It might be the light, the blue water, the romantic alleys or the many canals – there is something about Venice that is simply magical. The world’s capital of romance attracts millions of tourists from all over the world and in high season the city is so packed that you constantly feel as if stuck in the middle of a gigantic open air museum. It is also one of the places where it is almost impossible not to be identified as a tourist doing touristy things and there are no unbeaten tracks to go to. Still, Venice might be overpriced and overcrowded but it is certainly not overrated.
What to see:
Since we are not first timers to Venice we didn’t visit all must visit places and frankly 36 hours would have been a bit short in time. Apart from some no brainers such as the Markus square and the Rialto bridge you should also not miss out on the following:
Take the Vaporetto to Lido if you’d like to spend a day at the beach. The lido offers a long sandy beach and it is also where the annual film festival takes place.
Where to eat:
Osteria Alle Testiere is a tiny restaurant in Venice’s Castello neighbourhood. The restaurant offers two seatings, one at 7.30 pm and one at 9.30 pm. If you don’t want to have to watch the time, opt for the later table. From the outside the restaurant is unassuming yet the many Michelin stickers and other awards on the restaurant’s window raise culinary expectations. The interior is simple and puristic and the service is friendly.
The menu changes daily. On it you will find today’s catch. We opt for insalata carprese with gambas which is excellent and a turbot fillet with a lemon basil sauce (light and subtle in taste) and tuna steak with porcini which is good but lacks rafinesse. For desert the panna cotta with forest fruit is simple but good. In essence, alle testiere provides good and honest cuisine.
Calle del Mondo Nove, 5801 Venice, Tel: 0039 041 522 7220
Ad Fiore in San Polo offers what might be Venice’s most romantic table for two. If you can score the only table outside with a view on the canale you have sorted out all requirements for a romantic evening
Where to go for a drink:
Venice’s Harry’s Bar is legendary as this is where the Bellini was invented. Celebrities (including Hemingway) discovered the bar in the 60’s and made it famous and Sex and the City revamped the Bellini in the 90’s. Today, tourists, (mainly Americans) come to Harry’s bar drink a Bellini for 16.50 Euros and enjoy the bar’s shabby chic bordering just shabby atmosphere. Coming here is a must do for many Venice first-timers.
Bauer’s Bar – The 5 star hotel houses a stylish open air bar with a beautiful view. The bar is full people dressed to the nine so it is advised to change your Havaianas and shorts for something more “adatto” if you want to come here. A perfect place for a digestif.
Where to shop:
Il Mercante di sabbia offers artistic jewellery at affordable prices.
Calle dei Saoneiri, San Polo 2724
Where to stay: The hotel Violino D’oro’s great location in the middle of Venice’s swankiest shopping area and steps away from Markus Square is its biggest trait. The rooms are simple and the hotel’s staff is helpful.