Travel: Venice Evenings (+ Italy Holiday Tips)

One of the things I loved most about Venice was the evenings. Unlike Rome (which was always busy), the evenings in Venice were so tranquil and relaxing. We spent them lingering over our food, drinking plenty of wine, and on one unforgettable evening we watching the sun set over the sea. Beautiful memories, ones which I doubt I will forget.

 photo Venice at Night 6_zps3qbpvnc2.jpg photo Venice at Night 5_zpsnrpnmjd4.jpg photo Venice at Night 4_zpsr7jdiozq.jpg photo Venice at Night 3_zpsziodxu0c.jpg photo Venice at Night 2_zpsy6k1c8fw.jpgIt’s now been nearly two months since we set out on our trip (time has seriously flown by!), and we’ve had chance to reflect on our planning, what we missed out on, what we should have done. Of course, this is the perfect opportunity for me to type up some advice and get it out to you. So here goes, my top tips for planning an Italian holiday to Rome or Venice…

Budget

Make sure you budget, both for the trip itself (flights, hotels, transfers) and spending money. We found Rome was wonderfully cheap once all tickets had been bought. Venice not so much!

 photo Venice at Night 1_zpshlq4muva.jpgPlan

If you have a few attractions you want to see, it definitely pays to book in advance. In Rome, queues for the Vatican were at least three hours long, and probably similar for the Colosseum. Buy in advance people!

With Venice, the one thing that probably tops everyone’s’ to-do list is a gondola ride, and rightly so. Yet be careful about planning this. Find a starting point which doesn’t mean your time is just spent on the Grand Canal, and budget accordingly. These gondola rides don’t come cheap!

Make Your Own Lunch

This is something I can’t stress enough. I don’t mean going to the nearest supermarket and grabbing packets and crisps and biscuits (just no!), but go to a supermarket with a good selection of fresh produce and build your own sandwiches. On frugal days we picked up rolls, salami and fruit (coming in at €4 for the two of us), on splurge days we grabbed ciabatta, speck ham and mozzarella alongside cherries (coming in at a bank-robbing €6 for two). You’re still getting the Italian experience, but at a fraction of the price of restaurants.

Italian supermarkets are just superb. Ask the bread man what is freshest, ask the woman at the cheese counter what she recommends to go with your meat – we discovered a fab creamy cheese that was a little like a firmer mozzarella. Ask what meat the assistant likes best, watch what the locals pick. Everything is so, so fresh – and it’s just a much nicer experience than your standard UK Sainsbury’s trip!

 photo Castel SantAngelo 11_zps0mnc2bsp.jpgResearch Restaurants

I never want to waste money on a bad meal, so I will always have a search on Trip Advisor before going somewhere. For our first night in each place we went with guidance from our hotel – and both were fine. We dedicated a bit of time the next day to wandering around and looking at menus, before researching during siesta time.

It definitely pays off – the restaurant we visited on our second night in Venice was so good we returned the next night!

Pack Sensibly

Likelihood is you will be doing a LOT of walking, so make sure you are prepared. If you are going in the summer also beware that comfortable shoes may not be so comfortable in the heat – I definitely regretted not taking plasters out and about with me! I would also recommend taking waterproof clothing – read this post to find out why..

Water fountains are pretty common along most streets, so take bottle out and about with you. Restaurants charge for water in Italy so make the most of whatever free water you can find – save the money for wine!
 photo Colesseum 15_zpsbcxci9yt.jpg

Have you ever been to Italy?

  • Making your own lunch is such a cheap way to travel. Generally we always go for self catered stays so we can save some money by eating out less and you get to cook up the local produce from the markets. Which in Italy are incredible! I went to Italy ages ago and I would probably go back now, at the time I loved Venice but hated Rome. Who knows, maybe I’ll try somewhere new next!

    http://www.theycalleditthediamondblog.com

    • ninegrandstudent

      I completely agree with you! We did go bed-and-breakfast in Venice, and room only in Rome which I would do again! x

  • AAA Love the photos! this is super fun to read:) Do you want to support each other’s blog by following each other?:) Please let me know if you do so I can follow you right back x

    kisses

    http://www.theclosetelf.com/

    • ninegrandstudent

      Hi, I’m afraid I don’t do this ‘follow for follow.’ I’ll check your blog out and follow if I like it, but I would sooner you follow me because you want to…

  • Ah this is great! I’ve not been on my hols since high school purely because I’m naff at budgeting. Your tips are so great though, I’ve never really thought to book attractions and it sounds daft but packed lunches just never occurred to me. Brill post :)!

    Jess
    Philocalist.co.uk

    • ninegrandstudent

      Budgetting can be so hard though, I’m not the best at it! x

  • Kate

    Totally love the packed lunch tip. You actually had my mouth watering at the thought of those sandwiches! A great way to save money and who wants two restaurant meals a day anyway?! I’ve been to Rome, Florence, Venice and Verona and all were wonderful in their own way. There is something about Venice though – the water and the light. x

    Kate Louise Blogs

    • ninegrandstudent

      The sandwiches was amazing – so, so good! x

  • Italy is my dream destination, and luckily one of my friends comes from a town near Venice so I’m hoping to visit her there at some point! I’ll definitely be bearing your advice in mind. It looks beautiful, I’m glad you had a good holiday 🙂 xx

    Toasty

    • ninegrandstudent

      Lucky her – and you! x