Friday, June 27, 2014

Venice Italy: Photos, Travel and Tourism

After touring Rome and Barcelona the cobblestones had done their worst and my feet were aching. Sitting on the train to Venice was a relief! I struggled to stay awake and fight jet lag as we passed through beautiful countryside lush with vegetation. Small villages and churches situated high on rolling green hills dotted the land and I relished in the feeling of being so far from home.

While munching on crunchy biscotti and passing Florence I was excited to be getting closer to the city that sat at the top of my bucket list since checking off Paris and Dubai the year before.

I stayed in the small, quiet town of Mestre, a 12 minute bus ride from Venice. The accommodations in Venice were a bit old and worn so I booked at Hotel Antony which was modern, clean, comfortable and included all the amenities of North American hotels.

It is difficult and nearly impossible to explain the beauty and wonders of Venice because it is like no other city I have seen. 

Beautiful old buildings in every color line the canals, bridges flowing with travelers arch over waterways and narrow cobble stone streets display beautiful shops of colorful Murano glass. As the sun sets you can enjoy a delicious meal right out on the sidewalk along the water. I fell in love with the old rustic architecture and the constant sea of boats and gondolas as soon as I laid eyes on the city. As Venice slowly sinks the steps leading up to some of the buildings are almost fully submerged, evidence of the high tides and erosion. 

One thing I found enthralling about Venice was the traffic. In an average city you would expect to see cars emerging from side roads but in Venice boats pass down narrow streets of water and under bridges as you walk above. The heavy traffic is not from motorists but from tourists, there are no cars or traffic lights!

The first day after a long journey, I spent the evening shopping and having an amazing Italian dinner at Gino’s Pizzeria. It was the best Italian food I had during my trip! (location info for Gino's at the end of this post).

After getting some rest I started off the next day with a water taxi ride to St. Mark’s Square and Basilica. This area is one of the most crowded in Venice and annoying pigeons fly too close for comfort. 

I also made a stop at Hotel Danieli which was a hotel I had first seen in the movie Only You starring Marisa Tomei.

Doge's Palace

You can easily get lost on the winding back streets of Venice. I enjoyed roaming the charming streets with no map and ducking into shops selling  local glass jewelry and vases. 

I made a quick stop at Pandora to get my Venice charm for my bracelet.

Rialto Bridge has one of the best vantage points of the Grand Canal. It is so scenic that I could have stood there for hours marveling at the beauty before me.

After taking countless unmarked streets and getting lost in the magic of Venice I stopped on the Grand Canal to have a drink and enjoy the ambiance. I watched people happily bob in gondolas as an elderly man sang beautiful Italian music that lulled me into relaxation.

Venice as the sun sets

The next day I took water taxi number 1 from Piazzale Roma all the way to Lido. Lido is a small island with a wonderful beach. I highly recommend this route because it is incredibly picturesque. You can sit outside on the boat as it passes all the beautiful attractions.

As the sun glistened off the surface of the water and the narrow canal opened into a basin of sparkling sea, a cool breeze enveloped as we passed a big white yacht. It felt like paradise, surreal in its splendor with an aura unlike any I have experienced in a city.

Lido is a great place to spend the afternoon swimming, walking along the beach, picnicking or trying all the delicious gelaterias on the island.

The beach is covered in a blanket of colorful sea shells!

Unlike Rome where there is an overwhelming amount to see and do Venice is more relaxed. After the main tourist attractions you can spend your days leisurely immersing yourself in culture.

Additional Tourist and Travel Information:

*If you are traveling to Venice by train you can take Trenitalia. From the Rome station Termini. The journey can take up to 5 hours and cost $28. Ticket prices are subject to change depending on when you book. I recommend bringing food with you. 

*For travelers staying in Mestre 1 return trip by water taxi is 14 or 7 one way. A 3 day pass for unlimited water taxi + bus is 35 and takes you all the way to Lido. I recommend taking water taxi #1 from Piazzale Roma all the way to Lido for a beautiful scenic cruise.

*Gondola rides are about 80 Euros for 40 minutes and can usually be shared by up to 4 people. 

*The bus or water taxi also takes you to Murano island where the famous colored glass is made.

*You must remember to validate your tickets before boarding public transportation because random checks are performed. Even those with purchased tickets can be charged up to 59  if they are not validated. If you do not purchase a ticket and get caught the fine is up to 250. 

* I recommend arranging transportation  if you are staying in Venezia because carrying luggage through narrow streets can be difficult and many tourists get lost.

*Pick pockets are at large in Venice and usually circulate at major tourist attractions, on the metro, buses and in crowded areas. Make sure to lock all important documents such as passports in a safe if one is provided by your hotel. Never carry important documents and money in backpacks where they are out of sight.
*Many of the hotels in Venice are old and a bit worn. Even the ones with low star ratings are expensive due to location. For higher rated hotels you can easily spend 400-600 per night.

