After a fabulous night in Rovinj, Croatia, we sadly packed our bags and headed to the ferry that would shuttle us to the next phase of our trip – 36 hours in Venice, Italy. To be completely #unfiltered with you, Venice was our least favorite city. We are glad we went and explored the beautiful canals, but were overwhelmed by the hard-to-find good food and swarms of tourists. I would recommend everyone visit once to mark it off of their bucket list, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to go back.

July 1st 7AM-12PM – Somewhere on the Adriatic Sea

When researching how to make it from Croatia to Italy, it seemed our options were fly, drive or boat. I liked the idea of driving – we could see more of both countries and be on our own schedule – but da boo much preferred the idea of boating … or so he thought.

We found a ferry that allegedly went from Rovinj to Venice in just under four hours. Turns out, said ferry took closer to five hours and wasn’t any fun at all. You couldn’t sit above deck (I believe that’s the term) and you had to sit in a specific seat the entire time listening to the crew sell you tour packages. Not quite the glamorous ride we had in mind. If we had to do it again, we’d be driving or even risk another flight.

Lameness of the boat trip aside, we made it to Venice safe and sound.

July 1st 12PM-12AM – Venice, Italy

After getting off the ferry in Venice, we then proceeded to make our way to the water taxi station and somehow make our way to our AirBnB. I thought the bus system here was confusing, holy shit was I wrong. Water taxis seem to do whatever they want, whenever they want.

36 hours in venice, italy 36 hours in venice, italy

Once we pinpointed our home for the next two days, we spent approximately one hour being talked at by our host, and I say that in the most loving way possible. Fabio (how perfect is that name?) was an extremely gracious host and took a veeeeeeeery long time explaining all of his Venetian knowledge. After finally settling in, we ventured out the explore the maze streets of Venice. We started out with some pizza at Ai Tre Archi then zig-zagged our way to Piazza San Marco and Doge’s Palace. Along the way, we kept stumbling upon the weirdest, most random modern art exhibits across the city. Not what I think of when someone says Venice, but it was interesting none-the-less.

36 hours in venice, italy 36 hours in venice, italy 36 hours in venice, italy

Several hours later we somehow found our way back to our AirBnB for a nap and to freshen up before heading downstairs to the building’s restaurant for possibly the worst pasta ever. My pasta dish was fine (tortellini with butter and sage sauce) but my boyfriend’s bolognese tasted EXACTLY like Chef Boyardee. #Epicfail. We washed away our sorrows at Il Santo Bevitore and eventually headed to bed.

July 2nd All Day – Venice, Italy

After waking up, we had breakfast at our AirBnB and then headed out to brave the masses on a water taxi to Murano and Burano. Both are islands next to Venice – Murano is famous for its glass blowing and Burano is known for being a brightly painted fishing village. It seems everyone got the memo about island hopping while none of the water taxis wanted anything to do with it, so we battled with almost 100 other hot and sweaty tourists for a seat.

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By the time we made it to Murano, it was around 2PM, and we just made the last glass blowing show at the factory we stumbled upon. We watched in awe for 20 minutes as the artisans turned molten glass into works of art. Then we spent about $120 on a glass pig, which was obviously worth it. Another water taxi ride later, and we were at Burano with the masses.

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At this point in the day, we were hot and tired of being out in the sun, so we spent far less time in Murano than I would have liked. We raced through the main streets then headed back on the water taxi so we wouldn’t be stuck on the island for long. I wish we had gotten up earlier and spent the morning exploring Burano – it’s so picturesque and much less crowded then Venice. But alas, about 30 minutes later, we were taxing back to Venice.

36 hours in venice, italy

After a miserably uncomfortable walk back to our AirBnB (note to self – really don’t walk eight miles a day in sandals for two weeks on end), we passed out for a bit before heading out for our last night in town. Determined to have a better dinner than the night before, we researched our hearts out and settled on Al Timon, which ended up being one of our best meals of the trip. I can’t get over the fact that the best meal I had in Italy was steak and french fries, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Or something like that.

