Impressions From Our Trip To Venice, Italy

Impressions From Our Trip To Venice, Italy

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During our recent trip to France & Italy we spent four nights in Venice. I’ve already reviewed the St. Regis Venice and the Gritti Palace Venice, which are the two hotels we stayed at. In this post I wanted to share my impressions of visiting Venice as such.

I realize I’m hardly a trailblazer by traveling to Venice, but the last time I visited was 20+ years ago, when I was a kid, and I remember very little. With this trip I felt like I was seeing Venice as a first-timer.

Venice is unbelievably magical

Venice is probably one of the most recognizable places in the world, and it’s for good reason. Venice is such a special place to the point that it almost doesn’t feel real. In that sense I’d equate it almost to Disney World — it’s fairly compact, but there’s so much to see, and it’s so perfect that it almost seems fake (okay, I’m not actually sure I feel that way about Disney… never mind).

The nice thing is that it’s kind of easy to get around Venice, at least for those with good mobility. While there are endless canals (and the Grand Canal snaking through the city), they’re virtually all connected by bridges and paths.

Venice Grand Canal
Venice Grand Canal

The only time we ever took a boat was when we arrived, when we left, and then we took one evening cruise through the city.

Cruising in Venice, Italy

But otherwise the city is extremely walkable, and there are just endless things to see. At every corner there’s something new and beautiful, and at some point I just had to put down my phone and stop taking pictures.

Canals of Venice, Italy
Canals of Venice, Italy
Canals of Venice, Italy
Canals of Venice, Italy
Venice is surprisingly walkable
Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy
A pretty fun way to get around a city!

We lucked out with when we visited

Traveling to Venice in late March can be a gamble. It can be cold and it can rain, but in our case we had nearly perfect weather for three of the four days we were there. It was in the low 60s during the day, and it was consistently sunny.

I’m so grateful we visited when we did, because Venice felt pretty empty. In summer you see images of Venice being way overcrowded, so to be able to visit when it was empty was a real treat.

Venice was quiet while we visited
I can’t imagine Venice gets much quieter than this

Venice can also get really hot in the summer, so as much as I’m someone who usually seeks our warm weather, I’ll take the city in the low 60s over the low 80s… especially without the crowds.

On our first night we were jetlagged and decided to go on a late night walk, and that was probably my favorite memory of being in Venice. It was eerily quiet, and the city has a completely different feel at night.

Nighttime in Venice, Italy
Nighttime in Venice, Italy

Venice has great Italian food, but…

One thing that many people like about traveling is great dining experiences. If you like great food, don’t expect Venice to be like Milan (which shouldn’t come as a surprise):

  • Venice has phenomenal Italian restaurants; of course Italian food is tasty, but sometimes it’s nice to get a bit of variety, especially if you’re staying for a longer period
  • Venice doesn’t exactly have a great international dining scene, so if you’re expecting world class international cuisine, you might feel a bit restricted in Venice; I’m sure there are some good non-Italian hole-in-the-wall options, but based on Googling and asking concierges, I couldn’t come up with many great options

So this is just something to be aware of if you’re planning a longer stay in Venice, and having varied dining experiences is important. Or maybe I just missed all the great non-Italian restaurants, in which case I’m sure OMAAT readers will correct me shortly.

We had some great Italian meals in Venice

We want to return to Venice (surprisingly?)

When it comes to travel, I tend to think there are some places you’re excited to visit once, but don’t feel the need to return to, while there are other places you want to go back to over and over. There’s nothing wrong with a destination being in the former category, since there are lots of places in the world to explore.

Going in, I was expecting that I’d be happy about having visited Venice again, but wouldn’t want to return. Yet surprisingly, both Ford and I are already saying we’d like to go back at some point, maybe even in winter. For whatever reason we’ve decided this could be a fun place to go over Christmas (we like the idea of traveling over Christmas, but not to places that are way overcrowded).

There was something we loved so much about the experience, even though we can’t quite put our finger on it. I suspect in many ways that’s a function of our expectations having been exceeded — we lucked out with amazing weather, Venice was quiet, and we didn’t necessarily think it would be our favorite place.

