My friends and I had about two full days in Venice and we did our best to fit in things we could not miss. Venice is such a beautiful city and getting lost here is never a burden as you can find a gorgeous sight on every corner. Canals, gelato, and pizza for days! I can’t wait to go back to this country and visit more Italian cities! Here are the top 5 things I would recommend to anyone visiting for a couple of days. Please comment below if you think I missed out on something!
1.) Visit Libreria Acqua Alta
Calle Longa Santa Maria Formosa | 5176 – Castello, 30122 Venice, Italy
This was my favorite find in Venice! Libreria Acqua Alta is a magical bookstore that any book lover must visit. They have hundreds and hundreds of books for sale with each room stuffed with books on the selves and even filled in bathtubs. If you explore further inside, you’ll find a outdoor section with stacks of books high enough to view the surrounding canal. Explore even further and you’ll find a room with a door leading directly outside the canal. The owner also has cats so you’ll see them roaming around the shop. I purchased some really cute postcards here for one Euro each. Don’t miss this spot!
2.) Eat Gelato (after every meal!)
Gelato is a must whenever in Italy. When you explore Venice, you’ll find gelato almost everywhere you look. One helpful tip I learned when trying to find more authentic gelato versus the touristy ones is to check if the pistachio gelato is not a green color. If the pistachio is very green than it is artificial and you may want to avoid it! One of our favorite gelato places we tried was Suso Gelatoteca. We visited multiple times and their gelato is very good! My favorite flavor was the Nota Nera (raspberry with dark chocolate layer) and the Manet (hazelnut and pistachio). Get your scoops and then go eat them by the canal around the corner. We made a point to eat gelato after every meal and it was very satisfying.
3.) Try as much Italian food as you can
With only two full days in Italy, we were on a mission to try as much Italian food as we could. In the picture above, we got to-go pasta from Dal Moro’s. They are made fresh and served in cute Chinese containers. Get a few containers and make your way down to the nearby canal for some beautiful views. For a nice Venice seafood dinner, try Al Timon. The servers are absolutely lovely and they even have sushi nights (weird, I know). We went to I Tre Mercanti to try their tiramisu. They have about 14 flavors of tiramisu like matcha but we visited at the end of the day so they pretty much only had the original tiramisu left. It’s a great place for tiramisu and other gourmet products and wines. We stopped by Caffetteria Goppion for a quick bathroom break and to get some cannolis. They have different flavors like hazelnut, cream, pistachio, etc. We fell for some tourist traps at times, but overall I’m happy with what we got to try in such a small amount of time and with little research beforehand. Just a general tip, try to avoid restaurants where workers are outside and enticing you to come in or any place with an English menu outside as those tend to be the tourist traps.
4.) Visit Murano (the glass blowing island)
While we only had two full days in Venice, I could not resist visiting the islands of Murano and Burano (below). Visiting both pretty much ends up like a day trip so plan accordingly. To get there, we took a water bus from Venice to Murano (about 40 minutes) by ACTV which works if you have their daily passes. Murano is the glass blowing island and it will be quite obvious why when you begin to explore the island. There are tons of shops that sell gorgeous glass objects. I purchased a red glass balloon that will always remind me of this beautiful island. After getting off the water bus, there is a shop along the left hand side where you can actually watch someone blow glass in their workshop. It’s a very interesting and fun thing to watch while you are there.
5.) Visit Burano (the island of colorful houses)
If you love Murano, you most definitely will love Burano. From Murano, you can take another water bus to this magical island full of colorful houses. It’s quite breathtaking from the first sight. We wanted to try a restaurant called Trattoria al Gatto Nero but we were out of luck as they were on holiday. We ended up eating at Bar Sport Pizzeria Spaghetteria which seemed more like a touristy place once we sat down. Which ever restaurant you want to eat at in Burano, just make sure it is a seafood restaurant as they are known for their seafood. After you reload on food and gelato, get to photo-taking! The island may be small but you really feel like each house is so unique in itself. We didn’t end up spending a whole lot of time here, but I could see myself spending a whole day here if given more time in Venice. Take your time to explore this wonderful island!