Written by Maddalena Visentin for MonaCorona.com.
Venice, Italy, also called the ‘Queen of the Adriatic’ for the dominant role that had on this sea back in the Serenissima Republic days, is a place like no others. Visitors from all over the world are fascinated by its charming bridges and old palaces facing the canals. Venice is also the capital city of the Veneto region and it is based on the Venetian lagoon together with many more islands.
The city is also connected to the mainland by the Liberty Bridge. So whether you’re arriving in Venice by train, car, or bus, the moment you see the city appearing from the sea whilst crossing the bridge, is literally pure magic! Venice is the perfect European escape for a luxury weekend thanks to the vast selection of 4 and 5 stars hotels and fabulous Michelin-starred and awarded restaurants. Keep reading to learn how to spend the perfect 2 days in Venice.
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2 Days in Venice – A Luxury Venice Itinerary
How to Get Around Venice – To Gondola or No Gondola?
No matter how many days in Venice you have, the most efficient way to move around the city is on foot. This way, you can really appreciate the beauty of the Venetian ‘calli’ (narrow streets) and small squares and get a glimpse of the local life.
The small islands where Venice was built are all connected by bridges so you won’t have any problems moving around and reaching even the furthest points of the city.
In Venice, canals are like the roads in a normal city. In fact, here you can also get a ‘vaporetto’, the water bus. This is what many Venetian people do when they need to go to work or to move from one side of Venice to the other.
There are many water bus stops all around the historical center as well as on the nearby islands. You can also get a water taxi, but it’s worth knowing that this is the most expensive option. Another way, which also happens to be the oldest one, is to move around by gondola.
Today people don’t use gondolas as before, but if you’re a visitor on a luxury visit you should definitely include it in your Venice itinerary!
2 Days Venice Itinerary – The Best and Unique Things to do in Venice, Italy
Some say you can see Venice in one day, but this Venice in two days itinerary will allow you to really take in the beauty at a more leisurely pace. There are absolutely some main places that you should visit when in Venice, in particular, if you’re a first-time visitor.
To start, visit the magnificent St. Mark’s Square, one of the most beautiful public squares in the world, on one of its sides you can easily spot the St. Mark’s Basilica. This is a staple on many Venice itineraries.
The golden mosaics inside it are incredible, and you can see them for 3 euros. There are areas of the basilica for which you’ll need an admission ticket such as the St. Mark’s Treasure and the Terrace.
After the basilica, you can enjoy a 360° view of the city after climbing the St. Mark’s Campanile. You can then explore the opulent rooms of the Doge’s Palace, the best example of Venetian Gothic architecture in the city. Once inside the doge’s residence, you’ll have the chance to cross the Bridge of Sighs, before accessing the prisons.
Finally, walk for 15 minutes to reach the most incredible bridge in Venice: Rialto Bridge. Not only is it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Venice for visitors looking for luxury, it is a place lined with shops, bars, and tavernas where you can sample some ‘cicchetti’ (the equivalent of Spanish tapas but with local ingredients) and visit the market.
You can do all of this in one day in Venice, and spend your second day leisurely wandering the streets, stopping at cafes and enjoying the great restaurants, and if you feel inclined, shopping.
3 Top Hotels in Venice
Venice is not a cheap destination to travel to, even if there are always ways to save money. One way to get good deals is by booking your accommodation well in advance.
Some hotels are very popular and it’s normal to not find availability for the dates you’re looking for. Always aim to arrange this part of the trip as soon as possible when planning your itinerary of Venice.
Here’s a list of some incredibly luxurious hotels to book in Venice:
- Hotel Danieli – this is one of the finest 5-star hotels you can find in Venice. It’s well-known for its high standards of service and unique features, not just in Italy but all over the world! It’s only a few minute’s walk from St. Mark’s Square and is based in 3 different buildings dating back to the 14th, 19th, and 20th centuries.
- Hotel Bauer – another iconic 5-star hotel where the ultimate luxurious experience is guaranteed. It’s extremely close to St. Mark’s Square and decorated in Venetian style. Here, the attention to detail is outstanding. The rooms have a canal view and a romantic balcony.
- Hotel Metropole – this 5-star hotel includes a spa and wellness area and has luxurious rooms with antique furniture. It’s based in the Castello district, but just a few minutes from St. Mark’s Square and Doge’s Palace. Included in the property, is a citrus garden outside, a restaurant called Oriental Bar & Bistro, and a lounge bar.
3 Top Restaurants in Venice
You can’t say you visited Venice without having tried some of its traditional dishes during your stay. There’s really a long list of restaurants and osterie that you can try here.
Here’s a list of restaurants to go for local fresh produces and a fine dining experience:
- Quadri – this is one of the six Michelin-starred restaurants in Venice. From the menu, you can expect to see traditional Venetian dishes, revisited with a modern touch. It’s located very close to St. Mark’s Square. The restaurant is a hymn to the beauty of the city and is based on a Venetian palace, with ancient mirrors, stuccoes, and paintings.
- Venissa – this restaurant is located on the island of Burano, in the Venetian lagoon. It’s easy to reach Venice city center by water bus or taxi. Dining at Venissa is a real culinary experience where you’ll discover all about the products of the lagoon such as herbs, vegetables from the estate’s gardens, and fish from the lagoon and the upper Adriatic.
- Ristorante Da Fiore – is one of the best restaurants in Venice to try seafood. You can taste traditional dishes prepared elegantly, in order to elevate all flavors. It’s only a couple of minutes walk from Rialto Bridge.
It is not uncommon for there to be a long waiting list for these restaurants, so it’s important to check availability and book well in advance if you can.
Best Time to Visit Venice
The best time to travel to Venice is spring or early autumn. Summer is another good time to stroll around Venice’s streets and piazzas but you can expect very hot days with temperatures over 30 °C/86 °F, and many crowds.
Late March to May, when spring days are clear and relatively few tourists are moving around, is the ideal time to plan your trip to the lagoon city. September is a good alternative in terms of climate and after the first half of the month, you can also start seeing fewer tourists.
There are some events going on during these times of the year such as art and theatre exhibitions that are worth taking a look at. The most famous one is the Biennale, starting from the end of April to the beginning of November.
Avoid winters that are cold and humid (they can go down to 0 °C or less) and the city is subject to flooding due to the high tide on certain days of the week.
Venice is a romantic city destination to visit that will never disappoint you. You can see Venice in a day, but it’s best enjoyed at least over two. Its charm relies on the narrow streets, the gondolas slowly navigating the canals, the old history, and incredible architectural styles. On a final note, be sure to watch the sunset during your time in Venice, either from the Rialto Bridge or Zattere, and admire the soft and warm colors of the lagoon before the day ends.
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