Visit to Italy: Venice

After our 3 nights in Florence, we headed to the Firenze S. M. Novella train station and hopped on our train to the Venezia S. Lucia train station in Venice. There were a few stops along the way, the travel time was about 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Our Airbnb hosts typically offer a private water transfer to the property, but their boat was being serviced so we had the option of the public water bus or hiring a private water taxi. She told us exactly what stop to exit and the differences between the two choices. The public water bus would take between 60-70 minutes and would cost about €7,50 and the private taxi would cost around €100 but would only take us 15-20 minutes. We knew we would have some time upon arrival, so thought we would save some money and take the water bus. However, while on the train, the host messaged me that our apartment would be ready once we arrived, so we decided to take the private water taxi and save ourselves some time. This was easy to pick up outside of the train station.

View outside of train station
In water taxi
Gondolier next to our water taxi

Once we arrived at the Giglio stop, we knew we had a short walk to the apartment. Although down an ally we weren’t expecting, we were able to find the place! Our host greeted us at the door and this was another point during our trip when I was very happy we all had carry-on luggage! Up four flights of stairs to the top apartment, plus another flight of stairs once we opened the apartment door! My younger son offered to take my carry on up the final flight of stairs and up the steps into the apartment!

Here is a link to the TikTok I made with the view from our apartment.

Once we had an opportunity to check out the place, we decided to find a spot for lunch and landed on Pizzeria Ristorante Al Vaporetto. My older son and I ordered pasta and The Hubby and our youngest shared a pizza.

While there, we decided to book a gondola ride through Get Your Guide (saved my 10% as an American Express cardholder) for 5:30 p.m. After lunch we walked around a bit and wanted to ensure we knew where we were going to pick up the gondola that Stazione Gondole San Moise – Calle Larga XXII Marzo, the app indicated that it was near Hotel Bauer and we knew we had already walked past that at some point! Our supplier through Get Your Guide was Venetoinside, there was a generic “booth” next to where everyone was getting out of and into the gondolas, so I asked the guy inside – found it! He said we could wait until 5:30 or he could take us right then. So we decided to hop in!

The gondolier did not sing, but he did match my energy when I took a couple of selfies! You can purchase a ticket where they do sing to you…as our apartment overlooked one of the canals, we could hear the beautiful singing in the evening as it echoed across the narrow space between buildings.

Once we were done, we decided to relax in the apartment for awhile. As we got closer to our place, we handed the keys to our teenage boys to go back to the room so we could purchase some wine. We discovered a bakery that was very close and selected a couple of bottles of Prosecco to purchase. Everywhere in Italy served alcohol, it was very convenient!

The master bedroom was up another set of steps and there was a rooftop patio outside of the bedroom. The Hubby and I decided to grab a bottle of the Prosecco and we listened to Italian music through Amazon Music on our phone while we enjoyed the space. Guess what? I made a TikTok while I was up there! 🙂 Link here.

There were two windows on the main level of the apartment that overlooked a canal as well as Ristorante da Raffaele and Ponte de le Ostreghe. We spent quite a bit of time people watching out of these windows! Even watching the staff meticulously prepare the tables, the lighting, and the space at the restaurant below was quite interesting.

For dinner that evening we found Ristorante La Feluca which offered seating just outside the restaurant in what seemed to be an ally (this was common in Italy!) It was very warm inside of the restaurant so we opted for the outdoor dining. The food was on point!

Black garlic fettuccini with lobster

It was also at this point that we realized we did not have transportation back to the airport for the day we needed to depart. I wasn’t certain how all of this would work when I was booking everything so something we needed to consider for the next morning.

There were a few options, we really wanted the one that took the least amount of time and was most straightforward! We ended up booking a private water taxi that picked us up at the Giglio stop and took us directly to the Venice airport – thank you Get Your Guide!

The next day we had a boat tour to the islands of Murano and Burano with a glass factory visit booked through Get Your Guide. We boarded the boat at pier on the southern part of Venice in an area we hadn’t yet ventured. So we decided to get up, go down there, find where we were supposed to be, then grab something for breakfast.

