Regularly coined as the most romantic place in the world, with more than 400 canals and waterways, Italian architecture and gondola rides, Venice has been a dream destination of mine for several years now. So, on a bit of a whim several weeks ago, I booked a three day trip for Max and I and started eagerly researching blog posts and articles on where to visit, what to do and what to see.
On Sunday night, ready for our early morning flight (6AM flights are never fun, except when Venice is the destination!), we headed to London Stansted, where we had a room booked at the lovely Radisson Blu (more about that here). After a rather jilted night’s sleep – filled with me waking up several times in a hot sweat, thinking I’d missed our flight, it was finally time to hop aboard and begin our little adventure.
1 hour and 50 minutes later, we arrived at Venice Treviso airport and were greeted by gorgeous hot weather. Although the nearest airport to Venice is Marco Polo, flights to Treviso tend to be a little cheaper (as you can fly Ryanair) and a shuttle bus takes you straight to the Pizzale Roma in Venice.
For the duration of our stay, we were very excited to be staying in the beautiful Papadopoli Venezia hotel (read my full post on it here), which is part of the Accor Hotels collection – with whom we have stayed with before and know they provide really high quality service and rooms. Luckily for us (I’d over packed my case a little) it was located within a two minute walk of the Pizzale Roma and was very central, so despite it being rather early – we decided to head over and leave our luggage with the hotel whilst we explored.
With my camera in tow, we walked towards the grand canal (a one minute walk from the hotel) and decided to have a spot of lunch overlooking the water. It’s so difficult to reign yourself in from taking photographs of Venice from possible angle, as everywhere is so picture perfect!
Italian food has to be my all-time favourite cuisine, although having never visited Italy before – the trip to Venice marked my first time eating the real deal. As a huge pizza and pasta lover, I wasted no time getting stuck in, ordering a Hawaii pizza (which admittedly wasn’t much of a change from what I order back at home), but it did have a rather beautiful view accompanying it!
With our tummies full of food, we decided to get our ‘bearings’ and take a ride on the water vaporetto bus to St Marc’s, before walking the 20 minute long, winding path home. In hindsight, this probably wasn’t the best idea for our tired feet and my sense of direction – but it did allow us to get a few gorgeous pictures of the world famous square and the Bridge of Sighs!
After a quick power nap (that 3AM start caught up with us eventually), we dressed up for dinner and strolled along the canal to a ‘Trattoria’ recommended to us by the hotel reception.
In Venice, seafood is the local delicacy (for obvious reasons) whereas meat is a little harder to come by, which usually means it’s more expensive and not as nice (words spoken by our local tour guide). Seafood however, is rather affordable and appears in every dish (pretty much) so is a great option!
Did you know – Venice is built on hundreds of thousands of wooden poles, embedded firmly in the sea bed. Built on a lagoon originally, the wooden poles don’t rot underwater because there’s no oxygen (luckily for us) however the whole city is slowly sinking into the water, meaning it has to be repaired continuously.
Warned off ‘tourist menus’ from the start, we were a little apprehensive at how the food was going to taste – but were pleasantly surprised at how delicious, fresh and affordable it was. I ended up ordering from the local menu (opting for a calorific creamy carbonara – oh but they don’t count if you’re on holiday!), whilst Max chose to follow the set menu (16 euros) having Spaghetti with clams and fried Shrimp.
After finishing every last mouthful, we strolled back down the canal in search of a gelateria – before collapsing on our bed in the hotel.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s update on Day 2!