We’re already looking forward to returning to Venice

Bottom line

I just visited Venice for the first time since my childhood, and was pleasantly surprised. Venice is so popular for good reason, because it’s unlike anywhere else out there. The combination of the beautiful scenery with endless walking opportunities was something we enjoyed.

However, I’m really grateful that we visited when we did, as I imagine I would have had a very different experience if visiting in summer. And of course going in March comes with some risk of rain and cold weather, though we lucked out in that regard.

If you’ve visited Venice, what did you make of it?

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  1. Gemma harris Guest

    We spent a week in venice we visited the churches, saw lots of art went into genuine Chichetti places and tried their pastries and more. Venice has a lot to offer except for manners and making tourists feel welcome me and my partner despite being polite also going through the effort to learn a little Italian to make the effort of being polite and following etiquette within Venice also, to no avail, the only people...

    We spent a week in venice we visited the churches, saw lots of art went into genuine Chichetti places and tried their pastries and more. Venice has a lot to offer except for manners and making tourists feel welcome me and my partner despite being polite also going through the effort to learn a little Italian to make the effort of being polite and following etiquette within Venice also, to no avail, the only people we came into contact with that were polite were a lovely married couple who owned a cafe bar, and the vinyl bar who had lovely staff were they were friendly and welcoming. outside of the four people we met that were lovely mass majority were not unfotunalry.

  2. Doddy Guest

    We went late March too. Unfortunately we wasn't as impressed. The prices are extortionate as the fee to sit down is added on everytime you stop for a coffee. Restaurants are overpriced too, for what we found was run of the mill food.

    You have to love walking,it is very pretty and if you're into architecture and history you'll love it.

    If you are not a walker make sure you get a hotel...

    We went late March too. Unfortunately we wasn't as impressed. The prices are extortionate as the fee to sit down is added on everytime you stop for a coffee. Restaurants are overpriced too, for what we found was run of the mill food.

    You have to love walking,it is very pretty and if you're into architecture and history you'll love it.

    If you are not a walker make sure you get a hotel on the grand canal so you can take advantage of the vaparetto
    ( public boat service ) and buy a ticket that covers you for your entire stay otherwise that's pricey too.

    Gondolas are a set fee of 80 euros before 7pm and 100 after 7pm. It was a great experience but a bit smelly.

    I personally wouldn't go back but then we wasn't staying in a 5 star property and taking private water taxis.

    If you have plenty of money you can probably see it with a lot less hassle and enjoy a night out at the casino.
    If not, do your homework before you go. You can do it without spending a fortune but I don't reckon you can do it cheap.

  3. Super VC10 Guest

    Glad you fell under the spell of La Serenissima. I'm fortunate to have travelled to Venice dozens of times since the late 60's - for both work and pleasure - and in all seasons and weathers. Do consider Venice in winter, as it is equally beautiful at that time of year; often silvery and grey, but with dazzlingly sunny days as well. If you're lucky, Lucky, it may snow during the night, an event that...

    Glad you fell under the spell of La Serenissima. I'm fortunate to have travelled to Venice dozens of times since the late 60's - for both work and pleasure - and in all seasons and weathers. Do consider Venice in winter, as it is equally beautiful at that time of year; often silvery and grey, but with dazzlingly sunny days as well. If you're lucky, Lucky, it may snow during the night, an event that is absolutely magical. Venetian snow quickly melts, however, so get out early in the morning with your camera!

  4. Maurizio Guest

    Venice , is magical because is the most beautiful place in the world.

    Every street you walk through, you see something beautiful.
    Venice Is unique.

    Why doe’s anyone go to Venice and try to find French or Indian restaurant exc…

    I go to Italy to eat and Experience Italian food Not Berger and chips.
    You can get that anytime anywhere in the world.

    I been to Venice 12 times and I will be going back.

    Maurizio

  5. AMAngle Guest

    Venice, looks too rundown, too much walking, no way to seat, if you want to seat you have to pay; I am not a sea food people, and the water smells!
    This is just the truth, plus super expensive!!!!

