I truly enjoyed seeing Venice even in the short amount of time that I was there. There is still plenty more for me to do and see, but I will be back to explore more of the city. For now here is my round up of my excursion to Venice:
My first night in Venice I tried Estro, a cute wine bar recommended to me by my Airbnb host. A quick five minute walk from where I was staying, this wine bar did not disappoint. I had home made orecchiette with rabbit ragu accompanied with a Chianti Classico selected by my server. Perfect size and great bold flavor in the dish, if this was any indication of the food I would encounter while in Venice then I was lucky!
A friend recommended that I try and find Dal Moro’s for fresh homemade pasta to go. With a warning from my friend as well as Tripadvior, I realized this spot might be hard to find, but I was up for the challenge and really wanted to try their food. After getting totally lost, I eventually and accidentally stumbled on the hole in the wall joint. The staff was super friendly and funny too! I tried the Bolognese over fusilli pasta, which was presented in a Chinese to-go container. SO COOL! The pasta was really good and cheap! Only six euro for a huge portion!
My favorite dining experience in Venice was Osteria Al Squero, another hole in the wall place with amazing food. This is a hidden gem for sure, making amazing cicchetti (Italian tapas) to go with your apero (cocktail). There were tons of locals and the place was non-stop busy the two times I went. I tried about 10 different crostinis with different toppings to go with my prosecco. I really loved this place and found myself a small corner to people watch while enjoying my food. OMG so cheap too!! The first time I went, I had five crostinis with two glasses of prosecco for a mere 8 Euros! Its located right across a gondola repair yard too, for an extra cool factor.
By the way, I obviously have no problem going to restaurants or bars alone…
I had to go see the Peggy Guggenheim Collection while I was in town. I love the Guggenheim in NYC so why not visit this collection as well. I’m glad I went, but I wouldn’t run back… Sorry Peggy. Yes, Peggy Guggenheim has an incredibly vast collection of artwork and had great relationships with many artist, but I didn’t love this particular space. It’s really small and way too crowded to walk around, I couldn’t see some of the works because there were huge tour groups.
After my experience with the Guggenheim Collection I decided I didn’t want to go to the big well known museums like the Gallerie dell’Accademia because I needed to get away from the crowds. Instead I opted for Palazzo Fortuny, a smaller off the beaten path museum featuring works by artists Mariano Fortuny. His old studio now transformed into a museum was a breath of fresh air from the crowds. I really enjoyed this space and artwork of Fortuny’s collection. There were three other temporary exhibitions of view of artists that I had never heard of, so it was worth checking out this museum. (Cover Photo: Painting by Mariano Fortuny)
I saw Saint Mark’s Basilica, which is beautiful, but the lines were too long and too crowded for me to go inside. Even in the low season and the rain, Venice is PACKED. I enjoyed walking along Fondamenta delle Zattere each day looking at the views of Venice. I would recommend strolling along this street for great photo opts and just to take in the Venetian buildings across the way. Walking through the streets and small alley way was my favorite part of the city. Everywhere I turned I just saw pure beauty.
I opted to do something totally low key and head to San Lazzaro degli Armeni, the Armenian Monastery located on a small island in the lagoon. It is one of the largest historic sights outside of Armenia for the Armenian diaspora. My grandmother is full Armenian and her mother (my great-grandmother) was an Armenian Holocaust survivor, so for my grandmother I went to visit the monastery. I really enjoyed the experience of taking the vaporetto (water bus) over to the island for a tour. The church at the monastery was beautiful and I made sure to light a candle in my great-grandmothers honor. For me it was defiantly worth seeing for more education on my Armenian heritage.