The next day I dedicated to exploring Venice. I had nothing booked or planned, but after some convincing from my family I decided I should do a gondola ride. Unfortunately they’re ridiculously pricey (80 euros/ 30 mins) so I decided to look into doing a shared gondola. I booked one online before I left the hostel in the morning for around $35. The meeting spot looked easy to find and the route that the gondola took looked perfect, down some quaint little canals with some time on the grand canal which was exactly what I wanted.
I took the bus from my hostel to Venice (which only takes about 10 minutes) and arrived by 9 am. I walked around heading into the city center. I didn’t really use a map or anything just wandered, looking for a cute place to eat. Pretty close to the bus station I found a little bakery and got some treats that looks yummy.
I wanted to people watch and drink a coffee, so I went on a mission to find a nice spot to eat and and drink with a view. Since I was traveling alone I had no shame taking forever to find the perfect restaurant. I walked around for about an hour taking photos and soaking in some sunshine before finding breakfast.
This spot was right on the grand canal, a bit pricey (5 euro for croissant and cappuccino) but it was delicious and super worth it. By the time I was done it was 10:30 and I was pretty close to my check-in place for my gondola ride (which I scheduled for 2 pm) but I wanted to make sure my online payment work so I visited to check, and while I was there they offered to move up my ride to 11 am, which was perfect for me.
I shared my gondola with 5 other people, which was perfect because they could take photos of me 🙂
The gondola ride took 30 minutes, and was absolutely worth it. I loved it and it was one of the highlights of the trip. Do it!!! Afterwards, I headed back to St. Marks Basilica, and then got a gelato and ate it by the Bridge of Sighs.
The guidebook I was following suggested I took a bus to an island across the way called San Giorgio, to get an elevator lift to the top of a bell tower for views of the city. I did this and it was absolutely beautiful. Full panoramic views of the city with no lines at all, it was well worth it.
Since I bought an unlimited public transportation pass, I decided to make the most of it and continue island hopping so I could see as much as possible. So I used the water boat to get to Zitelle, Palanca, and Sacca Fisola. I was trying to find a spot for lunch.
I ended up getting another boat back to the main part of Venice and walking around, again just taking photos and wandering. Eventually found a cute cafe in a square where they have vegetarian gnocchi.
I ate around 3 pm and then continued wandering. This day I walked a total of 10 miles so it was a lot of walking and looking at pretty buildings.
For dinner I returned to the same amazing restaurant as the night before and got ravioli and fritz and it was absolutely delicious. I was super happy and it was an excellent day!