So, as the fashion set pack up their wheelies post-fashion month, we at Team Olivia start planning and prepping a fall getaway to beautiful cities that we might be able to tie in to our travels.
In around two and a half hours you can travel by train to Venice from Milano Centrale station or in under a day from Paris. Of course, most major airlines visit Venice too and upon arrival, the only way to travel to town is by water taxi across the lagoon from Marco Polo airport.
For accommodation, you can’t beat an apartment in a traditional Venetian building along the canal. We also love the majestic Hotel Boscolo Venezia, a former palace in Sestiere Cannaregio, complete with stunning gardens that back on to the lagoon.
So if you’re visiting Venice for a good few days or a whistle stop tour be sure to visit some of our personal highlights…
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Located in Dorsoduro on the south side of the Grand Canal, not only is this gallery beautifully tranquil to saunter around, but you’ll also witness works of art from Leger, Kandinsky and Pollock, that originated as heiress Guggenheim’s private collection, set inside her own 18th century former home.
Discover hidden gems and craftsman
Italy is undoubtedly the home of true craftsmanship and there’s a couple of areas to explore where age old traditions are practiced in their droves. We love the area south of the canal for its galleries and stores showcasing Murano glass creations by local artisans.
The area around Palazzo Contarini Minelli dal Bovolo and Campo Manin is the place to find leather with some of the major fashion houses still commissioning cobblers in the area.
Take a trip to Burano
One of the best ways to get to know Venice is to simply get lost down its hundreds of alleyways. A great walk is from the centre – Rialto or St Mark’s Square – meandering towards Fondamente Nuove to catch the water bus over to the colourful little island of Burano. Spend a sunny afternoon walking canal-side admiring the candy hued houses, shopping for beautiful lace table linen and discovering cute places to stop for coffee and biscotti.
Hunt for the best restaurants
Venice’s best restaurants are off the beaten track and not near the tourist traps. So leave the designer facades behind because for great value food that the locals love you have to get a little adventurous. Even the darkest of alleyways may lead to the most beautiful courtyard, littered with bistro tables and candlelight. The area between Rialto and St Marks Square provides some of the best while a Prosecco Bellini aperitif and a seafood risotto are a must off any menu.
Try one of Venice’s many street bars
One of our favourite street bars, or ‘holes in the wall’ is down a tiny street off of Salita Pio X, heading towards the city from the Rialto Bridge. Following signs to St Mark’s Square, look left immediately after the bridge and you’ll see locals and travellers alike tumbling on to the street, listening to live music from the charming little bar and its efficient serving window! Visitors have scribed their memories all over the walls whilst the super-helpful staff will advise on the best wine from their exquisite menu and the right cured meats and cheeses to sample with it. The place is no more than five metres square but the experience will be worth its weight in gold.
Rialto food markets
Of course Venice’s shopping is amongst the best, with glossy boutiques and delis lining every walkway. Yet for a truly unique Italian experience you must head over the Rialto bridge to the daily fruit and veg market and the fish stalls that appear most days too. Here you’ll find produce so fresh and sometimes exotic, plus, there’s bars and cafes a plenty to sit and take in the sights and sounds. This is a truly traditional experience in which to get totally immersed!