Seeing as it was my birthday a few weeks ago as well as needing a change of surroundings, an old school friend and I (who also very recently turned 21) booked a short getaway to the serene water city, otherwise known as Venice!
The days leading up to this trip, across Europe, below freezing weather had hit which meant a few things; Snow, delayed flights and a huge wave of panic! Without knowing whether or not we would be able to board our flight, at 3:15am on the 1st of March, we set off on our little adventure.
Upon, thankfully, landing in Venice, we were hit with adverse weather conditions, lower temperatures than the UK and a whole heap of snow. Despite the snow, rain and flooding, Venice was an absolute dream. Every canal, every bridge (and trust me there were many) literally looked as if it was plucked right out of a movie scene.
With no cars on the island, Venice is the perfect place to explore on foot. Not only will you save transportation money but there’s also an endless array of photo opportunities! We found ourselves stopping, quite literally, at every new bridge we came across! While walking around, don’t worry about getting lost, my navigation skills are by far the worst but this just meant we got to stumble across hidden treasures we wouldn’t otherwise have found! The scenery and history of the small city can feel surreal at times. Traipsing around the canals and cobbled, narrow streets makes you realise how much history still lives within Venice, while locals and tourists live their modern lives in such an iconic setting.
For authentic and great tasting meals, you’ll have to venture past the tourist traps, most of these being in the proximity of the most popular tourist attractions like the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge. These restaurants are usually overpriced and serve low quality foods. One morning, we took a 30-minute walk (longer because of my, previously mentioned, crappy navigation skills) and discovered a quaint crepe café called Cocaeta that serves THE BEST crepes in all of Venice! Not to mention the budget friendly prices! Just a warning though, it is very small and easily miss-able when walking past. The crepe itself was light and fluffy with just the right amount of sweetness, I loved it. And I’m sure if you were to ever visit you’d find something right for you from the extensive menu!
When visiting a new location, one of the first things we all do is go onto trip advisor and search the top 10 eats… On our last day, before we headed to the airport we searched and came across Rossopomodoro. Now, I talked about tourist traps, and walking past this bustling restaurant you’d think it was one of them. However, they serve great tasting food at very reasonable prices, which is why it’s constantly swamped with queues outside! The pizza was fresh, the dough was cooked to perfection, not too thick and not too thin and at a good ratio with the toppings. It was divine.
I’d also like to give a quick mention to Caffè Florian, an absolute treat! Just off the side of St Mark’s Square, this is one of the oldest café’s in the world, and I think that’s something to brag about! It’s a busy but elegant café that dates back to the 17th century, and still remains with the old traditional charm and interior, a must see when visiting Venice.
Although the weather was below freezing, this provided us with a few benefits such as fewer people and queues, I can imagine Venice in the summer being over-crowded and not as easy to get around as many already claim that mass tourism has turned it into a little more than a European museum on water. However, despite all the history, Venice is not a museum. With its labyrinth of narrow bridges, courtyards and winding canals, Venice is very much a breathtaking city ideal for a short break which we thoroughly enjoyed. Not only did we get to experience such an idyllic city together, but my friend and I got to catch up on the parts of each other’s lives which we had missed over the last 10 years! I know crazy right, who would’ve thought, we had rarely spoken since primary school and 10 years later we booked a spontaneous birthday treat together! It surely was a trip to remember, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about it. Until next time…