City on Water
I will NEVER forget the MAGICAL moment stepping into the water taxi and watching the city come to life. Typically you will arrive in the morning and as your water taxi motors you to your hotel, you watch in amazement . . . supplies arriving from the mainland and just the idea that there are NO CARS. It is fabulous . . . the Grand Canal, the quiet hidden canals, narrow bridges!! Travel CAN change your life and it sure did that for me!
Relax, breathe, slow breathing now, you're in the greatest travel destination I can think of!! It's Italy and its slow and easy here. Don't expect FAST service, enjoy the slow eats and slow living. It's part of the Venice charm!! Don't attempt to see all the sights I include on your itinerary . . . This is just plan B, C, & D depending on area you are in. Don't miss the Bellini or Proseco!
No stress way to enjoy your Venice vacation
- Book early so that we can get you a quaint hotel in a great location with back access (you really don't want to pull your luggage on cobblestone streets).
- When is the best time to go to vacation in Venice? ANYTIME!! I like April/May, it's always busy, but LESS busy and the weather is great.
- Take a locally guided tour of the HOT SPOTS and see them properly. Sometimes if you don't know the story behind things, you can't fully appreciate the beauty and significance of it. How many times have you looked at something iconic and wonder "what's so great about that?"
- Hire assistants to transfer you at the airport, to the train station (and sometimes to your gondola ha ha-you can and WE DID get lost-we could see it but with the alleys that just end, we just couldn't get there). I do believe in no-stress traveling.
- Hire drivers that will be waiting for you at the end of the train tracks.
- Take a walking guided tour with reputable, Italian based company. Don't you want to hear unique stories of locals that were born and raised in Venice. Oh the stories, they are amazing! Skip the ques and get access to the sights, guides have pre-ordered priority access (included in tour) and you will make your way straight up to the mezzanine. Get a close up view of the gold mosaic St. Mark's Basilica with marble inlays (this time I happened upon the Basilica right in time for mass-it was so beautiful). Soak up all of the history, guides will take you a step back in time to the city's glorious past!! As you walk along the corridors of Doge's Palace, your guide will share fascinating history of the Republic of Venice. Truly, don't skip the guide for St. Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace. Oh and Cross the Bridge of Sighs and imagine for a moment the sadness of the prisoners taking their last look at beautiful Venice. Ask about the most famous prisoner.
- Pick a couple of must-see spots, enjoy them, take it ALL IN!!
- Private, serenade Gondola Ride (most people think they all include serenade, not so). Definitely a highlight for me, the sweetest and most passionate serenade you can imagine--feels like you are the only people in Italy.
- Because everything in Italy revolves around food, take a Cicchetti Crawl. Enjoy appetizers while sipping wine in a typical bacari and wander from the Cannaregio District to Strada Nuova and to the Rialo area. With private tours, the owners will have your tapas and wines ready and waiting as you arrive.
Throw away the map
- Then throw the map away and wander, wander the Jewish Ghetto, hidden alleys, campo, piazza, cross the bridges. Enjoy the fact, that you are walking in a maze. Allow yourself to be surprised by venice in every turn. Enjoy getting lost in Venice.
- Use all of your senses, not only see all of the beauty, but take time to hear the beautiful Italian conversations, the chiming church bells, the serenades. Smell the wonderful fragrant, fresh fruit stands, or the earthy scent of truffles or pastries, spices as you pass the restaurants and salt water in the canals.
When you feel like it's a dream come true, it just keeps getting better!
The most important thing is to enjoy your Italy vacation. Be a traveler, not a tourist. Sharpen your photography skills so you can capture "a snapshot in time" to remember the experience and preserve the memories forever as you explore Venice, the city on water. Looking at my photos BRINGS ME BACK and its always such a beautiful memory! Justin Murphy shares some cool photo tips in this previous blog article.
I truly hope you get to go to Venice, call me, I would LOVE to help you plan the perfect Trip of a Lifetime! Please tag us when you show off your Venice Travel Adventure @VIPTravelExperience! (P.S. don't get too caught up in the photos that you MISS the moment)