Venice, Italy

 

Twp Days in Venice + Murano/Burano! Part of my Two Months in Europe series.

After our train ride from Rome we got into Venice for what ended up being quite a mess of a night. First of all we having a really hard time communication with out Airbnb host, he didn’t understand English very well so he was having a hard time understanding our messages on where we should meet. He quite insisting he would meet us at a waterbus stop so once we took the waterbus from the train station we waited…and waited…and waited….we ended up turning data on to message him and still not reply so we walked to the Airbnb…where he was home and not at all phased that he never met us. So half and hour of standing by the water at dusk in Venice we were covered in bug bites. Once we were settled we moved past this and headed out to dinner where then half a carafe of red wine was split on my friend without as much as a sorry by the parents of the kid who split it. She ended up just leaving the restaurant because she was so uncomfortable in her wet clothing ( thankfully all black and no white), the waiter who witnessed it also barely apologized or did anything to make up for it which kinda soured the whole night. We then returned home to quite a stuffy room where we are still not sure if the AC worked, but hey we are in Venice so you really just can’t complain!


Day One
 
We decided to have a small sleep in today after the events of last night and then hit the ground running with our DIY walking tour of Venice. We started by walking to St. Mark’s Square and worked out way through the Rick Steeves podcast. I really wish we could have gone inside the basilica but the line was so long now and we got cut off by closing time when we tried on the way back. 
 
 
 
After we made our way through the podcast and had sufficiently soaked up the Square we headed onto Rialto bridge and the market. We wandered around this neighbourhood snapping pictures for a while before we continued onto Cannaregio.
 
 
 
Cannaregio was great because the crowds really thinned out you would begin to enjoy Venice with ample breathing room. Venice was definitely the most “high season” of our entire trip and the place with the largest crowds, but once you got away from the main streets there was no one around. We popped in around this area before settling in for lunch at Da Fred e Luca. Their pasta of the day was a seafood linguine which we all ordered and it was amazing. You could tell the seafood was fresh because the pasta literally smelt like the sea. This is a super cute family run restaurant that apparently also has great chichetti later in the day.
 
 
We explored more of this area, getting lost in the back streets ( circling past the same water fountain like four times) before we started out walk home. On the walk home we stopped into Suso for gelato. This place is pretty hidden just before Rialto bridge but has amazing gelato!! I tried the Suso signature flavour, where my friends got the Doge’s cream and Pistachio and cherry and we were all over the moon with our ice cream. 
After walking half of Venice and we back we stopped briefly at home to rest our feet and plan out dinner for tonight. We really wanted to make it to Chichetti before dinner. Chichetti is like Venetian tapas and can be found at barcros, or wine bars, across the city but mostly in Rialto and Cannaregio. It usually goes 6-8/8:30pm as a pre dinner drink and snack. We went to Cantina do Mori in Rialto which is a super cute wine bar. They had super cheap Aperol and Campari( we like Aperol more but I still think Campari is really good!) spritzes  and all their chichetti was like 1-2EU for an assortment of fried seafood and seafood on crostinis. Their house wine is also super cheap and comes pumped out of the larges bottle I have ever seen in my life. The vibe here is super fun, we sat inside as we scored a table somehow ( there are like 3 tables in the bar) but tons of people just hangout on the street with big groups of friends just grabbing a bottle of proseco and a stack of snacks to share. 
After Cantina closed at 8:30pm we took a walk around the neighbourhood before settling in for a dinner at this little Trattoria on a backstreet. I wasn’t that hungry so I just grabbed roasted vegetables and some crostini which ended up being absolutely amazing. We wandered home through Venice, stopping to take in all the music in St. Mark’s Square and then walked along the water to our Airbnb, admiring the city at night. 

Step Count: 23,162
 
Day Two
Today we wanted to get as much done as possible before our train so we woke up on the earlier side. Our train was at 4 but our checkout was at noon so we packed our bags and brought them to the train station where you can pay to leave your bags for the day. After our bags were dropped off we grabbed a waterbus to Burano island where we marveled at all the colourful houses. I absolutely love colourful houses so I was totally in heaven. We spent a while wandering up and down the streets finding our favourite houses and popping into a bunch of lace stores (a Venetian specialty). 
 
 
After we felt we had our fix of colourful houses as hopped on a waterbus to Murano where we stopped into a bunch of glass stores and watch glass being blown in a studio. Handmade glass is a huge industry for Venice and a lot of the studios are on Murano so it is cool to see where the glass is actually made instead of just seeing all the souvenirs in the Venice stores. Also because glass has become so popular, similar to the Florence leather industry a lot of counterfeit Made in China products have moved in so its nice to come to Murano where there are giant signs everywhere condemning this practice and guaranteeing their “Made in Murano” status. Some of the most impressive glass structures I saw were the glass chandeliers which are a million pieces of intricate glass melded together. Most of the studios don’t allow photos so I only have a couple bad photos from the windows but I am sure if you Googled it you could see how impressive it is. 
 
 
After we had our fill our glass stores we headed back to Venice to grab lunch in Cannaregio area again as food on the island was quite overpriced. We ended up stumbling on a really cute osteria on a side street by the train station. Just look up the alleyways for a orange sign with a wine glass with a heart. This place was so cute on the inside. The walls were lined with bottles of wine and the daily menu was written on a chalk board. We were the only people speaking English in the entire restaurant, and locals kept popping in for a quick glass of wine and chichetti break. 
 
 
 
After lunch we headed to the Coop by the train station to grab snacks for our very long train. I am officially in love with Coop. I got a 1.5L of fizzy water, a bar of dark chocolate, a peach and a bag of baby carrots for 2 euros. We also grabbed a three pack of mini wine boxes 1.5EU. 
 
We had time to kill so we wandered around the Venice train station, which, like all train stations in Italy, was beautiful with tons of nice stores. We popped into Kiko Milan where my friends bought some makeup and then hopped on our train to Vienna!
Witnessed some obscene racial profiling on our train, with the police officers at the border between Italy and Austria walking straight past the hordes of white people on the train and then demanded passports only from two young Arab and black men. In most aspects of our trip you don’t notice xenophobic/racist tones that appear to have set into Europe in the news reports but this was a definitely a moment we were reminded not all in well in the world. Its often hard to reconcile happy vacation life with the life where almost all touristy streets are patrolled by heavily armed military officers and our idealistic vision of the Schegen region with the reality where young men of colour are still required to show proof to identity. 

Step Count: 14, 769
 
Favorite Food
 Drinks at Cantina and the orange wine osteria by the train station!! Lot’s of people talk about how touristy and expensive food in Venice but honestly just start wandering off the main streets and there are so many incredible places.
 
Favorite Thing
 
Burano! I loved Burano so much. Also Cannaregio is where you can experience the magic of Venice without crowds. 
 
Tips 
You can drop your bags off for a fee at the train station!
Make sure to plan in advance and get a vapretto pass instead of individual tickets as they are pricey.

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