*Mestre is a quick bus ride into Venice and accommodations are more affordable. At Antony Hotel where I stayed it was clean and had North American hotel amenities including a continental breakfast. It also had a great authentic Italian menu for dinner. You can find this hotel HERE


*Most restaurants charge a service fee of  about 12%

*There are many great restaurants in Venice, the ones along the Grand Canal tend to be pricier and off the main canal they are more affordable. 

*I highly recommend Gino's Ristorante Pizzeria located at Cannaregio 157-30121 Venezia tel: +35.41.716072 I ate there several times because they had the best Italian food I had on my entire trip!! I recommend the tagliolini pasta in porcino cream sauce, the margherita pizza and the tiramisu was the best I have ever had! The cafe late is also great for coffee drinkers and meals come with fresh Italian bread.

*Because of all the water there are mosquitoes, I suggest taking a repellent. 

Feel free to leave comments or questions down below

*All photos are copyright of Diray of a Trendaholic and cannot be used, copied or altered in any way.*


  1. Wow, Venice is beautiful <3 I've never been to Venice, but I would absolutely love to visit it someday, thank you for all the info, I love reading your travel posts :*

  2. Venice is stunning! I can't wait to witness its beauty for myself!
    I am loving the vibrancy of your photos!
    xo Holly xo


  3. My, those pictures are gorgeous! Venice looks beautiful. I love how vibrant all the colors look.

  4. I love the colors of the buildings in the first picture! You were so lucky to visit such a beautiful city! :)

    Fashionably Sparkly

  5. Thanks for letting me visit Venice with these virtual postcards. Italy looks so beautiful! And I bet you had a great time.

  6. Wow, your photos are gorgeous. What a beautiful city! Adding to my bucket list!

  7. I love Venice! Been there twice, but always want to go back! I've never gone to Lido (it was too cold when I was there), so thanks for giving me a good excuse to take another trip there. :) I did make it out to Murano which is where a lot of the glass items you see for sale in Venice are made.

  8. I've truly enjoyed the photos you've shared on here an your Instagram. I'd say my bucket list dream vacation will have to be Thailand or Bora Bora

  9. I love Venice (I've been twice). My dream destination is the Amalfi coast - I'd love to spend a month touring Sorrento and Positano.

  10. Fiji island for sure
    Melanie Borhi

  11. Mine is Egypt - simply to learn about the beauty and upbringing of another's culture

  12. Venice is beautiful. I too came home with some nice glass necklaces that I found off the beaten path. The pigeons in the plaza at ST Marks were something else. Many people I was with had never feed birds let alone have them land on you. I have been to many locations in the world - next stop maybe a cruise down the Panama Canal.

  13. Ours is Dubrovnik. We hope to visit it this summer.

  14. Venis is a wonderfu city! I'm Italian and I kwow it well! ^_*
    My dream destination is Polinesia Islands.

  15. Love Venice so much! So my dream vacation destination is Italy!

  16. There is a french prverb that says:"Voir Venise et mourir"
    That means:"See Venice and die"
    I think it s true!

  17. italy is one of the places i dreamed to visit someday..

  18. venice is a dream
    i'm italian
    live in sardinia
    i would to visit paris

  19. ooooo Venice is def my dream destination!

    Lori R Jackson

  20. love Venice,being Italian I have been there several times and each time is a new emotion beautiful pictures of a beautiful city

  21. This is just so beautiful! =)))) Venice is one of my dream travel destinations, along with other Italian cities! ♥♥

  22. I would like to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa

  23. Amazing photos! I went to Italy twice when I was little, but it's still one of my dream destinations as I haven't been there as a grownup.
    I hope next time you come to Greece!

  24. I would love to see beachs is covered in a blanket of colorful sea shells!

  25. Venice is awesome would so like to see the beaches full of colorful shells

  26. I want to visit mothers homeland

  27. So beautiful!! This is definitely one of my dream destinations. The culture, the people, the scenery...all just stunning

  28. Gorgeous... would love to go there. Another has always been Hawaii.

  29. ...actually Venice is my dream destination. Thank you for posting these beautiful photos and the jewelry is inspiring!

  30. I would love to go to Bora Bora!

  31. I would love to visit Venice

  32. My dream vacation is to Italy.

  33. My dream vacation is to Cuba

  34. Venice is absolutely gorgeous!! What amazing photos! My dream destination has always been Paris, at fashion week!! I would die!! How amazing would that be??

  35. My dream destination is Japan. All of it no place in particular lol.

  36. My dream vacation would be hawaii if I ever got over my fear of flying

  37. My dream destination is Saint Tropez. Venice is now on my to visit list.

  38. Magnificent! Loved every one of the pictures! Thank you for sharing!


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