Ciao! It's time to discover a new city! And this time I'll take you to Italy - one of my favorite countries in Europe. I mean, Italian food, stunning weather & some of the coolest architecture in the world - what's not to like?!
Most people might consider Spring or Fall the best time to visit Venice, as Winters can be quite cold and Summers... well, they say all those little canals start to smell funny in the heat.
Since we didn't mind the cold we decided to see Venice in December - for Christmas to be precise. And we couldn't have chosen a better time! Hardly any tourists around, yet most restaurants & museums were still open and it was perfect for people watching: beautifully dressed up Italians carrying Panettone (a traditional cake enjoyed during the holiday season) on their way visiting relatives for the Christmas celebrations, excited children playing with their new toys in the tiny alleyways and younger folks just chilling in the many espresso bars.
Sure, you can take one of the popular gondola rides but they can be quite pricey. Unless, of course, you don't mind splitting the bill and sharing the ride with a handful of other tourists ;) If you're lucky you even get serenaded by the gondolier!
Other than that, Venice is best explored on foot. Forget maps, just get lost in the beautiful maze of small alleys, pause in the romantic court yards with fountains and benches & walk over as many bridges as you can! Enjoy your pizza & pasta in one of the restaurants around St Mark's Square, maybe add some cultural highlights to your trip like visiting the beautiful Peggy Guggenheim Museum.
One of our daily highlights was to drink Italian hot chocolate. It's insanely delicious and thick! And it was also a fantastic excuse to pop into one of the tiny traditional Italian cafes to get out of the crisp Winter cold.
Venice was my very first Italian city and it is fair to say that those 5 days were enough to make me fall in love with this incredible country. I have since returned many times and still can't get enough of it! So if you love Italy as much as I do - stay tuned, there will be more posts coming soon!