36 hours in venice, italy

Full on steak and carbs, we made our way back to Il Santo Bevitore for a few nightcaps before turning in and resting up for our flight to Munich.

Venice Tips and Tricks

  • Do some serious restaurant research. There are so many underwhelming restaurants it can be hard to find one that doesn’t disappoint. Al Timon is a personal favorite, so go there!
  • Look into exploring Venice outside of the island. This isn’t something we did, but were told after the fact that the mainland of Venice is much more authentic at this point, as the island is a giant {beautiful} tourist trap.
  • Explore the churches outside of St. Mark’s Basilica. They are all amazingly gorgeous and most have no lines to get inside. Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta detta I Gesuiti.
  • Wear bottoms past your knees and cover your ENTIRE shoulders if you don’t want to be scolded by old women when you visit the churches.
  • Get some sort of map – GPS is better than paper. I can normally navigate through any city, but holy smokes Venice is a serious maze. It’s easy to get lost and hard to find your way back to where you’re meant to be.

Tell me: Have you ever been to Venice before?

  • Lola Seicento

    Be still my beating heart! I absolutely love this post, and wish that I was there right now!

  • I like to pretend that I am there right now 😉 Instead of rainy,dreary old TN hehe

    • It’s dreary here in Boston today too, so I’m also playing pretend 🙂

  • Torment, being stuck in yukky old Arizona when I could be in Venice. *sigh*

    • I’m there with you. Today is a bit rainy and gross here in Boston.

  • Aw, I’m so sorry it was not as you expected – looks BEAUTIFUL, though! <3

    • It WAS beautiful and we had a good time, so we don’t regret going. Just something we decided we only wanted to do once 😉

  • I ALWAYS plan my travel around restaurants I want to try! I am a big foodie so I would be disappointed if my food was not good! Can I come with you next time?!

    • Yes, you can come next time if and only if you will spend hours researching restaurants with me 😉

  • I haver never been to Italy, but it’s on my must-see list. The food, architecture, and rich art history are amazing!

  • marciaf

    My son said similar things as you did. Once they found a restaurant they liked, they kept returning. It’s great that you have had this experience even though you won’t go back.

    • I so regret not researching restaurants more thoroughly before heading out each night.

  • Norah Salazar

    Venice is on my bucket list! I did southern Italy @ Amalfi coast and loved it

    • I would LOVE to check out the rest of Italy. I hear it’s all gorgeous.

  • FabZilla_Kath

    I agree, when a place becomes so touristy, the charm isn’t the same anymore.

    • We stayed in a less touristy neighborhood, so at least we got to feel some of the charm … for one block 😉

  • all_the_words025

    No picture of the pig? lol Looks like a great trip (even with the not so perfect bits.)

  • all_the_words025

    No picture of the pig? lol Looks like a great trip (even with the not so perfect bits.)

    • I just realized that’s one thing I never took a picture of. I should now that it’s sitting out on my desk 🙂 It was a fabulous trip!

  • Dang, bad sauce in Italy seems like an oxymoron! I always thought I would want to go to Venice, but it seems too crowded and tourist-y for me.

    • If you can add it as a stop in a bigger trip, totally worth it. But I wouldn’t fly all that way just for Venice.

  • Dang, bad sauce in Italy seems like an oxymoron! I always thought I would want to go to Venice, but it seems too crowded and tourist-y for me.

  • It looks beautiful! I’m not much of a traveler, so I doubt I’ll ever go haha

  • I would LOOOOOOVE to go to Venice!

    • It was definitely a fun time, just not 100% what I expected.

  • Lisa Marie Heath

    OMG I would love to go to Venice! The photos look beautiful!

    • If you go, just prepare for the tourists 😉 I hope you make it, can’t wait to hear about your trip when it happens.