Venice is my favorite city in the world (so far).It is both unique and breathtakingly beautiful. I love the maze of canals and narrow streets.
After arriving by overnight train we hailed a taxi, this time a WATER TAXI! Our taxi boat took us to our hotel, Hilton Molino Stucky, located just across the water from the main island.
Hilton Molino Stucky is not connected to the main island but there is a hotel shuttle, by boat, of course, that is provided to and from the main island. I thoroughly enjoyed taking it each day, after all, it was something new and different. The hotel was very clean and updated. There is even a rooftop pool with an amazing view! If you do not mind staying off the main island I suggest you take a look at the Hilton Molino Stucky.
Plaza San Marco
San Marco Campanile
St. Mark's Basillica
Venice is relatively small and compact. We were able to see a lot of the major landmarks in a half day. After lunch and settling into our hotel we headed straight for Plaza San Marco. Plaza San Marco reminds me of my visits to plazas in Spain like Madrid's and Salamanca's Plaza Mayor. It is an open area filled with cobblestone walkways, shops, restaurants, that also overlooks San Marco Campanile and St. Mark's Basilica. We climbed to the top of San Marco Campanile, a bell tower, for a bird's eye view of Venice. Getting a bird's eye view of a city seems to be a staple for us when we visit a city. I love to get a lay of the land from above. After the bell tower, we then toured Palace Doges and St. Mark's Basilica.
Tip: make reservations for St. Mark's Basilica or attend mass.
Gallerie d' Academia
Venice has a wonderful calm and peaceful feel to it. After a relaxing morning, we ventured out to the Gallerie d' Academia. It is home to many beautiful works of Venetian art. Unfortunately, while we were there half of it was under renovation! From there we took a walking adventure through the winding narrow streets of Venice to the Guggenheim Museum. Along the way, we stopped at a neighborhood cafe, set away from the tourists, for a quiet and authentic lunch.
The Guggenheim Museum in Venice houses the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. It is home to many beautiful pieces of modern art. Open daily 10am - 6pm. Tickets are 9 Euros for students under 26 and 15 Euros for adults.Our final stop of the day was the famous Rialto Bridge and browsing the markets surrounding it.
THIS IS A PERFECT AREA TO PICK UP A SOUVENIR OR TWO.
Some would say we saved the best for last. We took a day to relax by the pool and recharge before heading off to our next destination. Now we could not leave Venice without taking a gondola ride! Gondola rides can be picked up from many areas of the main island. I would recommend avoiding busy gondola areas such as Bacino Orseolo.
2.5 - 3 days is a great amount of time in Venice. You can certainly spend more time there and tack on other outlying islands. We had lots of other things on our agenda originally but instead, we enjoyed visiting Venice at a slower pace.
Next Stop: Rome, Italy