Tuesday, March 6

A floating labyrinth | Venice

If you're thinking about a romantic getaway, then you should really think about going to Venice.

Last summer, we spent a few nights in Venice and it was beautiful. We spent most of the days wandering around narrow pathways and drinking Aperol Spritz in little courtyards.

When we arrived at Venice Marco Polo airport, I surprised Jason with a private water taxi to take us straight to our hotel doorstep - a boardwalk. 

It was certainly better than dragging our suitcases around the streets searching for our hotel - and it was so lovely to be able to get a water tour of the Grand Canal and all around the waterways.

It was such a rush - they drive so fast and you have to hold on tight, but the spray of the sea and the wind whipping up your hair is a fun way to start your trip.

Make sure you keep an eye out for the Giant Hands of Venice sculpture along the Grand Canal - you'll know it when you see it!

Also you feel a little like a celebrity as you gently push through the waterways in the heart of Venice and spectators gather on the little bridges to watch you and snap a photo.

There's no point trying to pretend to be a local - everyone is a tourist in Venice. So soak it all up! Go and visit Piazza San Marco, the main square in Venice. It hosts beautiful statues, rows of fancy restaurants with live music and St Mark's Basilica - which is absolutely breathtaking, make sure you walk up close to admire the intricate marble carvings. 

At night the whole square floods, and it makes a great setting for a photo as the water so many lights around the square.

The Rialto Bridge with all its little jewellery shops makes for another great photo spot - although it was somewhat crowded when we visited during Summer.

You can so easily get distracted by all of the beautiful sights on foot along the little paths of Venice that you completely forget to look up. If your hotel has a rooftop bar, go and have an Aperol Spritz or a peach Bellini. Or if you want something a little fancier - I'd recommend going to the Hotel Danieli for a beautiful view of the islands. Go inside the hotel and take the plush elevator to the very top. Be warned, it is super expensive - we could only afford to have a dessert, but it was worth it.

Below is the view from our hotel room, which I miss waking up to every time I look at it, it was so lovely, and every now and then you'd hear a man singing love songs whilst steering a gondola.

You can't go to Venice without getting a little souvenir, you can go to one of the nicer little mask shops off of the square (near MAC, yes there is a MAC, and a Sephora - I know).

If you like, you can ask them what the masks mean, the one that I bought is called a Colombina mask which was made for the 15th Century Commedia Dell'arte actress too vain to camouflage her beauty behind a full mask.

As you wander around you will find some of the expert mask shops that sell more than the average tourist souvenir, I saw a unicorn mask that I would have loved to take home, but you will be shocked when you see the prices.

As well as this little mask I also treated myself to a piece of art - there are lots of little shops around, but my favourite one was near MAC again (I spent a lot of time near there). I got myself a little line drawing of San Marco's Square as if someone had unfolded the square and turned it into a little skyline.

It's not Italy until you've had gelato. My favourite flavour is amarena (cherry), but straciatella, tiramisu and nocciola are also ones you should try out. Any excuse for multiple icecreams! There are little gelato windows everywhere, as well as little bars to stop and grab a little antipasti and a spritz. I think by the end of the first day I was 90% peach Bellini.

Also there are little pancake and waffle windows - keep an eye out.

If you fancy something a little cooler, go to the Magnum icecream bar and create a designer icecream, it was so much fun.

it's not everyone's thing, but I  love the opera. On our first day we wandered down from the hotel and found the Scuola Grande di San Teodoro. By chance they had a poster outside advertising opera performances for the entire time we were there.

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