12 min read
Last week, BRB's Travel Expert Roxana gave you her highlights from her last trip to Berlin, the city of Beers, Bratwurst and Beautiful Views. This week, our Founder Greg, takes you to Venice and the island of Murano, a place he had the opportunity to explore during one of his 2019 trips with BRB.
Jewel of Italy, Queen of the Adriatic Sea, and one of the most popular destinations on travellers’ bucket lists, this week BRB transports you to the heavenly city of Venice.
The infamous floating city is built across a total of 118 small islands in the northernmost waters of the Mediterranean Sea and is connected by a series of stunning canals and more than 400 picturesque bridges. The unique semiaquatic setting of Venice makes the city a truly magical and one-of-a-kind place to visit.
As if that isn’t enough, Venice is also home to magnificent palaces, grand cathedrals, bustling public squares and fascinating museums and art galleries. Not to mention the mouth-watering local cuisine, the charm of strolling down the cobbled streets and the dreamy atmosphere. This is a city which just keeps on giving.
I am absolutely obsessed with this city, and you will be too. Whether you visit in the glorious hot summer sun or in winter when you can avoid the tourists and enjoy uninterrupted photo ops, Venice is always guaranteed to enchant.
Photo Credit: @eltigre_ch
Globe trotters travel far and wide for a glimpse of this celebrated city but lucky for us UK dwellers, Venice is just a short 2-hour plane journey away.
From that introduction you might be thinking, “how on earth is he going to fit all that Venice has to offer into one 48-hour trip?” and trust me, it has been a difficult task! However, for you my dear BRBers, I have tried my very hardest and created the ultimate itinerary for the vay-cay of your dreams! So, read on and check out how to make the very most of your trip to Venice!
After a 2 hour flight from London, I land at Venice-Marco Polo Airport (one of the two major airports in Venice). I want to make the most of my time in the city so I jump in a taxi and head straight to the Dona Palace Hotel to drop off my bag.
Situated in the historic heart of Venice, the 4* Dona Palace hotel is a perfect reflection of the city's gothic design. Although it is located so close to many important Venetian landmarks, the hotel offers a very intimate and quiet ambiance.
The rooms have a luxurious design, living up to the name of Palace, you will feel as if you are a royalty visiting Venice.
If you are visiting during summer, make sure to enjoy the morning sun and coffee on the hotel's rooftop terrace that also benefits of a private jacuzzi. Alternatively, if you enjoy a late night glass of wine after a busy day, grab a drink at the hotel's bar and enjoy it on the ground floor terrace.
In classic BRB fashion, we are kicking off this 48-hour guide with a trip to a historic public square – Venice’s very own Piazza San Marco. The gorgeous Piazza is not just a must see in itself (Napoleon called it “the world’s most beautiful drawing room”) but it also hosts some of Venice’s top attractions.
Photo Credit: @bergneko
First up on the list is the iconic Basilica San Marco, or Saint Mark’s Basilica. The cathedral is a fusion of Byzantine and Italian architecture dating back to 1071.
Photo Credit: @andiamoconnoi_
Over the centuries, the Basilica has been adorned with over 8,000m2 of gold mosaics which are truly spellbinding in the Venetian morning sun. Here, you can also find the Pala d’Oro, an ornate altar table made with hundreds, and I mean literally hundreds, of precious stones including 1,300 pearls, 300 emeralds and 300 sapphires.
Photo Credit: @chiaraferragni
Next up, head to the cathedral’s Bell Tower otherwise known as the Campanile di San Marco. An impressive 98.6m tall, this tower offers an unmissable panoramic view of Venice and lucky for you there is a lift all the way up!
Photo Credit: @martaguiadeveneza
Finish up your morning in the luxurious Gran Caffe Lavena, our top pick for a taste of the traditional Venetian coffee houses. The architecture and furnishings have been preserved from when the caffe was first established in 1750 giving the place a dreamy feeling.
Photo Credit: @ravazzolo_official
You don’t have far to walk to get to the next stop on your tour of Venice, just cross to the other end of the square where you will find the Museo Correr. If the art and history of Venice piques your interest this is an absolute must visit.
Photo Credit: @vincenzo_fontana
As you wander through the many stunning rooms of this ex-Royal Palace you will be met with paintings and sculptures that tell the stories of daily city life in Venice’s past.
Photo Credit: @hobbitontherun
Round off your day of inhaling Venetian culture, with a visit to the Palazzo Ducale. The Palace was the official residence of the Doges (or Dukes) of the Venetian Republic. Now, you can wander round and marvel at the Doges’ artwork collection which is rivalled by the splendour of the Palace’s interior decor.
Photo Credit: @lucasmasero
The exterior is just as impressive with pink marble creating a lacy pattern in the stonework and intricately carved columns. Little fact for those of you interested in the macabre history of this building, death sentences were once pronounced between the 9th and 10th columns which are distinctly made of red marble.
Photo Credit: @lafedes
After the day you’ve had, I’m sure you have one monster of an appetite. Lucky for you, I know just the place to fill your bellies on some delicious traditional cuisine. Stroll along the waterfront and cross over some of Venice’s classic bridges to the Hostaria da Franz.
