Need to know…
✈️ Flight time: 2hrs
⏰ Time difference: +1hr
🔌 Travel adapter: EU Standard Type C
💷 Currency: Euro
🌡️ Weather: Today a high of 22°c and showery
😋 Must try dishes: Cicchetti (finger food, our favourites being the small open faced sandwiches) served in bacaris (typical Venetian bars) across the city. While at a bacaro make sure you try an Aperol spirtz to wash down your cicchetti! You also need to try Fritto Misto. Translated as ‘fried mix,’ you’ll get sardines, calamari, small fish and maybe some veg, served in a paper cone.
🚲 Getting around: Venice can be explored by foot, and that can be a delightful experience, as long as you’re prepared to get lost! The beauty of Venice is that there’s a lot to be discovered and so wandering the city can be a great way of leaving the tourists traps behind and stumbling upon some of the areas the locals love. If you know where you want to go, then the Vaporetto (water bus) is a great option, and for just €8 for a single journey of up to 60 minutes, can be a fairly cost effective option. If you’re planning to travel a lot then consider a Venezia Unica City Pass where you can arrange transport and attraction admissions all under one card.
💬 Key phrases & slang:
Grazie (Thank you)
Quanto costa? (How much does it cost?)
Vorrei andare al Ponte di Rialto (I would like to go to the Rialto Bridge)
What to do?
Discover the world’s coolest bookstore…
Porter @ Liberia Acqua Alta
📚 If you’re a bibliophile like me then the quirky, artsy Libreria Acqua Alta is a book lovers dream. A bookstore with floor to ceiling books (as well as books in bathtubs and gondolas due to the constant flooding) is a must see. There’s also a small outdoor area with book staircases - the perfect spot for a photo. Whether you’re looking to buy a good read or just take in the scene – definitely check it out. P.S. if you’re a cat lover, there’s a number of resident cats here who find cosy nooks to sleep in amongst the books 😻
🃏 You may find lady luck while visiting the oldest casino in the world. The Casino di Venezia, opened in 1638, offers an array of table games including French Roulette, Chemin de fer, Punto Banco, Fair Roulette, Black Jack and Ultimate Texas Hold'em Poker as well as plenty of slots. If you’re not really a gambler, it’s still well worth the visit given its beautiful Renaissance architecture, decadent décor and atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re in a Bond movie. The entrance fee seems to have increased in the last couple of years to €50, which includes a free drink and €20 to play the slots or table games. There are ways around this however, either via the Venezia Unica Adult pass, or via your hotel who can email the casino to get you free access.
🛶 Admittedly, gondolas are iconic to Venice and completely Instagrammable. They’re also expensive. A 25-30 minute tour can cost at least €80, rising to over €100 at night. If you’re looking for an experience that gives you more bang for your buck and a chance to go off the beaten path – or canal in this matter – consider kayaking instead. While similarly priced to a gondola ride, a kayaking trip can offer a longer (3 hours) and more interactive adventure, taking you on a tour of lesser-known corners of the city.
🕶️ The best way to view any city is well, from high up. The T Fondaco dei Tedeschi is no exception. Located at the top of a decadent shopping mall (think Gucci, Fendi, Prada), you can get an amazing 360 view of the city. Best of all, the experience is free - just make sure to book in a time slot in advance!
🏡 While it’s easy to think of Venice as being one place, it actually consists of 118 islands – two of the better-known being Murano and Burano famous for glass making and colourful houses respectively. Many islands like these are only a short water taxi from the main island and cost around €7.50 euros each way.
🍸 The locals might hate me for disclosing this cosy spot. 🤫 Sorry, but this gem is too good to not mention. Taverna al Remer, close to the Rialto bridge, is a popular happy hour spot for locals where you can get a drink (highly recommend the Aperol spritz) and some nibbles. This dimly lit restaurant is in a great location, right on the Grand Canal, but tucked away from busy foot traffic to get a quieter intimate atmosphere.
La Zucca, translating to “the pumpkin”, has earned a spot in the Michelin guide and is as affordable as it is delicious. This restaurant’s speciality is fresh vegetable courses made with natural ingredients (as well as mouth-watering meat options). The restaurant is small (seats around 35 indoors) but provides a warm experience with beautifully cooked food. Being small (and delicious) La Zucca fills up fast, so make sure to book a table if you’re visiting.
Where to stay?
Enjoy breakfast in the most perfect courtyard…
If you’re looking for something authentic then consider a stay at Cima Rosa Boutique Bed & Breakfast. This small property located right on the Grand Canal has just five rooms, giving you that cosy intimate experience. The staff are super friendly and very knowledgeable so make sure you get their advice on things to do and places to visit whilst in Venice. There’s a small courtyard by the entrance (perfect for a spot of reading), a great view of the canal to enjoy from the living/dining room, and beautifully decorated rooms that’ll make you feel right at home.
Next up, Corte di Gabriela. Another beautiful boutique hotel, this time hidden away down an alleyway, but still well located to use a base to explore the city. The hotel features beautiful terrazzo floors, chic designer furniture and some bold colours (used sensitively). With just 11 bedrooms and 2 apartments, this is another cosy accommodation option. There’s a great central courtyard, a lift for those of you with a lot of luggage, and a delicious breakfast, prepared by owner owner Gian Luca and served in the courtyard during the warmer months.
For our last suggestion why not consider the beautiful Novecento Boutique Hotel, perfectly located close to St Mark’s but tucked down a quiet alleyway (meaning you don’t even realise you’re close to so much hustle and bustle). Owned and run by the Romanelli family, this 9 bedroom hotel has been styled with Middle-Eastern and North African touches making for a very uniquely styled Venetian hotel. As with the other two, there’s a beautiful small courtyard, perfect for a spot of relaxing. Enjoy a brilliant breakfast, and for later in the day there’s a small honesty bar with wines and spirits.
Home to the world’s most famous graffiti artist - Bristol
Next week we’ll be exploring a beautiful city, synonymous with art and creativity. With storied history as a British port, a great collection of places to eat and drink, some beautiful architecture and frequently ranking highly as one of the most desirable cities to live in, we’ll be visiting Bristol.
We really want to leverage the incredible travel knowledge from the thousands of subscribers that make up our Porter community. Therefore, if you’ve ever visited Bristol, let us know the things you loved doing, or the places you stayed at. If we love your recommendations we’ll feature them in next week’s newsletter.