I am currently on my way to Verona and before I am on the move again, I wanted to jot down a few of my favorite moments and views of Venice.
Arriving to Venice was a bit of a struggle, considering the bridges and canals you have to cross, with your entire luggage in tow. Exhausted from our day of traveling, we finally made it to Hotel Messner, a local quaint hotel, situated near Salute, a Vaporetto* port.
*The Vaporetto is the maritime version of a metro system used in Venice.
Lovely and classic, the hotel has various amenities to complement the city, including a breakfast, plentiful for a day out in the city. We meandered and soaked in the views of Venice, which are unlike any other. A unique gem, the bustling city is based on a canal system and the architecture that has been preserved from an era long gone.
Our plan for the day was to visit Murano and Burano, two of three islands situated right outside the mainland of Venice. The vaporetto is able to take you to both islands and it is definitely a trip well spent. Murano is a Venetian island known for their glassblowing.
Though Murano did not truly capture my heart, Burano did. If you’ve never been to Burano, I suggest you put it at the top of your list when traveling to Venice. The vibrancy of colors in each and every edifice is felt throughout the town and makes every corner a sight to see.
In the evening we hurried back to the mainland of Venice trying to catch dinner at a place recommended by a friend, but decided on a lucky find we stopped at on our way there. Fiaschetteria Toscana, a Michelin rated eatery, was where we ate in our (hangry) haste. To start, I had a white wine, one of the smoothest dry wines I’ve had, and a mixed green salad. It was fresher than anything I have had in the United States and packed with taste. Finally, my anticipation was answered with gnocchi, in what seemed to be covered in a light pesto and cheese sauce with asparagus and shrimp mixed in.
For dessert I had a merengue center, covered in Chantilly cream and raspberries. The meal was more than satisfying and I can finally say that I’ve had an Italian meal worth raving about, with a uniquely attentive and well versed staff.
After dinner, we walked to the Rialto Bridge where there is a great view of the city. For a Sunday night, the streets are still filled with bustling locals and tourists seeking some good fun, a vibe I look for when traveling because it really adds to the beat of a city.
Thanks to the Hotel Messner, we were able to have a complementary gondola ride. Though short, it’s a good feature when looking at what the hotel offers.
We then headed to the Basilica San Marco, where one must be covered from shoulders to knees, in respect to the religious site. If you plan on seeing the Basilica, I suggest you reserve your “skip the line” ticket, which is only 2 euros and saves you from standing in a seemingly endless line to only be in the basilica for almost less than 10 minutes.Though beautiful, I wouldn't spend too much time in the San Marco Piazza, as it is overran with tourists and street peddlers.
Next stop: Libreria Acqua Alta, a bookstore with a view like no other. Claiming to be “the most beautiful bookstore in the world”, it was truly a sight to see.
Tip: Italy has quality leather at a discount in comparison to any store in the United States. No Nordstrom or Marshalls will carry the quality or broad variety at the price you receive in the leather stores here in Italy.
If I can leave you off with one last suggestion when journeying through Europe: always opt for the cheaper train fare. Yes, it may only be 10 euros in savings but remember, that’s two glasses of Chianti that evening!
Fiaschetteria Toscana – Michelin rated, and not for nothing. The service was incomparable to anything I have ever experienced in Italy and definitely a favorite amongst the natives. Reservations are preferred here.
Taverna Al Remer – a friend recommended the 6 euros happy hour buffet from 5-7 PM, with a drink. Though I cannot speak on the food, I did get to check out the location, situated on the cusp of an amazing view right off the canal. It's intimate ambiance is perfect for an idyllic venetian evening.
Hotel Messner – Quaint and worthwhile with free breakfast and a free gondola experience. It is not only reasonably priced but has comfortable yet modest accommodations. The staff were delightful and very attentive.