Venice has always been one of the cities I most wanted to visit here in Italy. Finally, this year, for my birthday, I had the opportunity to spend two days there. Now, I’d like to share with you my trip giving you some advice if you ever happen to stay there. So, here’s a two-day itinerary for a walk around the streets of Venice.
Arrived at the station, we take the first vaporetto to reach the heart of the city. Our first stop is Piazza San Marco, the only real square in Venice (all the others are called “campi”, fields in English). The square is famous for its museums and we certainly can not miss it. With 20 euros we buy a single ticket valid for the beautiful Palazzo Ducale, the Correr Museum, Museo Archeologico Nazionale (the National Archaeological Museum) and Sale Monumentali della Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana (the Monumental Halls of the Marciana National Library). Palazzo Ducale is undoubtedly one of the symbols of Venice and a masterpiece of Gothic art, which welcomed the Doges of the Serenissima Repubblica.
Beyond that, Palazzo Ducale is also famous for its prisons. These were built in a separate wing and then connected to the famous Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs). The bridge owes its name to the sighs of the prisoners that crossing on their way to their destiny and therefore doesn’t refer to the pains of lovers as many of you can think.
After our visit, we move to the Correr Museum, to discover the history and first of all the art of Venice. Then, it’s finally time for lunch and there’s nothing better than a tour for the famous Venetian bacari. You cannot miss Il Paradiso Perduto, Cà d’Oro alla Vedova and Al Timon in the Cannaregio district (pay attention that Al Timon is open only from 17).
In the afternoon we move towards the Grand Canal, the main “waterway” of the city. Among the bridges that cross the canal, the most famous one is undoubtedly the Rialto Bridge. Built in 1180 by architect Nicolò Barattieri, the bridge represented the central point of commerce. Once, it was the meeting point of the merchants but now is a real market, the Rialto Market.
Coming back passing through the Rialto Bridge, we move to the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, an ancient Venetian palace now used as a mall. If you think we’re here to do some shopping you’re wrong, we’re here to admire the city from above thanks to the rooftop terrace, certainly one of the most beautiful viewpoints of the city. Access to the terrace is free but it only takes 15 minutes. Two tips: visit the terrace during the hour of sunset, it’s really magical, and book online through the site otherwise you’ll have to do long queues at the entrance.
For dinner we try a small restaurant in the Dorsoduro district, Bistrò da Cici. The restaurant is located in the Salute Palace Hotel and offers the classic Venetian dishes to which the chef Stefano Bison adds a touch of creativity. The place is quite small but elegant, the staff friendly and the raw materials that are used are really good. You should go there!
We dedicate the second day to Burano, the most famous island of Venice, together with Murano and Torcello. Unfortunately, in one day we cannnot visit them all with calm and so we decide to dedicate our time only to one, Burano precisely. The island is characterized by the many colors of its houses, so small and nice, that transmit happiness only to look at them. A really long walk, some photos and we’re ready to come back to the center with our boat.
Before lunch we go to the Castello district, just next to San Marco, to visit the famous Libreria Acqua Alta, in my opinion one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. In this small but charming bookshop, where chaos seems to reign, books (new and used) are not only sold but also used as real furnishing objects. Don’t miss the small back garden, climbing a small staircase made of books you can admire the channel below.
For lunch we stay in the Castello district and book a table at Covino, the most famous enoiteca in Venice. The idea of this place was born after a trip to Paris, shared by Andrea Lorenzon (the current owner) and Cesare Benelli (head of the restaurant Al Covo). At the base there’s the idea of a cuisine focused on Italian tradition, above all Venetian, but at the same time characterized by a more contemporary imprint. The raw materials used are mainly Slow Food presidia, for example the fish is bought at the Rialto market while the meat is from San Miniato and Turin. The freshness of these raw materials is clearly felt in the flavor of the dishes, definitely a plus for this place. The menu is not à la carte buti t has a fixed cost of 40 euros for three courses of free choice (to start, to continue and to finish). Tables are not so much and so I strongly recommend you to book in advance. For lunch there aren’t particular restrictions while for dinner there are two shifts, one around 19-19.15 and the other around 21.15-21.30.
In the afternoon we move towards the Canareggio district to visit the Jewish Ghetto, the oldest one in Europe. The ghetto was born in 1516 when the Serenissima decided to confine the Jews and perhaps you don’t know that the name derives from the Venetian “geto”. Little advice: don’t miss the Kosher desserts at the Panificio Volpe.
Unfortunately, our journey ends here, short but intense. We didn’t have the opportunity to visit the whole city but I would still like to leave you the name of other places that will surely be worth visiting (I will do it as soon as I return):
– Scala Contarini del Bovolo, San Marco
– Gran Teatro la Fenice, San Marco
– Scuola Grande di San Rocco, San Polo
– Gallerie dell’Accademia, Dorsoduro
– Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Dorsoduro
– Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Dorsoduro
– Arsenale di Venezia, Castello
– Murano e Torcello
See you soon Venice, very soon …