Paris in Four Months

Italy Guide: Venice

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It took me a while to fall in love with this city but I’m happy to say that I’m a converted Venice-lover at this point. It can be a tricky place to be charmed by if you’re motion sick (like me) since the number one way to get around is via boat and if you’re a little bit sensitive to huge crowds and lots of people. In small places. But if you know how to work around this, I’m sure you’ll fall in love with this beautiful place as well. Because it is true, Venice can be absolutely magical. If you see it the right way in my opinion. I don’t have plenty of suggestions for Venice but if you’d like more, you can always check out Condé Nast Traveler’s little guide to Venice for more tips and suggestions right here.

When to visit

I’m normally not a huge fan of the colder months during the year but when it comes to Venice, I definitely think that this is the best time to visit. The reason why it took me a while to fall in love with this city was because previous to 2018, I had only visited Venice in the summer. During the summer the city is packed, giant cruise ships arrives with tons and tons of people and the streets are teeny tiny in some parts of the city which means having to line up to walk down the street in some cases. Not great in a 35°C heat… The canals can also start smelling during summertime which makes this a time I’d rather plan a trip somewhere else. During the winter on the other hand, the air is crispy fresh, the sky is (most of the time) sunny and blue and the crowds are not as big as during summertime in Venice (except for during Christmas and New Years maybe) and the canals don’t smell as much either. It’s also something so special about that winter fog in the mornings and evenings, which makes the city look like something out of a movie set... It’s cold but romantic and a little bit more authentic during this time in my opinion.

What to wear

If you’re going during wintertime I recommend packing as though you’re going skiing. Well, almost at least, haha. A good tip is to bring some heattech wear to wear under your pants and sweaters. It can get really, really cold at times (and this is coming from a Swedish person) so it’s good to have layers and come prepared. Layers are also optimal in Venice since the sun can pop out during a few hours and all of a sudden you will want to take off your jacket and have a little pause in the sunshine! Comfortable shoes are also recommended since you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Walking is the number one way to get around the city since there are no buses, metro or cars (just the water taxi boats).

What to eat

Don’t miss trying the Venitian “cicchetti” = small pieces of bread with all kinds of different toppings. Rather than sitting down for a proper meal, a lot of people opt for a standing dinner made up of some “cicchetti” and a bottle of wine!

How to get there

You can get from the Venice airport with both train, boat and by bus. And before you even think it: don’t rent a car since you can’t drive in the city. During my previous visits I’ve taken both a private boat from the airport to my hotel and I’ve also tried to take the bus. Let’s just say that I can’t really be objective when it comes to this matter since I suffer from motion sickness and boats are my worst nightmare… But getting your own private taxi boat to your hotel can be magical if you’re not, of course. It’s a beautiful boat ride (although it can be very pricey) and where else can you arrive to your hotel by boat?! You can also take the “public taxi boats”, something I’ve never tried myself, which might be a better budget option if you want to save a bit of money but still catch a boat into the city. My favourite option though, is to take the bus from the airport straight into the city and from there walk to your hotel. It’s so easy and it’s so quick. The bus is called “The Venice Express” or “ATVO” and takes you to Piazzale Roma (which is a square just on the edge of the city centre). A return-ticket is about 15€ if I remember correctly and the trip takes about 20-25 min.

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Adagio Caffè & Bar 🍴☕️

I fell in love with this adorable little coffee bar in the cutest neighbourhood (away from the super super busy tourist tracks). The two women greeted us welcome each and every day with big smiles and served up a good cappuccino, very affordable spritz (3€) and little cicchettis (also very budget friendly) for lunch. Calle del Scaleter, 3028, Venice.

La Bottiglia🍴🍷

This is one of my favourite wine bars in Venice. They have good wine, but more importantly, they make delicious sandwiches. Now, I know that doesn’t sound like much, but you can’t say anything until you’ve tried them. They change condiments each day and you can choose (or let them choose) what to put between those yummy focaccia-bread slices. You can also order a cheese and ham platter which I probably could eat every single evening if I could. Campo San Stin, 2537, Venice.

