Christmas in Venice
When my family surprised me with a trip to Venice for my 21st, I couldn't believe my luck. I have long been a lover of Italian food and culture (having tried and failed to make Neapolitan style pizza multiple times), so naturally, I was so excited to go. The flight was only around four hours and once we landed, we boarded a bus that drove us to Venice’s bus station, as central Venice has only walkways and canals!
The walk to our hotel was magical, as we went during December, so the alleyways were decorated excessively with Christmas lights and baubles. It felt as though we had walked for only ten minutes and we had already entered St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco). Although we wanted to stay and enjoy the sight, we decided to continue onto our hotel as by this time we were getting hungry!
St. Mark's Square
We’d booked our stay at Hotel Bisanzio, a brilliant 4-star hotel tucked away just off the Riva Degli Schiavoni waterfront which had exceptionally helpful staff who couldn’t do enough for us. As we had arrived in the evening, we were ready for dinner, so the staff recommended two restaurants close by, one of which we decided to give a try.
Pizzería Trattoria Alla Fonte welcomed us with open arms, seating us and bringing our drinks quickly. Throughout the trip, we visited many places like this, menus filled with Italian classics, such as pasta, pizza, and risotto.
The next day we hit some tourist spots and made our way back to St. Mark’s Square, entering St. Mark's Basilica. No pictures are allowed in the chapel, but trust me, it's worth the entry fee. Some of the structure dates back to the 11th century, and the mosaics on the ceiling are honestly breathtaking. We then made our way to Gallerie dell'Accademia, located in Dorsoduro, which is a museum gallery of pre-19th-century art and showcases stunning paintings and sculptures. We spent the rest of the day walking through the gallery admiring the art, then went for dinner at a restaurant.
On the final day by happy accident, we stumbled across Dal Moro’s, a lovely little place located deep in the alleyways of Venice, that makes fresh pasta to go. The place is run by five Italian men who are happy to help as soon as you walk in, as they make your pasta and sauce from scratch quickly, and I have not had a better pasta dish since! Later we stopped off at a coffee shop, and we were able to sit outside to drink our coffees without the summer stench from the canals!
Of course, we had to enjoy a Gondola ride, as it’s an iconic part of the Venice experience! Although a ride is pricey, you’ll get to see Venice from a different perspective, as the narrow canals reveal beautiful entrances to the most private hotels and exquisite apartments. The guide informs you of the history of the town and the meanings behind certain ornaments and design choices, and with the city of Venice being over 1200 years old, there's plenty to point out. It was the perfect way to end our Venice trip. After spending 10 hours a day on our feet we were exhausted, but it was worthwhile for all the beautiful places we visited!
Venice Gondola Ride