I was lucky enough to travel to Italy and England last month, one of those perfect combinations where I get to combine my love for travel with my marine research work! I went to a conference in Italy – Venice and Trieste – for a week followed by England for another week (where I passed my PhD viva so now I am a Doctor 🙂
This was my second trip to Venice, Italy within a span of 18 months and the first thing I noticed was how vastly different it was to have gone smack in the middle of peak season early August last year and now during off season end October this year. Venice is a really popular tourist destination and quite pricey, as such it tends to get super crowded during the holidays and hotel prices are really spiked up.
On this trip, there were several decent priced accommodation to choose from. I knew we didn’t want to stay or eat anywhere near San Marco, so we stayed in the Canneregio area, north of Venice. Very easy to get to from the train station and easy to catch a vaperetto to San Marco or just walk there within 20-25 minutes which we did twice in once day. We stayed at the Al Portico Guest House, very affordable, clean and spacious for 3 people. It cost £90 a night so split between 3 of us, it was a bargain in central Venice!
I was joined by two good friends visiting from New York and London and we stayed in Venice for 2 days before heading to Trieste for a conference. One of the highlights of our trip was the gondola serenade ride we did by moonlight and the others included sightseeing around San Marco and the Canneregio area, enjoying Bellinis, walking along the waterfront, exploring the many canals, savouring good food and enjoying great company 🙂
I had done all this the last time but it was wonderful to be able to do it without jostling with hundreds of other tourists, all trying to take pictures of the same one canal!
The extra trip we did this time was visiting the islands of Murano, famous for it’s glass making and Burano, famous for its colourful buildings and lace making. I must say both these half day incursions were wonderful and I would highly recommend leaving aside a day if you are in Venice for visiting these two special places. Murano is 1.5 km north of Venice so it was very convenient for us to get to from our hotel as we were staying in the Canneregio area, in the northern part of Venice.
We took a ACTV line 12 vaparetto to Murano and from there to Burano. You first go to the Fondamente Nove vaporetto stop and take line 12 from there first to Murano and then from there we took another line to Burano. You can find details of how to get both here. Murano was lovely but we whizzed through here after admiring some of the beautiful glasswork craftmanship. It was too bad that we werent allowed to take pictures in most of the shops. Such beautiful coloured glass artwork!
We continued on to the island of Burano and it was just picture perfect! We strolled around the village, admiring the bright coloured houses, the narrow canals, the entire atmospehere was very chilled and laid back. I will just let the pictures speak for themselves 🙂
We continued on to Trieste after our two days in Venice but unfortunately I was mostly in my conference building the whole two days and hardly got to do any sightseeing. I only got to experience Trieste through my friend’s pictures (like the one below) and views of the blue Adriatic sea from my hotel window.
I look forward to going back here someday with the family. I have been to Italy five times now and it’s just never enough! It really is my favourite country in Europe and one we hope to spend more time once we travel in Europe again after we are done with Oceania and Asia 🙂