  6. Sue (PhilaTravelgirl) Guest

    Venice is one of my “first loves” and hasn’t changed. Ive stayed in many hotels until I met a couple that manage flats/apartments. Made me love city even more shopping in markets, finding secret happy hours, etc. A few of my musts - Row Venice (womens non profit that provides rowing lessons and food tour), Walks of Italy highlight tour includes boat plus church lookout from across San Marco. Peggy Guggenheim museum is lovely and...

    Venice is one of my “first loves” and hasn’t changed. Ive stayed in many hotels until I met a couple that manage flats/apartments. Made me love city even more shopping in markets, finding secret happy hours, etc. A few of my musts - Row Venice (womens non profit that provides rowing lessons and food tour), Walks of Italy highlight tour includes boat plus church lookout from across San Marco. Peggy Guggenheim museum is lovely and Vino Vino restaurant near Fenice Opera has fantastic wine and pasta. I’m going back this summer and can’t wait.
    The city is best early morning wandering the empty streets before the day tours/cruise folks descend.

  7. Chrisy Guest

    We visited February 2020 for my husbands 50th birthday and loved it. We’re now going back, our first holiday since Covid, with my parents and our 15 year old son, in August and cannot wait. We just loved it. So peaceful, no cars, just strolling around. We visited other islands as part of a day trip and had a day in Leo de Jesolo - husband had been there for Ireland playing in the World Cup many years ago. Can’t wait until August.

  8. Amy Guest

    An earlier comment got mis-posted, so trying again: headed to Venice in May for the first time in many years, and will be there solo. Would love any restaurant recommendations from the avid Venice travelers and eaters here.

  9. Julie Guest

    We just spent a week there in the middle of March. There were few tourists during the week, the weekends had quite an influx but they went away. And with no cruise ships and most Asians not traveling it felt empty compared to the other 6 times I’ve been there. Try renting an apartment for a more authentic experience. We had a massive palazzo on Campo Santo Stefano for the price of your fancy hotel...

    We just spent a week there in the middle of March. There were few tourists during the week, the weekends had quite an influx but they went away. And with no cruise ships and most Asians not traveling it felt empty compared to the other 6 times I’ve been there. Try renting an apartment for a more authentic experience. We had a massive palazzo on Campo Santo Stefano for the price of your fancy hotel room. You should have mentioned how the art Biennale is being held this year and will draw many this summer. And the cost of a vaporetto rude is higher for non-residents (€7.50) so walking is a much more economical means of transport. Overall, a not very insightful write up…

  10. jj Guest

    Living in Britain, I have visited Venice many times over the years, so it's fascinating to hear the first impressions of a new traveller.

    I'm very surprised by your disappointment at the food scene, as I've always found incredible restaurants there. Maybe tastes differ; maybe you got unlucky. And next time, jump in a boat. The water taxis are expensive but a great experience.

    You don't say much about what you did there apart from...

    Living in Britain, I have visited Venice many times over the years, so it's fascinating to hear the first impressions of a new traveller.

    I'm very surprised by your disappointment at the food scene, as I've always found incredible restaurants there. Maybe tastes differ; maybe you got unlucky. And next time, jump in a boat. The water taxis are expensive but a great experience.

    You don't say much about what you did there apart from walking around and taking in the atmosphere, which, to be fair, is a great thing to do. On a return visit, I would definitely enjoy some of the incredible church interiors, the Guggenheim, trips to Murano and Burano, and some fabulous shopping in the many hundreds of tiny boutiques that sell completely unique, handmade items...Venice is so bad for my wallet!

  11. Kajs Guest

    Always funny to read from Americans that city is walkable! That's how it should be designed.
    Even Venice with those canals is.
    But yes, Venice is Perfect off the season, or in pandemic times.
    Mass toursime had really ruined it.

  12. SullyofDoha Guest

    I Lived in Padova back in the late 1990's. Its a 40min train ride to Venice. Much more affordable, great food and not the same level of tourist hoards.

