The first few days of our honeymoon in 2015, we spent in Venice, Italy. We got a sweet deal on our flights through YVR Deals ($575/ticket RT) and we figured, hey, why not? We arrived around 10pm and made our way through the streets in the rain to our Airbnb. It was a single room in an apartment with a shared bathroom and kitchen. It was in a great spot and we didn’t have any complaints. One day the roommate’s dog even wandered into our room, so, bonus!!
On our flight over we had a layover in Amsterdam, on King’s Day no less, for 10 hours. We had been to Amsterdam a few times as a layover on previous trips so we were able to make use of our time having been there before. I had taken a couple Adavan on the flight over; literally as we were taking off, and it had zero effect, until about 7 hours later. I fell asleep so hard, that the plane landed and completely deboarded before a flight attendant came over and shook me awake. Tyler, trying to keep her from waking me until he had all our stuff ready to go.
Eventually no amount of coffee was going to keep me awake. We walked to a hotel we had stayed at before and asked for a room for a couple hours. Yes, we did that. We ended up paying for a full night, and crashed for 3 hours. It was the most expensive nap of our lives, and also to this day, one of the best.
Anyway, back to Venice; our little nap the day before meant we never actually managed to switch over our sleep schedules while we were in Venice. We just couldn’t push through the afternoons without a nap (often missing dinner), and we would be wide awake at about 2-3am. This was unfortunate, but it had a few perks. Once we realized we were both awake, we’d snack on whatever we had in our room, chatting with family/friends at home.
Around 5am we’d get up and head out. We’d start roaming the streets just as the sun was starting to come up, grabbing coffees and breakfast food when we could find a coffee shop open. We were able to cover a lot of ground, and it made for some really beautiful pictures. Both of us have talked about how much we enjoyed this part of our trip. The quiet, the sunrise, it was just so beautiful and memorable.
By the time lunch rolled around, our water bottles full of prosecco, we visited the deli, and would head back to our room for a picnic on our bed, followed by a nap. We’d wake up for dinner, then, back to bed, just to start the whole thing over again. Because we were doing most of our exploring before anything was open, we didn’t stop into any museums or art galleries; but there are a ton of them in Venice.
One morning we took the “bus” over to Murano Island, the origin of Murano blown glass. When we left, Venice was starting to “wake up” and get busy, but when we arrived at Murano, the whole island was still basically asleep. We did some more wandering around, and somehow MISSED the “beach” of blown glass. Really not sure how we managed that, but we did. We’ll chalk it up to the costs of doing things while jetlagged.
Venice is somewhere neither of us had on our list, but the fare was cheap and it worked with the rest of our plans. We were totally impressed, maybe having low to no expectations helped. In the end I’m really glad we did, this leg of our trip was so pleasant, and would love to make it back to Italy again one day to do some more exploring.
Accommodation: Our Airbnb was great, it was on the cutest little street and was great for two people. I wouldn’t stay there with a baby or child though as you’re only in a single room. It’s on the second floor, with an oddly shaped door frame and an even smaller staircase from there to the main apartment. Totally charming, but maybe not baby transporting friendly.
Transportation: You can take a bus from the airport to Venice. Venice itself has no vehicles, scooters, bikes, nothing. You just walk or take the sea buses. You could take a gondola, but they aren’t cheap, are slower than the seabuses, and sometimes walking.
Food and Beverage: Drink Prosecco and Aperol Spritz… but only order one Aperol Spritz and share it the first time just in case you don’t like it. Neither of us liked it, did not understand why we were seeing so many people drinking it. BUT get that prosecco in me!!!! YUM. You’re on the coast so eat up some fresh seafood and enjoy. Everything is delicious.
Watch Out For: The edges of the sidewalks since they don’t end up in grass… just murky ass nasty water. So watch your step. You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so have good shoes. Make sure to use a backpack instead of a roller suitcase, as Venice is “wheels-free”.
Things We’ll Do if We Get a Re-Do: Actually visit the glass beach at Murano, perhaps go inside and do the tours of Saint Marc’s Basilica.
Traveling with Kids: There are many bridges and stairways, make sure your stroller is really light or easy to get your child in and out of. I would suggest forgoing the stroller for your time in Venice and just use a baby carrier. The thought of my kid falling into the waterways makes me very anxious. I would maybe consider using a child harness/leash system. A life jacket might be taking it a little too far… Also check out Sparks and Bloom for more tips on traveling through Venice (and Italy) with a baby!
*Hot Tip*: Many of the cheap flights (Ryanair, Easyjet etc.) fly into Treviso, which is just past Venice Marco-Polo Airport. Don’t just fly in and out of Treviso. Make a day trip there at least, even an overnight. We spent most of a day there wandering around while we waited for our flight to Chania, Crete. We really liked Treviso; it was clean, peaceful, and there was plenty of gelato. There is interesting architecture, great food, shopping and there is a professional rugby team; basically just a totally underrated town with plenty to do. You could likely stay there for much cheaper than staying in Venice, and could make day trips to Venice.