Cà D’Oro alla Vedova🍴

As many other places in Venice, I discovered them thanks to my boyfriend who’s been many times before. This restaurant I haven’t actually sat down to eat at but every time we’re in the city we walk by, either on our way to a wine bar, or on our way back from one, to get a little meatball for the walk. I know, this sounds weird but they’re so yummy and makes for a perfect little travel snack. Next time I have to properly come to have a sit-down dinner at this place! Ramo Ca' d'Oro, 3912, Venice.

Vino Vero🍴🍷

Another favourite wine bar of mine is called Vino Vero and you’ll find plenty of other little gems around this neighbourhood too. This is also a little bit away from the bigger tourist crowds and I love strolling around here in the evenings. Vino Vero has plenty of delicious wine options and they also offers natural wines on their menu. Along with that you can also snack on their cicchetti, which I think are some of the best in the city. There is not much room here so you’ll have to be prepared to stand up among other happy people or drink and eat outside. Fondamenta Misericordia, 2497, Venice.

6342 a le Tole🍴

This is most definitely not the best restaurant you’ll ever visit (in my opinion) but they do satisfy that pasta craving that I get after only having cicchetti for days. Their spaghetti al pomodoro is my go to. Sestiere Castello, 6342, Venice.

Osteria Anice Stellato 🍴

If I had to pick a favourite sit-down restaurant in Venice, this would be the one. Unfortunately the prices are a little bit steeper – otherwise I would probably go every night, haha. It’s a little bit like a neo-bistro the traditional Italian way. Or does that make sense? Their menu changes daily but the pasta I had at this place was my favourite in town. I would definitely recommend booking a table since the restaurant can fill up quite easily. Fondamenta de la Sensa, 3272, Venice.

Osteria Alla Frasca 🍴

If you love fish and seafood, this is the place for you. Be sure to reserve a table before going since the place only has about 5 tables and they get booked in advance. The food is lovely, the owner the sweetest and the neighbourhood is adorable. Cannaregio, 5176, Venice.

Time Social Bar 🍸

If you’re looking for a decent cocktail during your time in Venice I would head over to the Time Social Bar. It’s tiny but they did make us some good drinks and it was cosy sitting on their sofa while looking at people passing by… Rio Terà Farsetti, 1414, Venice.

Torrefazione Cannaregio ☕️

I haven’t come across a lot of coffeeshops in Venice but this one certainly did the trick for me. I didn’t have a lot of good coffee in Venice so if I could, I would prefer to stop by this place every day. They also have vegan cakes and other items for a little afternoon treat. Fondamenta dei Ormesini, 2804, Venice.

SullaLuna ☕️

This adorable little place is a library, a little café and restaurant all in one. 2535, Fondamenta Misericordia, Venice.

Suso 🍦

One of the best gelaterias in Venice has to be Suso – even though I haven’t tried them all just yet. I love their ice cream and their flavours. My favourite? The “Suso” = caramel and the “opera” = hazelnut and a kind of Nutella flavoured gelato. Yum! Calle della Bissa, 5453, Venice.

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JW Marriott Hotel 🛏

For my very first time in Venice, I stayed at the JW Marriott hotel. It’s located on a private island outside of the main city island and is just beautiful if you’re planning on going during the summer. I know that I said that summer isn’t my favourite period to visit Venice… But if you do, this or the San Clemente Palace Kempinski Hotel are the places to stay since you’re actually not in the city and have nature all around you. The JW Marriott also has a rooftop pool with a beautiful view over the city and a SPA that you shouldn’t miss while there. They also offer a boat service to go in and out of the city. The hotel is closed during the winter months. Isola delle Rose Laguna di, 30133 Venice.

San Clemente Palace Kempinski Hotel 🛏

As the Marriott hotel, this hotel is also located on its own private island outside of the main city island of Venice. It’s a beautiful hotel and you can find both restaurants and bars on the grounds of the hotel. You never really have to leave to go into the city if you don’t want to, haha. But the hotel do offer a boat service to go back and forth to the city if you feel like visiting. The hotel is quite huge and has a beautiful little area just by the water where you can enjoy drinks or dinner. They also have a pool to survive the Venetian summer heat! The hotel is closed during the winter months. Isola di San Clemente, 1, 30124 Venice.