  13. Brenda Guest

    Korean food: Restaurant Coreano Bado. It was very tasty to this non-Korean and "more authentic than Los Angeles Korean" to my Korean-American friend. It wasn't quick to get to (bus from Piazzale Roma, then bus or tram, plus a shirt walk). 60 euros for two people to have way too much food the last week of March 2022.

    1. Icarus Guest

      Why would you dream of going to Venice and eating Korean? Pazzo

  14. Jay Guest

    I been to Venice twice and I absolutely loved it. I did , though, experience both sides of the spectrum. Venice can be the most magical place on earth especially with that special someone, but it can also be one miserable destination if the weather turns on you. I for one experienced Venice under a full day of pounding rain. That made for a horrible experience. Regardless, once you experience Venice especially overnight, you will long to return

  15. Ian Guest

    You definitely lucked out on the weather - We were there last Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and it rained every day. Still magical without the crowds and enjoyed waiting out the downpours on some outdoor covered patios. We stayed at the Hyatt Centric on Murano and while it lacked the luxury and sense of place of the Gritti Palace it is a great points option for families with kids since it has two story large...

    You definitely lucked out on the weather - We were there last Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and it rained every day. Still magical without the crowds and enjoyed waiting out the downpours on some outdoor covered patios. We stayed at the Hyatt Centric on Murano and while it lacked the luxury and sense of place of the Gritti Palace it is a great points option for families with kids since it has two story large suites. For anyone planning a trip consider the Vivaldi concert at the San Teodoro theatre - even our teenager loved it.

  16. CXP Member

    We went to Venice in Jan 2020, right after the flooding, with the idea that fewer people would be there at the time. This turned out true. While some places were still packed - like the Piazza San Marco - it was overall not too bad and I can only imagine what it would look like in July. Weather was chilly at times but warmed up with the sun and was perfect for walking all...

    We went to Venice in Jan 2020, right after the flooding, with the idea that fewer people would be there at the time. This turned out true. While some places were still packed - like the Piazza San Marco - it was overall not too bad and I can only imagine what it would look like in July. Weather was chilly at times but warmed up with the sun and was perfect for walking all over town, so winter seems like a good choice timing wise (your mileage may vary of course but we generally love traveling over the winter holidays/christmas). We stayed at the Hyatt on Murano - their boat service takes you into Venice and back easily. Walking all over Venice lets you discover all kinds of interesting places, and the history is just fascinating. I read that cruise ships are now banned from Venice - a good move if true I would say.

  17. Gina Guest

    My spring vacation has been in Venice, Italy every March/April for 23 years ... two weeks each time, in an apartment rented through Views on Venice. It would have been 26 years had it not been for missing the last three years due to COVID. I am going back in May and can't wait. Getting lost in Venice is the best part. I skip tourist restaurants and eat at off-beaten-path establishments. Spritz, prosecco, prosciutto, cicchetti,...

    My spring vacation has been in Venice, Italy every March/April for 23 years ... two weeks each time, in an apartment rented through Views on Venice. It would have been 26 years had it not been for missing the last three years due to COVID. I am going back in May and can't wait. Getting lost in Venice is the best part. I skip tourist restaurants and eat at off-beaten-path establishments. Spritz, prosecco, prosciutto, cicchetti, cappuccino, speaking Italian, chorus pass for visiting many chiese (churches), Accademia, Guggenheim, Murano, Burano ... the list goes on and on and never gets old!

    1. Tina Guest

      I'm visiting Venice for the first time in May, any restaurant/cichetti recommendations would be appreciated

    2. Gina Guest

      Hi Tina ... here are some places I particularly love ... mostly in Santa Croce, San Polo, and Dorsoduro sestieri (three of six districts of Venice). Adagio Caffe and wine bar in San Polo (really good cicchetti); Gelateria San Stae (must-have gelato); Pasticceria Pitteri in Cannaregio (one-of-a-kind pistacchio torta de Venezia); Osteria Ai Carmini in Dorsoduro off of Campo Santa Margherita; Osteria Ai Artisti in Dorsoduro (really special restaurant, very small); Bar Al Prosecco (wine,...

