9 days in and around Venice, what to do?
I have just suprised my girlfriend with a trip to venice over new years, We are staying in Venice for 9 nights but plan on taking some day trips to Milan, etc. If anyone has any input for where to eat New Years Eve in Venice or some great things to do via the train in the rest of Italy, it would be greatly appreciated. This is our first time to Italy and I would like to make it as memorable as possible, with a budget in mind. Thanks
A budget-minded thought - When you want to stop in a little shop and have a coffee and pastry, order it at the counter and stand with the locals reading their papers or chatting. Those that sit pay higher prices for the same beverage.
I spent a week in Venice in the spring and had a great time. I had the best food experiences at the little bars and markets. Eat panini --if you want them hot ask. Panini only means sandwiches not necessarily hot pressed sandwiches. My italian boyfriend had to explain that one to me.
The most fun we had was wandering around, avoiding the crowds and getting lost in all the strange little mazelike streets looking at the beautiful architecture--Don't worry you'll find your way back you can't get too far. Just make sure you don't have to pee wandering around. Or at least not if you're a girl. It's hard being lost late at night and trying to find a bathroom.
Don't eat in restaurants that look touristy. Find the little ones in little alley-ways with lots of locals standing around drinking wine. Or the nice sit down small places without people outside trying to herd you in.
In the nothwest part of town (cannaregio) by the train station we had tons of fun exploring. Try arancini (fried rice balls stuffed with cheese and sometimes sauce and meat)--my favorite food that I first discovered in Venice! In that part of town there are lots of great markets to get cheap yummy bread and cheese and fruit type snacks.
Also, my favorite favorite osteria was in a little back alley. I wish i knew the street name. But try try try to find it. It's not too far off of the little piazza there. I'd say its about 3/4 of the way to the church by the train station. It sounds vague but go to the train station and take a left out onto that main drag and explore the alley-ways you'll find it. It's worth the adventure. Wine for a euro--an array of local goodles all on one plate tapas style for about 3 euro. yum!! And, if you don't happen to find it I'm sure you'll find another hidden gem of a place that you'll tell us all about when we are looking for places to go in Italy.
We stayed in San Marco and the best eats we found there were in the coffee shops and tiny quiet restaurants. Sleep in! relax. Stay up late. Drink lots of espresso! I don't drink coffee because it makes me a little crazy, but not the espresso in Venezia and I had many many shots of it daily. Also enjoy italian beers in bars with your panini.
Oh, I almost forgot my favorite part. After exploring we would take the water taxi back to our side of town, get gelato and a bottle of wine on our way back to San Marco and have the vendor open it for us. Stop in the BIG piazza San Marco at night--which is incredibly beautiful and listen to all the live music out in front the restaurants. Then sit with full bellies on a bench in front of the Canale di San Marco and watch the boats go by under the stars while drinking wine out of the bottle.
We had such a lovely time. Have a wonderful romantic trip. what a great gift....
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