What I did:
One of the most famous and popular things to do while is Venice is to go on a Gondola ride. The rides are priced by boat, so I would suggest finding a group to go with to save money.
Explored Venice by foot-
Venice can be a very charming city to walk through. However, it can be frustrating if you have anywhere specific in mind that you want to visit. The winding roads may be shut down, causing long detours. Venice is a city that is best wandered through with little to no agenda and plenty on contingency time built in.
Church of San Giorgio Maggiore-
The Church of San Giorgio Maggiore is a beautiful building. If you go up the bell tower you will be rewarded with some amazing views of Venice.
St. Mark's Square-
St. Mark's Square is one of the most popular squares in Vencie. It also features the Basilica di San Marco. It is a nice place to walk through, but there are many tourist traps in the surrounding area.
Where I ate and drank:
6432 A Le Tole Spaghetteria and Pizzeria-
A Le Tole is a nice (and relatively well priced) pizza and pasta place. Also, it is only about a ten minute walk from St. Mark's Square. The "cavalli" pizza I had there was very good.
Dal Moro's Fresh Pasta to Go-
Dal Moro's was recommended to me by the hostel I was staying in. It is a cheap, highly rated, pasta to go place. You can choose your combination (like a pasta version of Chipotle/Moe's/Subway) and take your pasta with you as you wander the streets of Venice.
Trattoria & Pizzeria Do Mori-
Trattoria & Pizzeria Do Mori is located on the Venetian Island of Guidecca, so it was a nice ten minute walk along the waterfront from my hostel. I had the black (nero) pasta, which is made with squid ink. It was tasty and I had some very nice waterfront views.
Where I stayed:
Generator Hostel Venice-
Venice is one of the most expensive cities I have stayed in. Especially in the summer months you will be hard pressed to find a good budget option. Generator Hostels has a location on the island of Guidecca, which connects by ferry boat to the other Ventian Islands. It cost me more than I would typically pay for a hostel, and it was slightly inconvenient to access the other islands, but it has good facilities and overall was a nice place to stay while in Venice.
How I got around:
I got to Venice via train from Florence. Once in Venice I used ferry boats to travel between islands, and I walked to get around while I was on each island. As previously mentioned, I also took a gondola ride, but that was more for the ride itself than for getting from place to place.
My favorite thing:
Venice can be a very charming city to wander through with its maze of old streets.
My least favorite thing:
Venice can get extremely crowded by tourists, and it is one of the most expensive cities I have been to. If you want to go anywhere specific, it can be a pain to get there. You will likely need to wait for the correct boat, then start walking to your destination, adjust due to road blockages, walk back and around, and finally (hopefully) arrive at your destination. Also, although it a city of islands with an abundance of coastline, there is a severe lack of beaches.
For next time:
Next time I would like to go into Venice without any sort of itinerary or destination in mind and just wander the streets of the city.
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