This was my first time visiting Italy (as well as my travel compadre Jen’s), and we started the trip in Venice. I was so excited to experience true Italian food that I made poor Jen circle the island with me a dozen times as I scoured each menu before deciding on a restaurant. My favorite spot for brunch was Terrazza Sommariva, which is along the Rialto bridge and has great views. And great bellinis. (Another deciding factor… good drinks!)

Terrazza Sommariva venice italy

Jen and I became regulars at the Ristorante Al Vaporetto in San Marco, not only because of the great pizza, but also because of our new friends, Franco and Constantino, the best waiters ever.

While I do think the ancient architecture in Venice is very cool, I also think that 2-3 days is really all you need here, as the island itself is pretty small. If you’re going to be traveling through Italy, definitely spend more time in the bigger cities like Rome.

We stayed at the Hotel Gorizia A La Valigia in San Marco, which is supposed to be the “touristy” area, but realistically, the island is so small you can stay anywhere and still be within a short walking distance to everything.

Being the Italy newbies we were, we, of course, embarked on a gondola ride.  It’s a bit pricey (80 euros for an hour, so try to bargain) but definitely worth it. It’s a unique experience, and a great opportunity to take photos of the old buildings and little alleys throughout the entire island.

gondola venice gondola venice italy

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