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.

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

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.

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

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?