Have you heard that our little family is currently travelling around Europe? The first stop on our month long holiday, was Venice.
I heard lots of mixed reviews about Venice before I went. Opinions ranged from the city being smelly and over-priced, to it being a must visit.
I think Venice is definitely one of those cities that is interpreted in many different ways. You either love it, or you really don’t like it.
From the moment I stepped off the water taxi, that brought us from the airport, I couldn’t help but say wow.
I come from a beautiful seaside town in Cornwall, with perfect cobbled streets, stunning little boutiques and an array of white sandy beaches.
It takes a lot for me to be impressed, but Venice certainly made me feel excited. There is something so magical about Venice that can’t quite be described. Maybe it’s the beautiful, rustic Venetian buildings, or the fact that you need to get around by water, but it definitely has an enchanting feel that stays in your mind long after you leave.
We lugged our suitcases up and down lots of steps and narrow streets, as we tried to find our AirBnb. At every single turn I fell a little bit more in love.
The city is breathtakingly beautiful, it really cannot be denied.
Many people have commented about their frustrations of the steps – there are a lot, everywhere. But I think they really added to the beauty of the place. Plus, they were a great way to get in some much needed exercise, after tucking into yet another pasta dish.
We booked our Venice tickets last minute and one of the only AirBnb’s left was the Invisible B&B. We only had one room between three of us, but we were so happy with our accommodation.
The room was really cute and perfect for a one or two night stay. Our AirBnb hosts were so friendly and our accommodation even included breakfast.
It was in a perfectly central location, but on a quiet residential street, a mere two bridges away from the main hustle and bustle of Venice.
We were only a ten minute walk from the Rialto Bridge and all the other main Venice attractions, such as the Piazza San Marco and Doge’s Palace.
Our favourite thing to do in Venice, was to walk around. Even in October, there were flocks of tourists everywhere, but you soon get used to the crowds and there are so many little streets that remain empty if you need an escape.
It seemed like down every staircase, there was a new corner to be discovered. There were wide streets full of eateries, their seating areas flowing outdoors, so you could dine al fresco and take in the atmosphere of the city as you ate.
The smaller narrowed streets were home to charming boutique shops, designer brands and the odd cute patisserie or food shop.
We only had 24 hours to spend in Venice, but made sure to dine al fresco for both dinner on our first night, and for lunch the next day.
Just after the sunset on our first night, we explored the little streets to see how close we were to everything. Venice is so magical, even at night.
The lights of the buildings glisten off the water and gondolas don the waterways. Some gondolas are romantically lit for couples, others had families dancing away to accordion players, who accompanied them on the boats.
Food In Venice
For dinner we found an adorable little restaurant on one of the main streets. I filled my tummy with a delicious fillet steak, coupled with red wine (the chips were a mistake order due to the language barrier).
Evie insisted on have spaghetti with pesto and loved waving to everyone on the streets as she ate. It was so adorable to see her completely embracing the atmosphere, on her first ever trip abroad.
The next day after a spot of exploring, we had lunch just off the Rialto bridge. It might be very touristy but couldn’t resist the charming table next to the water.
We munched on a delicious dish of Vongole and people watched, while we basked in the last of the October sun.
I couldn’t recommend this little restaurant enough.
They were so family friendly and the waiters really loved entertaining Evie and teaching her Italian. Evie also found a new love for spaghetti and clams, completely demolishing her plate of food.
During our short stay, we decided to avoid doing any of the tours or going inside the tourist hotspots. Instead we made the most, of getting lost in this beautiful city.
Despite being October, the streets were still busy with people. Although the architecture is absolutely stunning, you can easily see why people get frustrated with the touristy nature of the city.
We found our solace in all the back roads and were glad that we hadn’t come in the summer months, when it would be swarming with even more people. We were even more happy with the fact that the October air was still warm enough for us to don summer clothes. Any excuse for a quick stop for a refreshing gelato.
One thing we noticed was the vibe in Venice. Everyone seemed so friendly and regardless of people being locals or tourists, everyone was forthcoming and seemed in high spirits.
24 Hours In Venice
We were only in Venice for 24 hours, but the little taster of this vibrant city has left me longing for more. I’ve already planned a longer stay in Venice (minus my little toddler) and intend to take full advantage of the cheesy gondola rides and the beautiful Venetian buildings there are to explore.
Venice, you seriously stole a piece of my heart.
I must admit, I was so sad to say goodbye. It is a truly beautiful city that I feel I must return to. Until we meet again.
If you are looking for more things to do in Venice with your family check out this post by ‘Erin At Large: Things To Do In Venice.
Have you ever been to Venice? Do you love it? Let us know in the comments below.