      Hi Tina ... here are some places I particularly love ... mostly in Santa Croce, San Polo, and Dorsoduro sestieri (three of six districts of Venice). Adagio Caffe and wine bar in San Polo (really good cicchetti); Gelateria San Stae (must-have gelato); Pasticceria Pitteri in Cannaregio (one-of-a-kind pistacchio torta de Venezia); Osteria Ai Carmini in Dorsoduro off of Campo Santa Margherita; Osteria Ai Artisti in Dorsoduro (really special restaurant, very small); Bar Al Prosecco (wine, prosecco, spritz, cichetti platters); Alla Bifora on Campo Santa Margherita (wine bar, prosciutto/cheese platters -- community tables so you'll need to like meeting new people! stays open into the early morning hours).

    3. Michele Guest

      I am visiting 29th April to 3rd May and would also be interested in any eatery recommendations. I'm so excited for this holiday! Thanks

    4. Gina Guest

      Hi Michele ... see list above I just sent Tina. Enjoy your time in Venice!

  18. philelltt Member

    Impecunious points travellers might look at some of the chain hotels in Mestre and then commute to Venice. We used the 4Points by Sheraton and got a big modern room, gym and garden. Overnight prices are about $100,and points redemptions reflect that. There is a huge shopping centre/supermarket /restaurants opposite and a train station attached to that. Bus service is regular. You can get into Venice easily. Tourist tax is a lot lower here. I...

    Impecunious points travellers might look at some of the chain hotels in Mestre and then commute to Venice. We used the 4Points by Sheraton and got a big modern room, gym and garden. Overnight prices are about $100,and points redemptions reflect that. There is a huge shopping centre/supermarket /restaurants opposite and a train station attached to that. Bus service is regular. You can get into Venice easily. Tourist tax is a lot lower here. I travel with a disabled person, so the easy accessibility of all this was crucial. Disabled people and partner can get free museum access in many parts of Italy, including Venice.

    1. ChrisGVA Guest

      I disagree, my experience in 4P was good (even got a nice suite), but first the area is full of beggar and you feel living in a industrial area, too far of Venice..

      I've been also in the Hilton Molino Venice and the experience in the area at night was magical, for sure my next trip will be in center of Venice.

    2. Richmond_Surrey Guest

      Mestre is good place to stay, especially if you arrive by car. Stayed there in July/August 2020 and enjoyed it. 32 euro per night with free car park. 10 minutes by bus or train to Venice terminal. No crowds in Venice. It was my 3rd visit and probably the last. Mobile (cell) monitoring of visitors and other measures tells me I don't want to visit again.

  19. Jaime Maya Guest

    Been there 7 times and never get tired of that beautiful city. First time I was there was in 1968 with my parents I was 17. Since then most of my visit has been in winter, autumn and spring just after Easter. Highly recommend visiting during non tourist times.
    Summer visit was in 1968 with my parents but was enjoyable then

  20. tcdtcd Guest

    Venice is, in a way, Disney World or a museum. Fake. It’s population has been dropping for years (historic city only 50k and shrinking) due to over-tourism and flooding.

    To be fair, I’ve been there in Jan (brutal cold), March (damp cold drizzle entire time), and August (dreadfully overrun).

    We don’t plan to ever return.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      What a sad life you seem to lead.

    2. Blaz Guest

      Not sad I think, but terrible timing. Venice remains one of the most beautiful cities in the world and every experience I have had supports that. I love it, but I am glad that others do not.

    3. Giovanna Guest

      Non credo che Venezia piangerà la tua assenza!

    4. Mystara Guest

      There's objective assessment, and then there's this.

      It reads as though written by a whiny only-child, who never got told "so what?" when growing up.....

  21. Carol Guest

    Just returned from Venice & happily didn't read that last blog till now What a miscarriage of Venice Get on the vaporetto every day or the H20 taxi Glad you stopped taking photos but you still didn't see the city

  22. elizabeth lush Guest

    Hi!
    Definitely go in winter. We went in the first two weeks of December, quietest time to travel, it was empty with Christmas lights. Myself and husband, and two Japanese girls were the only people on the tour of the Dodge's Palace. Stayed in small, local hotel off St Mark's with a roof top terrace. We had one brilliant sunny day, one misty, magical ancient day, one mild grey and the day we left...

