I planned a 6 day trip in Italy to visit Venice, Cinque Terre, and Rome. It was very ambitious but I believe I pulled it off successfully. Rome was admittedly quite rushed – my travel buddy Beatrice said it was a good intro to Rome trip for her and she would like to return to see it in more depth. Regarding Venice and Cinque Terre, she said we spent the perfect amount of time there to experience it fully.
Here’s what I did with my 24 hours in Venice:
1) Take the Vaporetto – a much cheaper alternative to see the cityscape from the canal instead of a gondola.
On the way, we managed to spot the art installation by Lorenzo Quinn for Venice Biennale. The work is to depict and spread awareness of rising water levels due to climate change
2) Walk along The Grand Canale and admire its beauty. Venice is quite small and everything is within walking distance if you try!
3) Eat gelato at least once…or twice
From Suso Gelatoteca I got Pistachio Amarena and at Venchi I got Pistachio and Mascarpone/Fig. Mascarpone one was amazing and Beatrice had an extremely rich Hazelnut flavour from Venchi. We preferred Venchi more, but Suso is very popular with long line ups! Beatrice’s tip for good gelato is to look for one where their pistachio gelato is not very green, it should be more yellow/brown.
4) Squeeze into the crowds at Rialto Bridge to see the spectacular view. There are loads of people, but just suck it up and do it quickly. It’s well worth it!
5) Find small cute bridges that aren’t overpopulated by tourists. Doesn’t matter which bridge, they are all so beautiful.
6) And cute alleyways. We found these places just by wandering around aimlessly moving away from the main streets.
7) Find where the locals go for Happy Hour.
We had bellinis at Al Merca, but discovered that mostly everyone ordered the Aperol Spritz – which is a wine based cocktail (to me maybe an alcoholic “Italian Soda”). Give that a try, we did later.
8) Eat at a fancy seafood restaurant.
Our pick was Osteria alle Testiere which had a 4.5 rating on TripAdvisor. Their menu changes daily as it is dependent on what fresh seafood is bought each day. Highly recommend to make a reservation if you choose to go because we managed to snag their only non-reserved table at 7pm. Few other people tried to drop in after and were declined.
9) Visit St.Mark’s Basilica (Basilica di San Marco)
Free 10 minute tour of the interior, additional museum parts require payment of a few euros – remember no backpacks at all no matter how small (unless it looks like the purse kind maybe) and to dress conservatively to match their dress code.
10) Patio by The Grand Canale
We went to Ristorante Florida which was picked at random while walking along the canal. Great view, deliciously fried calamari, and free wi-fi! We also got free pineapple vodkas and anchovy pastry (which likely is added into their gratuity fee though).
11) Eat al dente pasta
Dal Moro’s Fresh Pasta to Go is highly popular and not to mention cheap. If you like al dente pasta you’ll love the chewy texture here. They even have squid ink sauce as one of their options so you don’t need to go to a fancy restaurant to give it a try. Expect a line up though.
Enjoy Venice, it was a dream!