Travel has been off the cards for too long for us to be taking our trips like a tourist…
As the world’s most breathtaking destinations begin to reopen their gates for foreign travel, we’ll be looking into all the insider’s tips for making the absolute most of your stay. This week, we’re taking you on a local’s tour of the beautiful Venice, Italy.
Known as the ‘City of Canals’, Venice may be perhaps the world’s second most romantic city, closely following Paris, of course. A charming maze navigated best by a traditional Venetian gondola, Venice has so much to offer at its surface level – but even more for those who are willing to research and explore.
As recommended by the city’s most frequent and enthusiastic visitors, here are a few insider’s tips to Venice.
Where To Stay
It only takes a couple of moments to type ‘luxury hotel venice’ into Google – and it is, of course, a search that reveals some beautiful results.
One of the most famous hotels – with an equally famous view of the Santa Maria della Salute from its opulent bedrooms – is The Gritti Palace. Situated within a 15th century palazzo, this ornate hotel offers guests a formidable sense of luxury, with fine dining and even finer service. If you are set on the idea that a luxury hotel is the accommodation for you, we’d say there are few options more suitable than this.
However, if you’re looking to enjoy your trip through the eyes of a local, there are other options worth considering first…
Firstly, there are no shortage of incredible rental homes available through sites such as Airbnb. One home listed on the site, situated right within the heart of Venice, offers beauty inside and out – charming, rustic interiors lead out onto an incredible roof terrace, where up to seven guests can enjoy panoramic views of the city.
For those who wish to take things a step even further and truly ingratiate themselves with Venice life, there are plenty of residents within the city who advertise spare rooms within their home for rental. Not only does this offer a much richer taste of how residents of the city truly live, but the host is sure to be a great source of other recommendations during your stay.
Where To Eat & Drink
One of the city’s most popular spots amongst residents is Osteria Da Fiore, where Venetians are known to frequent when in search of the very finest food in the city. Perhaps the very best dinnertime destination for those looking to sample a traditional taste of Venice, this restaurant also promises an innovative and new dining experience, with guests catered for by much-loved chef Mara Martin.
If it’s the finest fresh Venetian seafood you are looking for, we’d recommend Osteria Annice Stellato. Situated away from the main centre and nestled in the Cannaregio sestriere, this hidden gem is best recognised for it’s delicious fish dishes, with one star of the menu being the fresh octopus salad. We’d recommend booking an outdoor table at sunset in order to get the absolute most out of your experience.
Finally, Venetian cuisine is available at its very best at Linea D’Ombra. A sophisticated canal-side venue, Linea D’Ombra promises traditional Venetian cuisine with a unique, modern twist. This is a must for those looking to sample some of Venice’s most vibrant tastes.
The Sights To See
During your stay in Venice, there’s certainly some famous tourist-spots that are still well worth a visit.
For example, no trip to this city would be complete without a look around the iconic Piazza San Marco, which houses three of the most famous sites in Venice – Basilica di San Marco, the Torre dell’Orologio and the gothic Doge Palace. We’d recommend setting aside a few hours to take a look around each of these, as well as giving yourself some opportunity to take a rest in one of the area’s many quaint Venetian cafes.
For a day of luxury shopping, be sure to head to T Fondaco dei Tedeschi, home of no shortage of designer stores from big-name and independent labels alike, as well as the most recent opening from celebrated Michelin-starred chef Massimiliano Alajmo.
Of course, there’s so much more to offer in the city than we could begin to describe in a single article. If you’re planning a visit to this wonderful destination at any point, we’d thoroughly recommend putting in a little research before you leave, as well as preparing to go off the beaten path in order to get the full experience.
One last tip for once you’re there, too – don’t be afraid to ask a local. Nobody knows Venice better than those who call it home.