Photo Credit: @hostariadafranz
The restaurant gets its name from Franz Habeler, a young Austro-Hungarian soldier who opened the establishment more than 200 years ago. Since then it has blossomed into one of the top restaurants in Venice and really gives you a chance to indulge in some of the best authentic delicacies.
Now you might be thinking, finally it’s time to overload on pizza and pasta (this is Italy after all!) but make sure you try out some of the seafood which is the more classic Venetian specialty.
Photo Credit: @hostariadafranz
At BRB, we think no holiday is quite complete without trying the speciality drink of the area and boy oh boy does Venice have some tasty concoctions to offer. You might know some of the classic drinks which have made it onto the mainstream scene such as an Aperol Spritz or a Bellini, but have you ever heard of an Sgroppino?
Photo Credit: @swiftbars
Meaning ‘untie’ as in to untie your stomach after a hearty meal, this dessert cocktail is just what you need after Hostaria da Franz. It is made up of lemon sorbet, prosecco and vodka, in other words, the ultimate ice-cream for adults!
Our bar recommendation is the excellent and quirky Osteria all’Alba but you could also take this opportunity to get lost in the magical streets of Venice and find your own hidden gem.
Photo Credit: @onefgearuk
I know you’re on holiday but I’m sorry to say you haven’t got much time for a lie in, Venice has too many treasures for you to explore! Start the day off by crossing the magnificent Rialto bridge and do not feel ashamed to take some great holiday snaps with the views of the Grand Canal behind you.
Photo Credit: @giorgio_boves
Trust me, you’re going to want to brag to your friends about this later!
Carry on over to the Rialto Market for a bit of local hustle and bustle! The atmosphere is just incredible, and the smells of fresh foods, vibrant colours and Italian music makes this market truly a treat for the senses.
Photo Credit: @monika.tiemens
Whilst you’re here, see if you can’t sniff out a stall to grab something for breakfast! As the market gets busier with tourists later in the morning, it’s time for you to escape.
Go to Fondamente Nove and from here you can catch a boat ride to take you to Murano – the stunning island where you will spend your afternoon.
Photo Credit: @davix25
Murano is one of the most famous islands in the Venetian lagoons and is world-renowned for its incredible glass creations. In 1291, Venetian officials worried that glass-blowers’ fires might breakout and destroy the city, so they sent them away to practice their craft at a safe distance away in Murano!
Photo Credit: @ciaogabry
You can admire the exquisite glasswork in galleries, watch in awe as its being made in live demonstrations, and visit Museo del Vetro (The Museum of Glass) to learn more about the fascinating history of the art.
Photo Credit: @daniela_ankenbrand
The island is also worth visiting to see the picture-perfect brightly coloured houses. So, grab yourself a gelato and wander around this enchanting district before heading back to central Venice for the evening.
Photo Credit: @mpugah_foto
Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for, the ultimate Venetian tourist experience, it’s time for a gondola ride! Now it may seem cheesy and obvious, but there is a reason this is an absolute classic and a must do activity during your time in Venice.
Photo Credit: @adel_krepsz
I mean come on, you can’t not go for a gondola ride. There is something magical about slowly punting around the canals that just makes you forget all your cares and worries. Plus, seeing Venice from the water in the evening sun is just another level of enchanting.
Photo Credit: @romeairportshuttle
The fun isn’t over when your gondola ride comes to an end. Oh no, I have some final treats in store for you! Take a stroll along the idyllic waterfront promenade known as Zattere and stop for an aperitif in one of the bars. With views across the water to the Isle of Giudecca, there is no better place to sip on a spritz.
Photo Credit: @pietrophoto89
It’s hard saying goodbye to such a stunning city, but it helps if you are doing it with full stomachs! To wrap up your holiday we recommend finishing with a delicious meal and a glass of vino or two from the Antica Locanda Montin.
Photo Credit: @anticalocandamontin
If you don’t trust our recommendation, trust the long list of celebrities who have visited this restaurant over the years - if it’s good enough for Ezra Pound and David Bowie, it must be worth a visit! This charming restaurant will provide you with beautiful surroundings, a spectacular meal, and the closure you need to say Ciao to Venice.
If like me you love taking short weekend breaks across Europe and spending 48 hours in cities like Barcelona, Prague, Porto, Split, Bologna, Stockholm or Venice, but if like me you hate wasting hours trawling travel sites to plan and research your next weekend break, only to be hit by increased flight prices just before booking, then BeRightBack is for you!
The team at BeRightBack believes that the mission of a travel company should be to save you both time and money.
With BeRightBack, you get three trips a year to three surprise European destinations, all for the monthly cost of £49.99, which includes your return flights and your hotel.
With BeRightBack, creating a trip takes 60 seconds. Simply tell us how you like to travel when you create your account, and our concierge service does everything else for you. You won't have to lift a finger.
Best of all, you always pay the same price for your trips, no matter when you go away and we help you spread the cost of your travel, thanks to our monthly subscription.
I hope you enjoyed my 48 hours city guide to Venice and do not hesitate to use our website chat or to email us if you have any questions!
Greg (Founder of BeRightBack)
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