“To build a city where it is impossible to build a city is madness in itself, but to build there one of the most elegant and grandest of cities is the madness of genius.” – Alexander Herzen
I have a love so deep for Italy, that never wavers. From the Amalfi Coast to Venice, I love the vibrance of the country, and of course the cheap prosecco and delicious gelato! Visiting Venice for the third time last year, I naively thought that maybe I’d finally feel fulfilled and no longer have the desire to revisit. How wrong could I be. Every time I set foot on the cobbled streets of Venice, I discover new secret spots, making new happy memories, and my addiction grows deeper.
Like anywhere, tourists flock in the same areas, and often miss out on the magic of the place, that may be just an alleyway away. I don’t want you to miss out on these jewels of Venice, and so I’ve created a mini Venice Travel Guide here for you, to avoid the tourist trap spots and make the most of your time in this magical city.
I’m not gonna lie, the majority of my trips overseas revolve around food. So if you’re not passionate about eating well, then this might not be the guide for you. But if you ARE like me, and you love great, local foodie spots, then keep reading!
Gelateria Suso – Calle della Bissa, 5453, 30124 San Marco, Venezia
This place! It deserves a shrine outside, so I can kneel and worship its existence. Every flavour I’ve enjoyed here on multiple visits has been perfect. That’s a big call, but trust me on this one. And if you’re lucky enough to be there when they have their lemon and chocolate combo, order a scoop, it’s life changing in the best way. PS for the gluten free lot, this place is brilliant, they have GF waffle cones which are wrapped separately, and they use separate gelato scoops when you order.
La Mela Verde – Castello, 4977, 30122 Venezia
I’d always had this place starred on my Google map, but never made it there until my last visit, when we just happened to stroll past. It is SO.GOOD. Delicious flavours and delicious creamy textured gelato!
Al Timon – Cannaregio, Fondamenta dei Ormesini, 2754, 30121 Venezia
This restaurant was a highlight of my visit last year. Again, another place that was starred on my Google map but I’d not made it to. A friend text me whilst in Venice last year telling me I had to go, and that it was amazing, so we did. It’s a 15-20 minute walk from San Marco, and what is so great is that there are hardly any tourists in this area, but a lot of locals, which is a win in my eyes. Al Timon is situated on a lovely canal, and upon arrival you’ll see people spilled out onto the little street sipping prosecco (you can see me doing so, sat on the windowsill in the top left photo above), or for the lucky ones who got there early enough, sitting in a little boat moored next to the canal. We were there for the steak, and it did not disappoint. A shared platter of Fiorentina steak, fried potatoes and vegetables, it was honestly one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had. The atmosphere there is great too, being a tiny restaurant, there’s a buzz of chatter, whilst everyone tucks into great food and sips unbelievably well priced wine.
Oke Pizzeria Restaurant – Dosrsoduro 1414 – 30123 Venezia
I love this pizzeria for two reasons, the first being that it’s on a quiet side of Venice, looking out towards the Hilton Hotel on the island of Giudecca, so it’s less hustle and bustle, with outdoor seating for warm days. The second reason is their great tasting gluten free pizza. They even have a separate GF menu which makes life so much easier, and I’m a sucker for their gorgonzola pizza.
Skyline Rooftop Bar – Hilton Molino Stucky, Giudecca 810, Venice
I feel very fortunate to have stayed at the Hilton on my last visit, and one of the perks was having the Skyline rooftop bar on the premises. I’ll start out with saying that this bar is not cheap, so we chose to start our evening here with a pre-dinner drink whilst we watched the sun set over Venice. It’s such a beautiful location, if you want a special place to toast your vacation whilst gazing out of at the Venice canal.
Taverna Al Remer – Sestiere Cannaregio 5701 Venezia
I have to be honest, I’m actually reluctant to share this place publicly, because it’s so lovely and special that I’d hate for it to become a tourist trap. So I’m whispering it to you, just don’t tell anyone else okay?! I found out about this fabulous restaurant and wine bar on a previous trip to Venice, when I got chatting to a British family. They shared this secret and its location and we’ve since be there three times, to drink prosecco, eat delicious food and listen to live music, whilst gazing out the doors towards the Grand Canal. It’s such a lovely little spot away from the busy streets.
Corner Pub – Calle della Chiesa, 684, 30123 Venezia
I don’t know what it is about this little ‘pub’ in Venice, but I find it the cutest thing! There’s a tiny amount of indoor seating, however the best thing to do is to try andgrab a stool and prop yourself up at the outdoor bar, ordering wine, and sit there people watching (and believe me it’s a GOOD people watching spot). It’s such a fun little place. If you’re in this area, have a white wine or an Aperol Spritz for me!
Having finally made it to Burano Island last year for the first time, I can’t believe I’d not jumped on a ferry and visited this place before! It’s magical, and oh so colourful. Taking around 45 minutes by boat from Venice to Burano, from the moment you step onto this island you’ll be greeted with a rainbow of houses wherever you go, it’s soo so pretty, and I can’t tell you how many Instagrammer’s were there taking photos (yes I was one of them!). There’s plenty of restaurants and shops, however I didn’t eat a thing, I was too busy making sure I had seen every single colourful home there was to see. Definitely recommend for a half day/full day trip.
Libreria Acqua Alta Bookstore – Calle Longa S.M. Formosa 5176/b Venezia
This bookstore is like nothing you will have ever seen before. A second hand bookstore, there are literally thousands of books, all stacked up in anything from a gondola to a bathtub, it’s the most fascinating place! You don’t have to be a book lover to appreciate its quirkiness. Make sure you get a photo on the stairs made out of books, outside the back of the store!
Mercato di Rialto (Rialto Market) – Calle de la Pescaria, 30122 Venezia
Okay, I know, I know, it’s a another food spot, but I did warn you at the beginning of this blog post ;o) Rialto Market is a lovely place to wander, with vendors selling fresh seafood and produce. This market started in 1097, I mean WHAT??! Open every day of the week except Sunday, get there early to enjoy the vibrance of the place and pick up some delicious things!
There is so much more to Venice, but these are a handful of my favourite spots, and the rest I’ll leave for you to roam and discover. Let me know if there’s anywhere you think I should know about.