    Hi!
    Definitely go in winter. We went in the first two weeks of December, quietest time to travel, it was empty with Christmas lights. Myself and husband, and two Japanese girls were the only people on the tour of the Dodge's Palace. Stayed in small, local hotel off St Mark's with a roof top terrace. We had one brilliant sunny day, one misty, magical ancient day, one mild grey and the day we left the tides were so high we used the flood facilities, saw the door seals and bailed early to boat to the airport from the boat-bus stop nearest to Harry's bar xxx Recommend the bus-boats through the Arsenale, to the Ghetto and up and down the Grand Canal. Because we know it so well visually, it felt like it belonged to us immediately, and we to it. Serenissima is something else! xxxx LOVED your pictures, and hotels! x

  23. Ian Snowley Guest

    Hi Ben, I’m loving the new reports and increased trip activity. On Venice I’m surprised you didn’t get out onto the water in the Vaparetto (water buses) as they’re an easy and inexpensive way to enjoy what’s special about Venice and experience it like the locals!

  24. Andrea Monti Guest

    When you come over in Milan drop me a note! The Bulgari has an amazing restaurant where you should have the risotto and Milanese veal

    1. Rick Guest

      Yeah because everyone know that hotel restaurants are the place to be in Europe… NOT

  25. Alonzo Diamond

    I think the funny thing is our perception of what food is supposed to be. We think that if it ain't pizza, pasta or red sauce, it's not Italian food. Most Italians don't eat that stuff weekly. Italian food can take many forms depending on the region. Soups, stews, crostini, grilled vegetables and fish are what Italians eat regularly. Which could be said of any region honestly lol.

  26. BT Guest

    I love Venice, too. Had low expectations (from so many people saying it was crowded, touristy, Disneyland-esque, smelly) and ended up being just totally blown away. I stayed in a cheap hotel with a room right on the Grand Canal and the sound of the water lapping at the stone walls and the boats going by really stuck with me. I was there in late October (six years ago), and though it was crowded in...

    I love Venice, too. Had low expectations (from so many people saying it was crowded, touristy, Disneyland-esque, smelly) and ended up being just totally blown away. I stayed in a cheap hotel with a room right on the Grand Canal and the sound of the water lapping at the stone walls and the boats going by really stuck with me. I was there in late October (six years ago), and though it was crowded in a few spots, it wasn’t hard to find places with almost no other people. Would love to go back, and plan to at some point.

  27. Orlando Guest

    We visited late November 2021, it was cold but not crowded at all, rain was expected but ended up being sunny, just a few days before the city was flooded, be we were also lucky.

  28. JoeMart Guest

    I'm glad to read your prose about Venice added to that of Lord Byron, Longfellow, Binyon, Jong and Pasternak.

  29. Hobbs Guest

    Stay in a less trafficked sestiere, and hit the major sites at opening.

  30. Kinga Guest

    We are visiting Venice almost every year. Once we took an airbnb experience together with my child and since then we felt in love in Venice. Meeting locals is always another experience during trips. They can give you ideas what to visit, where to eat, which are not known for tourists. During another airbnb experience we also visited a glas fabric in Murano. That was also cool. Burano is also a small, quiet and unique...

    We are visiting Venice almost every year. Once we took an airbnb experience together with my child and since then we felt in love in Venice. Meeting locals is always another experience during trips. They can give you ideas what to visit, where to eat, which are not known for tourists. During another airbnb experience we also visited a glas fabric in Murano. That was also cool. Burano is also a small, quiet and unique island. The history of Venice is fabulous. Every corner in the city has something to tell.

  31. Mick Guest

    Agree with your sentiment. My wife and I went (my second visit and her first) a few years ago and everyone said “yuck Venice it’s so crowded blah blah”. We loved it!!!

