Adventures In Venice!
At the end of October I took a trip with three lovely girlfriends to somewhere I had always yearned to visit – Venice.
The one recurring thought that kept echoing around my head as we wandered the beautiful dusky pink and pale terracotta streets was that it felt like I had just stepped onto a movie set.
Venice is so beautiful that it almost doesn’t feel real. Even looking back at the pictures now, the faded beauty of the buildings and the views from the canal bridges still feels totally surreal.
Italy is becoming a bit of a new travel passion for me whereas for Jennie, one of my travel companions, it has quite literally become a full time fascination. So much so that she left her lawyer job in the city to set up her own Italian cashmere company!
The Cashmere Cognoscenti!
All Wearing Lois Avery Cashmere!
They say a picture (and in this case, a video) paints a thousand words so I’ve (tried) to keep the words to a minimum.
With the exception of a few top tips for spending two days in Venice from this newbie Italy obsessive, I’ll let the photos and the Venice Vlog do the talking!
Speaking of which, the beginning of the video starts with a packing segment. Spot the glaring size difference between the suitcase I attempted to pack and the one I actually ended up taking with me!
One week on from planning some autumnal outfits for the trip, the weather forecast in Venice got a whole lot warmer and threw all four of us into a state of trans-seasonal, sartorial panic.
Something that became abundantly clear as Monica (Venice roomie) and I unpacked to find we both had four seasons worth of clothing in one suitcase!
Photo By Monica Welburn
Photo By Jennie – Lois Avery
We avoided the Disney like trappings of a full on gondola ride, instead hopping on a treghatto to cross the Grand Canal in search of an aperatif
For the princely sum of €2 each we were ferried across by one cheeky Italian gondolier with an apparent obsession with Little Britain. The video explains all – kind of!
Photo By Monica Welburn
Once settled in a bàcaro alongside a picture perfect view of the Grand Canal, we watched the sun go down accompanied by Aperol spritz, girl talk and Cicchetti.
A must try, these bite-sized slices of deliciousness usually topped with olives, cured meat, cheese or fish and accompanied by a glass of wine, are a Venetian tradition and the perfect way to celebrate arriving in this incredible city.
Feeling that the savings from a cheesy Gondola ride meant we could splurge elsewhere, the following day we took a water taxi to the colourful island of Burano.
It cost approx €115 one way and shared between four of us, proved to be every bit the Bond Girl experience it had been described as, worth every cent… and definitely worthy of a selfie!
We did economise by hopping onto the large express ferry for €6.50 for the return journey so the treat felt more than justified!
I ticked something off my bucket list that I didn’t even realise was on there by hopping aboard a Venetian water taxi that day.
Photo By Monica Welburn
Home to the craft of lacemaking, I loved Burano and it’s pretty buildings that ranged from pale pastels to vibrant brights. But compared to Venice it felt much more touristy and I think I was drawn more to the blush, beige and ochre hues of the city of Venice itself.
Spoken like a true monochrome obsessive.
My top tips for spending two days in Venice
If you’re only going for two nights as we did, draw up an plan of what you want to see and do.
Monica planned us an amazing itinerary beforehand and it meant that we really got the most out of our trip – including plenty of time for real and honest conversation over pasta and wine.
Monica – I can’t thank you enough for your organisational efforts…and for being a great roomie and Instagram Wife! 😘
Wander off the beaten track to find the best local bars for coffee breakfast or lunch. This was how we found our gangsta rap brunch venue with the highly dodgy wi-fi password!
I found the non-touristy parts of Venice to be more endearing and the views from even the tiniest bridge were to me, far better than the one you might see from a gondola.
If you have the time, squeeze in a visit to what I would describe as possibly the most understatedly glamorous department store ever – Fondaco dei Tedeschi. As with Galeries Lafayette in Paris you can head on up to the rooftop terrace for incredible views over the city.
Sadly we ran out of time to queue for said views as we had to catch our flight home but if you’re going, I’m pretty sure the short queue would be worth it. Next time…
For a stunningly gorgeous meal, head to Ristoranti Antico Martini. On Monica’s recommendation, we had our last night dinner here and the food and wine was perfect. As was the experience of watching all the late night diners come in to eat, post opera at the nearby Gran Teatro La Fenice.
Where We Stayed
Residenza Procuratie in Cannaregio – booked via Air BnB This 3 bedroom apartment is beautiful and the location was perfect for us. Highly recommend.
When To Go
I’ve heard many a time its best to avoid a visit in the warm summer months. Late October was perfect – the weather was a balmy 22 – 24 degrees but chillier in the evening.
You can find details of what I first attempted to pack for Venice here and here underneath the video on my YouTube channel too. There’s more outfit details below and in this post you’ll find the leather leggings outfit.
Thanks for reading… and watching! I’d love to hear about any of your experiences or top travel tips for Venice – please feel free to share in the comments below.
After all… there’s always a chance I’ll go back with Mr OS!
Shop My Venice looks
Video Footage Editing: Heidi Bawden