bridge, the fact is that, the sighs, from which this bridge takes its name, did not belong to lovers at all. But you should, definitely, see this beautiful Baroque bridge. And you will get the best view of it from the Thatched Bridge (Ponte della Paglia).
If you keep walking a little further from the Doge's Palace along the Slavyanskaya Embankment (and by the way, it is the main waterfront of Venice along the Venetian Lagoon) then, in 10-15-minutes you will reach the Arsenal of Venice, where they built and repaired ships. This part of Venice with very few tourists is usually very quiet.
And if to move in the other direction from the Doge's Palace, along the Via Riva degli Schiavoni, then you will find an abundance of souvenir shops with absolutely everything from famous Venetian masks, postcards, magnets, gifts, jewelry to Murano glass household items.
Right here, you can get into a gondola.
The cost of a half-hour trip is €80. It will be a small circle around the canals in this part of Venice.
If you want to reach the Rialto Bridge by gondola, then the trip will cost €120-150. And if it is in the direction of Railway Station or P. le Roma, it’s about €180
By the way, you can get to the islands of Murano and Burano directly from San Marco ferry pier. Murano is within a 50-minute boat ride one-way.
And then, of course, you need to go to the Grand Canal. Since Venice is the world of canals, it would be a mistake to miss out the major one.
You can either reach it by water transport, Vaporetto (€7,5) or walk through the winding streets, or go in a gondola.
I recommend taking a gondola not in the Grand Canal, but somewhere in quiet streets, as this trip will be much more pleasurable.
You can cross the Crand Canal only via the Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto), its image you would see on almost every postcard or magnet.
There is lots of jewelry sold on the bridge, but it is quite overpriced due to the location. You can find and buy cheaper all the same items while wandering around other, small streets of the city.
Next to Rialto Bridge, there is a panoramic platform, which is just sometimes mentioned in the guidebooks. It is located on the top floor of Fontego dei Tedeschi, a large shopping center.
The entrance is free and it is open from 10 a.m., but only in good weather. When it is raining, the terrace is closed until the floor gets dry. But the view on Venice and its Grand Canal from here is really fabulous!
I suggest having lunch at the cafe "Al Chianti" on Calle Larga S. Marco, 655. It serves prosciutto with melon and excellent bacon spaghetti. It is relatively affordable, as lunch or dinner for 2 will be worth €80.
Or you can drink the traditional tart aromatic cocktail, Aperol Spritz, in any cafe or bar. You will see that in Venice, this drink is consumed by everyone and everywhere.
But keep in mind, that even if the cocktail itself will be worth €4-5, they will bring a portion of chips or nuts, and may also include a caperto in the bill, and might be, even tips. So, a glass of Aperol Spritz in the central streets and crowded places in Venice can come out at €10-14.
It you want to have a quite affordable meal, take pasta in boxes for €5-6. I usually get pasta at Ristorante Da Stefano on Calle Casseleria, 5306, which is a 3 –min walk from San Marco square.
It is important to mention, that after 6 p.m. Venice becomes very quiet, as all one-day tourists have already left, and it is an incredible pleasure to wander the streets under the light of the night lamps. But make sure you take a map or have a navigator. It is really easy to get lost here in the night.
Venice, definitely, deserves more, than one day of stay. And I am only talking about the city itself, but there are also islands! That is why I would recommend allocate 2 or 3 days for a visit to Venice.
The hotels are really expensive within the city, but there is a good option like the accommodation in Venezia Mestre. This place is only 10-15 min away from Piazzale Rome by bus or by train.
Photographer in Venice
If you decided to have a photo shoot in Venice, I will be happy to take you through the most picturesque streets of the city and shoot genuine, romantic and emotional photographs.