I’m writing this on a train to Florence, after spending the first 3 days of our honeymoon in Venice. After a super early flight on Sunday morning, we arrived in Venice about 10.30am. As soon as you arrive there is definitely something magical about this place. Having to take a boat or water taxi to your hotel may have something to do with that, plus the sun was shining so that is always a bonus!
We stayed at PalazzinaG hotel, a luxurious 5 star hotel on the Grand Canal – if you can’t splash out on your honeymoon then when can you?! On arrival we had a welcome glass of Prosecco in the bar while they took our bags and checked us in. No hanging around at a reception desk, which was a really nice touch. They had also left us a bottle of Prosecco on ice in the room, as a gift for celebrating our honeymoon.
We spent ages searching for a hotel in Venice when we were booking this trip. All of the top hotels seemed to be very classical, with really dark colours and quite traditional decoration, which isn’t really our style. PalazzinaG is different. It has a very modern design, but feels very stylish and elegant. The bedrooms are light and modern, with white bedding and lots of mirrors, while the bar and other areas are completely different, with quirky and unique decoration at every turn. It’s hidden away in a quiet area of the city, but only a few minutes walk from the hustle and bustle. When I say hidden, I mean really hidden, the hotel doesn’t even have the name outside. When you do find it though, it makes it feel very exclusive.
After settling in we made the most of the sunshine and spent the afternoon wandering the streets of Venice. The canals, gondolas, pretty bridges and tiny backstreets make this the most romantic city, so an ideal spot to start our honeymoon. I’ll admit this now, neither me or my husband are that into art, museums, cathedrals etc, so we didn’t have a packed itinerary of must see places. We both enjoy wandering really, enjoying the atmosphere of a different city and culture, with lots of coffee, gelato and Prosecco stops along the way! We finished the day with a cocktail in the hotel bar and a pizza in one of the many tratorrias of Venice.
We spent Monday doing some more exploring and lots of shopping…. If your after Ray Ban sunglasses or a leather handbag, Italy is the place to bag a bargain! We also visited Basillica San Marco (very impressive), the Rialto bridge (it was covered with scaffolding) and took a gondola ride (expensive, but you can’t go to Venice and not do this).
After drinking a bottle of Prosecco (I can see a theme developing here) we headed out to a proscuitteria recommended by our Lonely Planet bible, DOK Dall’Ava. My husband has a thing for Italian cured ham, so this place seemed perfect! It really was amazing, we shared a plate of prosciutto and the creamiest, melt in the mouth mozzarella I’ve ever had, followed by a bowl of pasta, and then of course a tiramisu. If you go to Venice are looking for something a bit different to the many trattorias lining the streets, I would 100% recommend this place!
Our last day in Venice was spent visiting the islands of Murano and Burano. When in Venice, every other shop sells colourful glass in all shapes and sizes and Murano is where this stems from. About a 10 minute water bus ride will take you there, and there are many workshops where you can see the glass blowers and artists at work. This was actually fascinating! We couldn’t believe how quickly they could turn molten glass into a horse, elephant or penguin.
The island of Burano is quite a bit further out, probably another half hour on the water bus. It’s famous for hand made lace and brightly painted houses. It really is quite pretty. The sun was shining so we indulged in another gelato and took a stroll around the island.
So now we are on the train to Florence, where we are spending 1 night in the city, then 4 nights in the Tuscany countryside. Venice was a great start to our honeymoon, but I would say 3 days was enough, particularly if you don’t want to spend hours in museums etc. It’s most definitely a walking city. Having a phone that tracks your steps makes you realise this – we’ve done 16,000 steps a day minimum so far!