    And you can definitely eat on a budget. Pizza and house wine is very reasonable.

  32. VitaliU Guest

    Venice has its own cuisine, centuries old and wonderful. I will take Venetian food scene over that of Milan any day, just like I will always take a trip to Venice over a trip to Milan.
    I did not comment on your review of hotel restaurants, since this is, after all, what your blog is about but to draw any conclusions and/or make any comments about Venetian food scene after you had at least...

    Venice has its own cuisine, centuries old and wonderful. I will take Venetian food scene over that of Milan any day, just like I will always take a trip to Venice over a trip to Milan.
    I did not comment on your review of hotel restaurants, since this is, after all, what your blog is about but to draw any conclusions and/or make any comments about Venetian food scene after you had at least two out four dinners at hotels.... well, that's just funny.
    I just returned from Venice yesterday, stayed 6 days, had wonderful meals and can't wait to go back.

  33. Alinsfca Guest

    I totally agree that Venice is magical and wanted to go back. The first time I went there was over 20 years ago on a day trip! Then I went back in early June a few years ago and had a room facing the canal near San Marco Square. Every morning when I woke up it was just wow! In a way, I thought the experience after dark is kind of like when I stayed...

    I totally agree that Venice is magical and wanted to go back. The first time I went there was over 20 years ago on a day trip! Then I went back in early June a few years ago and had a room facing the canal near San Marco Square. Every morning when I woke up it was just wow! In a way, I thought the experience after dark is kind of like when I stayed at the Park Hyatt in Kyoto and just walked out to the immediate area when all the "other" tourists were gone. An ancient city all to yourself.

  34. David Guest

    I haven't been to Venice in almost 30 years. As much as I would like to return, I don't have a husband/partner to share such a romantic city with, and would want to experience it with him.

    1. Caryl Guest

      David, I'm in same boat ! The first time I went (half my life ago, gulp, I'm 66) it was at the end of my first trip to Europe. I spent the last week in October in a very inexpensive hotel (maybe $30/night?). The room was magical - 6-7 piece set of hand painted art nouveau furniture, parquet floors, high ceilings with a sink basin in the corner (sans bathroom) and lastly, two Venetian windows...

      David, I'm in same boat ! The first time I went (half my life ago, gulp, I'm 66) it was at the end of my first trip to Europe. I spent the last week in October in a very inexpensive hotel (maybe $30/night?). The room was magical - 6-7 piece set of hand painted art nouveau furniture, parquet floors, high ceilings with a sink basin in the corner (sans bathroom) and lastly, two Venetian windows which overlooked a side canal. I forced myself to venture out of that fabulous room to aimlessly wander and soak in the atmosphere, have a few (bad) meals and walk, walk, walk. It was so very romantic that I swore I'd never return unless it was with a love interest (or even a like interest). I have since aquired Italian citizenship "through the blood" and have returned to visit Italy a dozen times, however have never returned to Venice for the above mentioned reason. But never say never, hope springs eternal.

    2. Amy Guest

      Traveling to Venice in early May while my husband has meetings in Milan. It’ll be my first time in Italy in 7 years, and first trip to Venice in 10. Would love any inexpensive (for Venice, at least) restaurant recommendations in Venice proper from all the Venice travelers posting in these comments.

    3. Amy Guest

      No idea how this comment got placed here! Sigh.

  35. Icarus Guest

    Italian food ? Veneto has its own dialect and cuisine. Why the comment about “ international cuisine”? You don’t go there for burgers and a Chinese. Cocooning yourself in a luxury hotel rather than going off track and eating chicchetti with locals

    1. Louis S Guest

      Amen. Was thinking the same thing. Does she go to Bangkok looking for tacos? C’mon.

  36. Benedict16 Guest

    Agreed!!! Favorite place on earth. It can be like a dream. Even in the height of Carnivale I found peace and magic strolling solo at dawn. A visit in 2001 when the euro was about 0.85 to the dollar made Frette and Fratelli Rossetti shopping sprees and private gondolas painlessly inexpensive. And, after my first Aperol spritz, leaving the port on a huge gay cruise ship one summer left me with an surreal (though environmentally...

