Rialto Bridge, Venice Italy

Venice, Italy | 2.0

Interestingly, two years later, I found myself booking an Airbnb for Venice, Italy. This time was different. This time I was bringing my Mom along to experience a taste of Italy. It was her very first trip to Europe, coming to visit me and meet my fiancé, Jaka, for the first time. Venice was our girls only part of the trip (sorry Jaka!) so we took a GoOpti* to Venice to begin our adventure.

I traveled to Venice in 2015 and you can read more about that trip here. In that article, I include links to all of the places I went to, prices for entrance, and tips on how to make the most of your time in Venice.

Links with a * indicate that it is an affiliate link. This means that I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. 

Venice | day one

The first day was primarily used to settle in. We found our Airbnb which was literally a 1-minute walk to Rialto Bridge. Last time I was in Venice it was the low season and still quite busy. This time, I did what I advise everyone not to do, travel to Italy in the summer. Italy can be very hot, humid, and crowded, and let’s just say they aren’t as fond of air conditioning as Americans.

We dropped our bags and began to explore. We wandered around Piazza San Marco, searched for food, and just general sightseeing. In the evening we settled down for dinner, eating plate after plate of food, and topping the night off with a gondola ride at sunset. The gondola rides are regulated and prices differ for day rides and night rides.

Venice | day two

The second day we woke up bright and early to try and beat the crowds. When they say that Venice is turning into an amusement park, they are not kidding. I have never traveled anywhere with as many tourists crowding the streets. If crowds are not your thing, pass on Venice, or stick to the low season.

We were so fortunate. When we arrived at Doge’s Palace there wasn’t anyone waiting in line! So we spent a decent chunk of the day exploring the complex. If you go to Venice and you don’t see Doge’s Palace you are really missing out. Afterwards, we stood in the blistering sun waiting to get into St. Marks Basilica. This is such an absolutely stunning church. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take photos, so I guess that means you just get to travel to Venice to see it!

The rest of the day was spent mindlessly wandering all of the small streets, going into countless little shops, and just enjoying the scenery.

Venice | day three

Day three was not exactly a full day, more of a few hours. We had to wake up earlier than I think I’ve ever before to get my Mom to the airport to go home. If you have ever traveled to Italy then you know that finding reliable information about anything can be a challenge. I could not figure out the best way to get her to the airport. I found what I thought would be the correct stop for the vaporetto (water bus) but of course, we missed it by a minute. Then we had to basically run across Venice, with two suitcases, in the dark, alone. This was really not my ideal situation. I had no idea where we were, I’ve never been to that area before, and had no clue if it was even safe.

Everything always works out, or you figure it out. Traveling is challenging. We made it across Venice, in record timing, and found a few Americans to ask about the vaporetto. Not even two minutes later it arrived to take her to the airport. At this point, the sun was very slowly creeping up. I was slightly devastated I left my camera back in the room so I ran to get it and explored Venice before most people woke up.

Let me tell you, I hate waking up early. It is on my list of least favorite things ever. But, once I am awake, I am happy to get a full day and love to take advantage of it. I’ve read about bloggers waking up before sunrise to get their pictures. I swore I never would, but here I was running around Venice with a stupid smile on my face because now I can get all the shots I want with beautiful lighting. It was such a stark contrast, empty and silent streets, compared to the typical Venice where you can barely get through a street without being stuck in a crowd.

Venice | video

I decided to try something different on this trip. My camera (Canon Powershot G7X) has really excellent video capabilities, so I thought to play around and try and shoot some videos. These were mainly shot on the second day so you get to see a bit more of what we did and learn a bit about Venice.

Venice | map

This is the same map from my first Venice article, but I did add a few new places so it will update automatically if you have it saved. I continue to update all maps as I refresh older articles. You can save this to use via your phone while traveling around Venice it contains sightseeing recommendations, shops, restaurants, and bars.

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More about Helene

A girl with an incurable case of wanderlust, forever searching for the perfect bite of food and cup of coffee.

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