Nick and I landed in Venice from Croatia, ready to kick start our Italian road trip with a 1 night pit-stop in Venice. This 24 hour period was truly led by our stomachs and each story I have recounted about this city has centred around food. So if you too are guided by food on a holiday and are happy to let your nose guide you (literally) then read on!
Arriving into Venice, catch the ferry (or if you are in a bigger group/want to drop the $$$) hire a water taxi to take you to your hotel. We took the ferry and it was so lovely approaching the city from the water early in the morning. The city is just stirring and you will get fabulous photo opportunities from the water. Having caught the ferry in, we decided not to pay for the tourist trap that is a Gondola ride and save our money for well… food.
We decided to splurge on our night in Venice and situated ourselves right in the thick of it at Rosa Salva Hotel in San Marco. This boutique hotel is in a great location, only a few lanes back from Palazzo San Marco and about 10 minute walk from the Rialto Bridge. The bed was by the far the most comfortable we had slept in the whole holiday and it was nice to enjoy the luxuries of a hotel for one night.
Venice is full of great restaurants and we were immediately shocked with the drop in prices in comparison to Croatia, a short hop over the Adriatic. Italy is considerably more affordable than Croatia and hanging out in Venice after Split, made quite the stark comparison. Did anyone else notice this about Croatia?
After checking into our hotel, we started out with the intent to get lost. We just wandered for hours, exploring further and further into San Polo before the crowds thinned out and it felt like us and the locals. Just walking, we took in all the colours and canals. We headed towards the church of San Barnaba. Infamous for its feature in Indiana Jones! We then stumbled across Gelateria Il Doge – the start of my hunt for the best gelato in Italy.
We also stumbled across a too cute for words wine bar with a floating market outside of it, took in the awe inspiring, gold ornate St Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace – all in just a day!
My new favourite word is cicchetti! Cicchetti fill those afternoon cravings, imagine that in between lunch and dinner where you open the fridge not knowing what you want but secretly your body just wants to have a glass of wine and a sneaky snack. Well cicchetti is one delicious word that describes just that!
So where do you find these scrumptious Apertivos and cicchetti? Our favourite little spot in San Polo: Osteria dai Zemei – think little baguette bites with homemade ingredients and Aperols. I would definitely recommend trying a glass of their Noisola (white wine), it was so good we got a bottle!
The best gelato in Venice award goes to Suso Gelatoteca! Amazeballs. Seriously! Quite simply one of the best gelato places I tried in my whole 30 day Europe adventure. I had a scoop of the Manet (pistachio & hazelnut) and a scoop of Toffee Caramel. Sorry people, you will have to take my word for it as I was too busy indulging to stop and take a photo. My mouth waters just thinking about it…
The next morning, we woke early to see the gorgeous Rialto Bridge and find a good macchiato. Again, San Polo is where the best food is at! Head to Caffe Del Doge for your morning espresso hit. So what should you see if you only have 24 hours? I say soak it all in, wander the streets, get lost and trust that the nose knows!
Next stop >> Marco Polo airport to pick up our gorgeous fiat and head for fair Verona.