    Agreed!!! Favorite place on earth. It can be like a dream. Even in the height of Carnivale I found peace and magic strolling solo at dawn. A visit in 2001 when the euro was about 0.85 to the dollar made Frette and Fratelli Rossetti shopping sprees and private gondolas painlessly inexpensive. And, after my first Aperol spritz, leaving the port on a huge gay cruise ship one summer left me with an surreal (though environmentally and politically incorrect) indelible memory. For a dark take see the 1990 atmospheric movie "The Comfort of Strangers" with it' (then young) awesome cast.

  37. Giovanna Member

    Ben, ma come si fa ad equivalere Venezia a Disney World??? Ma quando mai!

  38. JP Guest

    Where would you want to stay next time you go?

  39. Alan Guest

    It's the most romantic city in the world. I visited in September 2020, when tourists numbers were obviously drastically lower than usual, and found it absolutely magical. I wanted to weep at the beauty

    1. Ivan B Guest

      We were just in Venice this past winter. Our stay at the Hyatt Centric was nice and inexpensive, using points to upgrade to the unique 2-level suite that had a retractable roof and beds for our 2 kids. It was pretty empty in Venice, and the weather was cool but not too rainy. It was hard to find a place to eat early dinner. Surprisingly, we did have really good felafel in the Jewish Ghetto area. There are two kosher restaurants there, one meat and one dairy.

  40. Isha Guest

    We were there a week ago and stayed at the Bauer Hotel. Venice tends to get a mixed reaction from people but we were pleasantly surprised how much we liked it there. Getting lost and finding new restaurants was a daily adventure we truly enjoyed. Of course the weather and sparse crowd made the experience better. Agree with everything u wrote in ur note including food.

  41. RetiredATLATC Diamond

    Thanks for the review @Lucky. We always prefer to travel in the early spring and fall, so March of next year seems like a good time for us in Venice (if the airfares stop being so ridiculously expensive).

    You should try Tbilisi over New Year's, you won't be disappointed.

  42. Never In Doubt Guest

    “ decided to go on a late night walk, and that was probably my favorite memory of being in Venice. It was eerily quiet, and the city has a completely different feel at night.”

    Exactly. And it’s like that even in the busy times. Once the cruise ships and the tour bus crowds leave at night, with no automobiles, it’s silent.

    You were in Italy for four days, and you bemoan the lack of non-Italian...

    “ decided to go on a late night walk, and that was probably my favorite memory of being in Venice. It was eerily quiet, and the city has a completely different feel at night.”

    Exactly. And it’s like that even in the busy times. Once the cruise ships and the tour bus crowds leave at night, with no automobiles, it’s silent.

    You were in Italy for four days, and you bemoan the lack of non-Italian food? You disappoint me. In the universe of regional Italian food, I’d put Venetian somewhere in the middle, but c’mon.

  43. _ar Guest

    Venice can be very atmospheric and magical in winter. One of my favorite times to visit - and without tourists to boot. Do also visit the outlying neighborhoods like Cannaregio or the San Michele Cemetery (both Stravinsky and Diaghilev are there), plus take a train to Padua and see the incredible Scrovegni Chapel.

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Icarus Guest

Italian food ? Veneto has its own dialect and cuisine. Why the comment about “ international cuisine”? You don’t go there for burgers and a Chinese. Cocooning yourself in a luxury hotel rather than going off track and eating chicchetti with locals

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Never In Doubt Guest

What a sad life you seem to lead.

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philelltt Member

Impecunious points travellers might look at some of the chain hotels in Mestre and then commute to Venice. We used the 4Points by Sheraton and got a big modern room, gym and garden. Overnight prices are about $100,and points redemptions reflect that. There is a huge shopping centre/supermarket /restaurants opposite and a train station attached to that. Bus service is regular. You can get into Venice easily. Tourist tax is a lot lower here. I travel with a disabled person, so the easy accessibility of all this was crucial. Disabled people and partner can get free museum access in many parts of Italy, including Venice.

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