Postcard from Venice
At the beginning of March, I fulfilled a lifelong wish and took a trip to the floating city of Venice. It's been on my travel wishlist for some time and my visit didn't disappoint.
March was an ideal time to visit to beat the tourist rush and, despite the city's reputation for showery conditions, the weather was beautiful for the time of year. Several clear days allowed us to see Venice at its best, although, more on those notorious showers later...
First off, a little shout out to our lovely Airbnb hosts Letizia and Federica. We stayed at their compact yet stylish apartment which had everything we needed for a comfortable stay:
Our AirBnB in Venice
This little vantage point offered the perfect walking distance to the many famous sites the city has to offer - the Doge's Palace, Piazza San Marco, the Grand Canal, Rialto Bridge and the Arsenale, to name a few.
Main sights in Venice
Our apartment was based in the slower-paced area of Cannaregio, which was teeming with locals and areas of historic interest, such as the old Jewish Ghetto.
Old canal in Cannaregio
We spotted this modern yet unassuming cafe/bar, MQ10, drenched in sunlight, whilst on the vaporetto from the airport (stop: Guglie). We enjoyed a sunny afternoon by the canal at this place that was clearly quite popular with the locals.
*photo thanks to Tripadvisor user Coppiletta1980
The locally brewed Venetian Redentor ale served here was an unexpected bonus. In fact, we went back a couple of times during our stay, the Moeka ale was so good!
Venetian ales at MQ10
After long days exploring the many sights of Venice, we spent our evenings along the canals around here, taking in the early spring atmosphere at the various bàcari that lined the Fondamenta dei Ormesini and surrounding area.
We sampled delicious cicchetti (small plates/snacks) and some very decent glasses of red wine from the Veneto wine region at neighbourhood haunt Al Timon.
Evening drinks at the Fondamenta dei Orsini
Another of our favourites was Mezzopieno - a local wine and coffee bar with friendly service. We sat on the benches outside on a warm day to watch the locals go about their business.
On the third day we took to the waters to see the other islands in the lagoon. We skipped the tourist hustle and bustle of glass-making Murano, heading straight for the sleepy island of Torcello for a blow-out lunch at Locanda Cipriani.
Locando Cipriani, Torcello, Venice
The inn was opened by the founders of the world-famous Harry's Bar in Venice back in 1935, where sampling a bellini is a Venice must.
This 1930s dining experience, complete with dinner-suited waiters fussing over you, offered refined Italian dishes freshly made with regional ingredients. Don't miss out on the puddings, the trio of flavoured crème brûlées was a real treat!
Dinner at Locando Cipriani
To walk off the hearty lunch we hopped on the vaporetto to the neighbouring island of Burano, famous for the brightly painted fishermans' houses and traditional lace-making.
Colourful houses in Burano, Venice
While our visit here was blighted by a typical Venetian rainstorm, it remained cheerful through the washout.
The refection of the striking colours on the rain-soaked paths made for some stunning photographs. I was gutted I couldn't take any decent shots for Stylecamp though - what a perfect backdrop!
Colourful Burano, Venice
The relentless weather meant we couldn't stay long enough to see what else the island had to offer, but I will definitely be back in the future for a very colourful Stylecamp photoshoot.
After a long weekend getting lost in the winding alleys of this picturesque city I was really sad to be leaving. There really is no other place like historic Venice in the world and my first trip far exceeded my expectations.
There was still so much more to see, including the Peggy Gugenheim museum and the off-shore cemetery which I've heard is so tranquil and beautiful.
So I'll be seeing you again, Venice, and next time I'll be making sure it's warm enough to wear some Stylecamp!