Venice in 24 Hours
Updated: Jul 16, 2020
In October of last year, my dad and I took a trip to Europe and explored a few cities. One of them being Venice, Italy! We were only able to fit Venice for one day in our itinerary so we had to make sure we spent that one day well. We explored the city, ate great food, and indulged in delicious gelato. One day is definitely not enough to fully immerse yourself in the Venetian culture and what it has to offer. However, we tried to get the most out of the 24 hours we had there and enjoyed every minute of it!
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Venice Marco Polo Airport → San Marco Venice
Price: 25€ or ~$30
There are several ways of getting to San Marco from the airport. You can choose from several buses and boat services to take you to San Marco. I personally think using the boat service takes you to your place of lodging more conveniently than buses. The reason is that the bus stop is all the way at the opposite end of San Marco, so it’s quite a walk for those of you who are staying near the San Marco area. We opted for the Alilaguna taxi boat service because it was the fastest way of getting to our hotel. With the Alilaguna, it took us about 45 mins/1 hour to get to San Marco. Travel tip: buying the tickets online ahead of time will save you 2 euros!! We bought our roundtrip tickets online and paid 25 euros. If you were to buy the tickets in person instead, it would cost 27 euros. The workers are easy to find and are able to answer any questions you have regarding the ride. We took the orange line (linea arancio) and stopped at Rialto. This stop was the closest to our hotel. We didn’t realize that the streets of Venice are not luggage friendly, so it took us a little while to get to our hotel lol!
Hotel: Residenza La Loggia
Address: Calle Ramo Primo Gregolin San Marco 1008
Price: varies - $136/night in October
After arriving at the Rialto stop, we went to our lodging. We couldn’t have had a more pleasant stay at the Residenza La Loggia! If you’re looking for a bed and breakfast option for your stay, this is the place to be!! The rooms are eighteenth-century themed, which makes your stay in Venice feel even more authentic. When we checked in, they asked us what time would be convenient for us to receive our breakfast. The breakfast spread was AMAZING! For our breakfast, we had the softest bread, the finest cheeses, the tastiest cured meats… I really couldn’t have asked for a better meal! Also, the front desk receptionists were extremely friendly and accommodating. The stay included basic toiletries, breakfast, and wi-fi. This place is a little bit challenging to find, as it is tucked away in a little alley. Their website has a detailed map & directions to find the hotel which definitely helped us a ton!
St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco)
After dropping our luggage off & freshening up, we headed straight to St. Mark's Square-- which was only a few minutes away from our B&B. The number of people at the square and by the shore was UNREAL! It’s no wonder why Venice has been on the move to limit cruise ships and crowds. There were some moments where I felt instantly claustrophobic! The square was big enough where everyone was spread out, but as you moved towards the shore you weren’t able to walk without touching shoulders with someone. Regardless of the crowd, St. Mark’s Square was definitely a sight to remember. The livelihood of the square brought an instant smile to my face! Birds were flying around, live music was constantly playing, and the gorgeous architecture had my jaw dropped in awe… it really felt like I was in a movie! Unfortunately, we were unable to take a tour of St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace due to the time crunch. However, if you are visiting Venice, you should make time to see these beautiful works of art. I definitely regret not being able to take those tours.
Lunch: Taverna Scalinetto
From the square, we proceeded east to get some late lunch! The hotel receptionist recommended us to go to Taverna Scalinetto. The restaurant was a 10-minute walk from the square. We didn’t mind the walk at all as there were plenty of sights and buildings to see! This restaurant is not one of those tourist traps that will jip you for a meal. It is located in a little street, but super easy to find. The ambiance was great and the food was even better!! They have indoor and courtyard seating that you can choose from. This restaurant specializes in a modern take of Venetian cuisine. For appetizers, we ordered polenta. It was my first time trying polenta, so I didn’t know what to expect. The polenta was nice and crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. For entrees, I had a pasta dish served with mussels & clams in a very light tomato sauce and my dad had the beef lasagna. BOTH dishes were extraordinary! It was honestly THE best pasta I’ve ever tasted. There’s nothing like authentic and homemade Italian pasta!
