This is not Dior | UK Marketing & Lifestyle Blog

UK Marketing, Fashion and Lifestyle Blog by 21 year old Fashion Business and Promotion Graduate, Lauren Evans.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Travel // Venice

So I’ve just returned to a very wet and cold Birmingham from a lovely sunny weekend in Venice, which was my 21st birthday gift from my boyfriend.  It’s the first time I’ve been to Italy but definitely wont be the last. Venice is truly beautiful, full of interesting culture and gorgeous sites, a few of which I thought I’d share with you all.

Accommodation & Transport

We stayed in a private apartment, which we found through Airbnb, this is a great website for finding inexpensive alternatives to hotels, which can sometimes feel a bit clinical. The apartment was situated in the heart of Castello, which is conveniently near to the water bus stop of San Zaccaria. We arrived in style (or so we like to think), on a private water taxi transfer from Marco Polo Airport. This cost us around €110, which is quite pricey compared to the €15/€20 for a public taxi, but we hadn’t pre-booked and it shortens the journey from 90 minutes to 30 and is a great way to start off the holiday; I mean how couldn’t anyone have fun on a speedboat!


The food was great (who doesn’t love pizza and pasta!) we were lucky to find a gem of a restaurant, Aciugheta, not even a 60 second walk from our apartment. It has a Michelin star and the menu reflected this beautifully. We were so happy with it that we returned again the following day. The price points weren’t too high either, which was great as it meant we didn’t have to worry about overspending.

We decided to go for after dinner cocktails at the Hard Rock CafĂ©, which is around a 10-minute walk from Aciugheta. The prices here aren’t too bad, with a long island iced tea costing around €11. We returned here for lunch on our last day and the food was delicious, not to mention the enormous portion sizes! You definitely get value for your money here.

We also ate at one of the many restaurants situated on the Rialto Bridge, which provided us with gorgeous sun soaked views of the canal. The one setback about this location was that it was very crowded, we managed to get a table next to the waters edge but I imagine this would be much harder to obtain in the Summer time, so advanced booking may be advisable. The food here wasn’t the best of the trip, and it was very expensive for the quality and small portion sizes, but again tourists heavily populate it so this is to be somewhat expected.

Things to do

The city of Venice is so beautiful that you don’t feel the need to jam pack your days full of activities, going for a stroll exploring all the side streets and taking in the stunning picturesque views are a great use of time spent here. Our apartment was situated near Piazza San Marco, otherwise known as St. Mark’s Square, which is definitely worthy of visiting and observing the amazing architectural heritage of Venice. The square is also near a small shopping centre consisting of Chanel, Burberry, Dior and Hermes stores (brilliant if you have lots of spending money!)

We were fortunate to have good weather on both of the full days that we were there so we took advantage of this by going for a mid afternoon Gondola ride. This cost €80 for the two of us, you can get shared boats for less but it’s best to have the experience all to yourselves. Our ride was 30 minutes and it was absolutely lovely drifting along the canals whilst being taught about the culture we passed along the way. There are options for longer rides, with the ‘Premium’ packages costing anywhere north of €100, but I would certainly advise this for anyone with a larger budget as it’s a really enjoyable activity.

We took the public water taxi back to Marco Polo Airport on our last day, which took around 90 minutes and can make you feel a bit nauseous if you’re prone to seasickness like me, this is mainly due to all of the stops and starts along the way, but it’s cheap and gets you from A to B.

The one thing I would say to anyone thinking of visiting Venice is that it’s very expensive. This is to be expected in tourist areas but we did find ourselves on a very tight budget towards the end of the trip, so maybe take a little extra to avoid this. I will also mention that most places closed for drinks around 1am, and there isn’t much else on offer beyond this time for those seeking a holiday with a buzzing nightlife, but if you’re after a nice chilled break like we were, then Venice is perfect for you.

Another thing to consider is the time of year that you visit; we were very lucky to have sunny days but we did experience flooding on the last day. The high tide alarm sounds whenever there’s a risk of flooding, we heard this sound every night (it’s very loud and may wake you) but only saw the effects on the last day. It caused a bit of trouble getting around as we had to carry our suitcases and didn’t have any waterproof footwear, you can buy some boots for around €15 but we didn’t bother as we were flying home later that day. Generally the Venetians are well prepared for this and there were boards on stilts in the main tourist areas to avoid walking through the water.

Overall the trip was wonderful and I’d highly recommend it for a romantic weekend break. Venice is very laid-back and it’s the perfect place to wind down and forget the daily stresses of Uni or work life!


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