Touring Venice in 24 Hours
Also known as the ‘floating city’, Venice is one of the most recognisable destinations in the world. As the capital of the Veneto region in Northern Italy, it is the largest island among over one hundred others that lay within the Venetian Lagoon. It’s surreal cityscape of glass-like canals, gothic structures and picturesque stone bridges make it a tourist hotspot and, in the warmer months, its waterways overflow with visitors. As Europe’s colder seasons approach, the waterways provide the perfect opportunity to explore the city as it rests. Here’s a guide to creating a perfect day in the Italian wonderland.
After sitting down for an early breakfast at one of Venice’s many small bakeries, (I recommend seeking out a branch of the Farini Bakery) make your way to the promenade at Fondamente Nove where you can board a water bus, known locally as a vaporetto, to explore Burano, one of the smaller islands in the Venetian Lagoon.
While this is essentially a guide to the island of Venice, a visit to the city without exploring its colourful neighbour Burano might as well be a wasted one. In autumn, Burano’s techni-coloured houses stand brightly against overcast skies and reflect their spectrum vividly onto the island’s canals. Interestingly, while the eclectic colours of the houses seem entirely random, there is a system in place to ensure that each can only be painted a limited number of hues to maintain the beautifully mismatched appearance.
For lunch, make your way back to Venice where you will find Osteria Ae Forcoe, a small indoor bar that serves small dishes known as cicchetti, which comprise of various combinations of topped bread, polenta, and filled croissants. While the small nature of these dishes make them seem like a great option for a light snack, their uniquely-composed textures and flavours will have you making multiple orders and leaving with a full stomach.
Now it’s time to explore the city’s main attractions, namely Rialto Bridge, The Bridge of Sighs and Basilica di San Marco. When making your way to each of these locations, take the time to appreciate the beauty of Venice’s labyrinth of earth-toned brick houses, teal canals, and their overarching bridges as they are easily an attraction in themselves.
For dinner, book a table in advance at Antiche Carampane. The discreetly-located restaurant is recognised as one of the best places to eat in the city and is rarely able to accommodate last-minute diners. Here, you will find a menu of freshly caught seafood sourced from Venice’s local fish market as well as a variety of other decadent dishes. Expect to encounter a palette of flavours unlike any other.
To bring the day to a cinematic close, order a hot chocolate to take-away from one of the cafes that are open late into the evening and seek out one of the city’s iconic gondolas. Once seated, enjoy a late night ride through the Venetian canals, absorbing the magic in the warm city lights as they flicker on the surface of rippling water.