As we walked into that area, the space started to open up, the buildings weren’t as close anymore as we were heading out of the canal system. I realized we were very close to the Bridge of Sighs – historic!

In that area there were tons of restaurants as well as food and shopping vendors. Once we located the piers (and spotted a cool looking restaurant for dinner) we went to one of the food vendors and each got a croissant. This was a common breakfast and something we all ate almost every morning. The youngest would typically get chocolate filled, the oldest would either get chocolate or cream filled, The Hubby would get marmalade filled and mine was either plain or cream filled. The vendor also sold individual bottles of Prosecco so that was a bonus for The Hubby and I.

We found a small piazza type area with small benches to enjoy our breakfast (trying to avoid the birds that were stalking us) and then made our way back to the piers and saw our ferry pulling into the dock. If you book excursions through apps like Get Your Guide or Viator, always scroll down to see the name of the company supplying the service – it makes it much easier! Especially when in a foreign country!

Our excursion was about 4.5 hours long and first stopped at the island of Murano, which if famous for it’s glass making. You can find Murano glass all over Venice, we decided to wait and purchase some while in Murano. We walked right into one of the factories to watch a demonstration and then we had some free time to shop. The four of us decided we had seen glass making before and wanted to take advantage of our free time so snuck out. We did some shopping and The Hubby and I decided to try an Aperol Spritz – there was a restaurant in the area where we shopped and literally everyone had one of these drinks! We got ours “to take away” so we could take it on the boat. I cannot believe I had never tried this cocktail before, it was delicious! When we would order these in Venice, they are always served with a pitted green olive on a stick at the bottom of the glass too – very unexpected! I’ll have to see what I receive when I order it in the U.S.

Once we left Murano, we headed to Burano which is known for it’s very colorful buildings! I hadn’t really planned that well for this, in my mind at the time of arrival, I should have made a reservation for lunch in advance. In hindsight, I’m happy we didn’t! We stumbled across Giardino Segretto, no website for this place! Google it!

This was an order at the counter and take a number type of place. It was very small and quaint inside, we were fortunate to find a table! There was also a small patio outside with seating. The very coolest thing about this place is that the bowls are edible! They tasted like breadsticks – very good! Everything was reasonably priced and very tasty!

We headed back to the ferry and enjoyed sitting at the front on our way back to Venice. Before we left the pier earlier that morning, I booked our reservation for dinner at one of the restaurants with an abundance of patio seating. So I happily enjoyed our time as we strolled back to our apartment from the piers…oh and bonus to stop for a treat just before crossing Ponte de le Ostreghe right next to our Airbnb.

After relaxing in our room for awhile we got cleaned up and went back down all of those steps to enjoy our final dinner in Italy. We had a reservation at Ristorante Principessa and dined at one of their outdoor tables.

They offered calamari as a main course and since this is something we all enjoy, we decided to order that as an appetizer. The Hubby and I decided to order a Prosecco Rosé – once again, the wine was very reasonably priced coming in at €31,00. The Hubby and our oldest ordered gnocchi with crab and prawn, I enjoyed the Garganelli pasta sautéed with cherry tomatoes, DOP buffalo’s milk mozzarella, capers, oregano and basil and our youngest, as per the usual, ordered a Margherita pizza. Often the pizzas were not cut, so he would use his butter knife to cut them! He LOVED the pizza there!

The next morning, our water taxi to the airport went off without a hitch! I’m happy we chose that option, it gave us time to enjoy one last boat ride before being on an airplane for a very long time!

It has been interesting to watch, over the past few years, our boys master the art of traveling with just a carry-on and a backpack. They are experts and now that they are both taller than me (and my bag is always the heaviest!) always offer to put my bag in the overhead bins. Don’t get me wrong, I can totally do it, but it’s nice to have them ask if they can help out and do it for me!

I am hoping you enjoyed these posts and if you make plans to travel to Rome, Florence, or Venice that some of our experiences help you! Here is the link to the full Venice TikTok that I made.

Now to plan the next adventure!

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