Italy Adventure Pt 1 - Venice

Ahhh here it is!

This is part 1 of a 3 part blog post all about my two-week vacation in Italy.

The trip to Italy was for a family vacation. It was Mike, his mom, his sister and I, in Italy for 2 weeks.

We left on Sunday, July 7th and returned, Saturday, July 20th. It was the longest I have ever been away outside of our honeymoon last year where we went to New Zealand (it was amazing!). Anywho, I’m excited to start off my first official blog post with a travel one, because I LOVE travel (as I’m sure you’ll quickly learn by the number of blog posts I’ll be writing about it). I spend a solid 5.5 years traveling almost every single week as a freelance consulting so I’ve learned a thing or two about travel that I can wait to share!

Itinerary:

Depart, Saturday, July 7th (via American Airlines) from O’hare (ORD), connected in Philly (PHL), before our final leg to Venice. Putting us in Italy, bright and early Monday, July 8th.

We stayed in Venice from Monday and departed on Wednesday, July 10th for the Tuscany region with a pitstop in Verona before arrive in Florence.

From there we stayed in Florence 5 nights before leaving for the Cinque Terra area on Monday, July 15th.

We stayed in the Cinque Terra area for 5 nights and then drove an hour to Genova on Friday, July 19th because our flight back to the states was out of Genova bright and early on Saturday at 6:50am.

In each part I’ll break down our individual itinerary from what we did, how we got there, what we ate and more.

So let’s dive in to Part 1!

Venice - Day 1

Left me first by saying this trip was a trip of a lifetime! Mike’s mom was gracious enough to upgrade our flights on the way to Venice. Which was a game changer. I first flew business two year’s ago when I decided to use points to upgrade myself on a flight to Barcelona and the second time last October when I flew to South America for my 30th birthday…Some say, never to even upgrade yourself because once you do, it is hard to go back. They weren’t lying ;) But like I said, I’ll share more about how you can score upgrades using points. I truly LOVE this stuff. But anyway…I digress.

We arrived just around 10am local time.

I had been to Venice 4 years ago for a friend’s wedding that took place in Germany. After the wedding a group of us stayed and traveled to other places…like Venice.

We took a water taxi from the airport to the main island where our AirBnB was. You don’t have to take a water taxi, you can take other modes of transportation while you’re there. What I will say though, a water taxi is the quickest most efficient way to get from the airport to the mainland. And if you’re traveling with others it may make sense from a time and money stand point.

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We arrived to the AirBnB, freshened up, unpacked and immediately started to explore. First stop, we visited was St. Mark’s Square. It is a beautiful square but you must be careful and avoid tourist traps. Meaning, we ended up sitting down for a bite to eat because we were so hungry. Be mindful of spots that tend to be “tourist traps.” They may require you to pay a cover charge to sit on the patio and enjoy the music. Chose some where away from all the chaos.

The rest of the afternoon we continued to walk around and enjoy the sites. Before dinner we did a gondola tour and it was amazing. I didn’t do one last time I was in Venice so I was really looking forward to it and it was a staple! We ate dinner at IL RIDOTTO to celebrate Mike’s 32nd birthday. It was a fantastic meal and the wait staff was incredible. After dinner we headed back to our AirBnB for a full night’s rest.

Venice - Day 2

I woke up and was determined to find a juice spot. In which I found this little place about a 15 minute walk from where we were staying. If you visit Venice and are looking for juice, go to this place. It was a slow morning. Mike and I decided to hang back. He got some work done and I did a quick exercise and then met up with his sister and mom for lunch. After lunch we took the water bus (not to be mistake for the water taxi) to Lido island for a massage. I’ve only had a massage once before while on vacation and I slightly resisted doing them because I’d think, “I’m on vacation, why would I bother getting a massage?” and maybe it is because I’m older but now I’m like, “I’m on vacation, why WOULDN’T I want to get a massage.” Funny how things change. We ended up exploring the island after our massages and having dinner (and of course gelato). I wish we could have stayed longer but we had to take the water bus back to the main island because we left bright and early the next day!

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Venice - Day 3 (ish)

I’m not sure I should even give Venice a day 3 but technically we were there until day 3. But because we were traveling to Florence and with the transportation logistics, we had to be at the train station by 7:45am to catch the 8:20am train to Verona. I absolutely love the train system in Europe. It is so easy to get around and travel but the way the rest of the trip was planned out, it made way more sense to drive after getting off in Verona. I’ll explain more on that later.

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Few Final Thoughts on Venice

  • Taking a water taxi from the airport to main land was reasonable considering the distance you travel and the amount of time you save but avoid taking water taxi’s outside of to and from airport transportation and opt for a water bus. Water taxi’s while you’re on the island can be around 70 euros for an 8 minute drive. I know this because that is what happened to us one night (insert face in palm).

  • The bus taxi makes it simple and easy to get from one island to another and is very inexpensive. I highly recommend getting familiar with the water bus routes prior to arriving because once you’re there, on vacation, you may not want to have to worry about figuring it out. I’m also someone who likes to plan soooo that might why :)

Italy Adventure Pt 2 will be all about Florence, Tuscany, wineries and everything we did, how we got around and more. If you have any questions or want to know more, comment below!