Price: 80€ or ~$90
After our amazing lunch, we walked back to the square and got on a gondola! You can’t say you’ve been to Venice, Italy without having gone on a gondola right? Don’t worry about not finding a gondola… there are TONS to choose from! The gondola services are run by multiple businesses, but they all charge a flat rate of 80€ during the day for a 30-minute ride. However, I believe they charge 120€ at night for a 30-minute ride. No, our gondolier did not sing to us (wish he did), but he was great! I definitely recommend splurging on a gondola ride. You’re going to see Venice in a totally different way than when you’re on foot exploring. The ride was serene and left me in admiration with how beautifully charming Venice was!
We trekked back to St. Mark’s Square to enjoy some live music and coffee. We did sit at one of the restaurants that’s in the middle of the square. The menu was not that appetizing (hence why we only got coffee) and the food was definitely overpriced. These are the places that you definitely want to stay away from when in Venice (or anywhere abroad really). Restaurants that are in the middle of famous landmarks are usually (not always) selling overpriced, mediocre food. While my dad enjoyed on his coffee, I ventured by myself to get some gelato. I stumbled upon Gelato Fantasy and saw that there was a line… long line = good food (well that’s my motto anyways lol) so I waited in line and was not disappointed at all!! I chose the nutella brownie gelato and ohhhhh my that was HEAVENLY. The nutella was not too overbearing and the brownie wasn’t too sweet either… it was the perfect balance of texture and flavors! I wish I could’ve brought a big tub of that gelato back with me to the States. We sat around the square for about 1 hour and saw the lights turn on around the square and the Doge’s Palace since it was getting dark. St. Mark’s Square is another wonder of beauty at night! The lights fill the square up with an ambiance like no other.
Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto)
From the square, we went to see the Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto). The bridge was gorgeously lit up and as beautiful as seen in pictures! We crossed the bridge and explored the little streets of Venice. I noticed there were plenty of stores selling handmade leather goods and Murano glass art. After some research, I learned that Murano is a series of islands on the Venetian lagoon that is well known for glass making! This explains the multiple Murano glass art stores in Venice today.
Dinner: Rossopomodoro (Neapolitan pizza)
By this time I was pretty clocked out… but I wanted to try some pizza in Italy! Since Naples was far, far away from Venice I had to resort to Rossopomodoro, a Neapolitan based pizza restaurant. They actually have this restaurant in NYC, but I heard it’s not as good as the ones in Italy. Rossopomodoro offers gluten-free style options as well. I don’t quite remember which pizza I got, but I remember it was so delish! The sauce was something I’ve never tasted before (I mean that in the best way possible) and the crust was fluffy & chewy -- definitely not the cardboard pizzas I’m used to at work. Eating at around this time was one of the biggest cultural shocks for me because in the States we usually don’t eat out for dinner that late at night. After downing our beers and pizzas, we went back to the B&B to get some much-needed rest.
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
We had to wake up early and explore Venice some more before our check-out time. We went back to the square to get some souvenirs (fridge magnets, shirts, etc)! Travel tip: don’t do what we did and buy souvenirs by the square. Instead, buy your souvenirs in the stores that are outside of the square (in the little streets) for a much cheaper price! We bought 4 magnets for 20€ from the stands by the square but afterward, we saw a store that was selling 4 magnets for 10€… we definitely learned our lesson from that lol! Also, we made a stop at Venchi chocolates for some treats. They have various chocolate bundles that make for a great souvenir! After souvenir shopping and walking around the San Marco area, we had to head back to the airport to catch our flight to Paris in the afternoon. We got on Alilaguna at the same spot we got dropped off at the day before.
I hope this guide will help you plan out your Venetian adventure, be it for 24 hours or 1 week! Venice was absolutely stunning and a sight I will cherish for the rest of my life! The amount of history within this city is unimaginable. I’m so glad I was able to experience this beautiful city while I had the chance. As some of you may know, Venice is sinking rapidly due to the increase in sea levels. The Venice floods in November 2019 was just a glimpse of what Venice will be in the future. In this day and age, we have the ability to research ways in which we can be environmentally friendly and lessen our carbon footprint (which plays hand in hand with global warming). I encourage everyone to be aware of and care for their environment- do it as if the city of Venice depends on you!!