No one needs an excuse to visit Venice, but if you’re looking for a romantic city to take someone, this is undoubtedly the best place. There’s an Italian expression, Che Figata, meaning “what a cool thing”. A weekend in Venice done the Auree way will leave you saying just this – simply follow these easy steps:
There is no other way to arrive and if it’s how the Clooney’s travel, it’s probably (just about) good enough for us. Crossing the lagoon you can admire Venice from afar. Our favourite hotel is Pensione Accademia – it’s also (we have recently discovered) the only hotel that the entire Auree team have stayed in. The highest accolade. It is traditional but distinctive, a perfect location yet hidden away – and best of all, almost entirely filled with Italians. It is a bit of secret though so don’t go telling everyone. We recommend you request a room with a canal view (Italians avoid these due to the noise) and on Sunday wake to the sounds of bells chiming across the city and the gondolas going by.
If you want to look like you’re a local then a map is simply not going to cut it. Luckily, Venice is just the place to explore as it is virtually impossible to get lost (well, for too long anyway). Hop on a Vaporetto down the Grand Canal to see San Polo, Dorsoduro and Santa Croce on the West side and San Marco, Castello and Cannaregio on the East. Hop off for a coffee in St Mark’s Square or visit the amazing Rialto market. We particularly love Cannaregio, where all the locals live and away from the tourist hustle and bustle. And just when your legs can’t carry you any further, find a Bacari (Venetian wine bar) and refuel on cichetti (little Italian snacks). Make sure you are back in St Mark’s Square by tea time for a walk up the Campanile (for stunning views) and a visit to the famous Caffè Florian.
The Accademia is to Venice what the Uffizi is to Florence – and if you time your trip right, it’s free entry on the first Sunday of every month. Make sure you also visit the Peggy Guggenheim collection – filled with extraordinary treasures from one of the greatest Art collectors of the 20th Century. One thing NOT to miss is a new sculpture from the 2017 Biennale – highly photographed already, we just LOVE these hands by Lorenzo Quinn.
4. Row Like a Venetian
We’re not talking a gondala ride per se, we’re talking standing up, facing forward, and trying your own hand at the Venetian style of rowing made famous by the gondoliers. Take a rowing lesson with Row Venice (starts near Sacca Misericordia boat marina on the north side of Venice) for a truly extraordinary experience. Once you’ve earned your supper, we recommend La Zucca (the best Pumpkin Pie you will ever try), Algiubagio, Taverna San Trovaso and Riviera.
If it’s not your first visit to Venice or you have an extra day to explore, then a trip to these Islands is a must. Take a Vaporetto (approx. an hour from Fondamente Nove) to Burano, Murano and Torcello. Burano is known for its brightly coloured fishermen’s houses and leaning tower of St. Martin’s Church (our Pollara earrings feel most at home here). Torcello is home to beautiful Byzantine mosaics in the Cathedral of Santa Maria Dell’Assunta. Look out for the pretty Ponte del Diavolo bridge and have lunch at the historic Locanda Cipriani, a favourite with Hemingway. Then finally, wander through the picturesque Murano, famous for glass making and see some of the artists at work.