I am here in Italy, and have spent 4 days in Venezia. So here is an Olivia Approved itinerary of what to do if you find yourself with 4 days to kill in Venice.
I love travelling and seeing new cultures, and it may be hypocritical because technically I am one, but one thing I cannot stand when travelling is… TOURISTS!!! Venice is a tiny city with a tiny population, but the amount of people in Venice is outrageous. 30,000,000 yes 30 MILLION tourists every year are visiting Venice, thats roughly 80,000 people per day. So I prefer to get away from all that action. So heres my advice:
Day 1: Get out of the centre, head over to the east end of the city, it is as the locals call it “the only true part of Venice that remains”. Take a ferry and get off at the station “San Pietro Castello”. From there you can walk/get lost however you like to take the city. It is quite relaxing because it seems deserted. From San Pietro Castello, you will find “I Giardini della Biennale” or the Gardens. Here you can walk through all the beautiful trees over the bridges and along the sea side. Exiting the Gardens you then have the “Arsenale di Venezia” Where you can see the old buildings where the Venetian Republic had their ships built. The architecture is impressive.
After having seen this, I would recommend heading back to your hotel/bnb. It doesn’t sound like a full day but believe me, after all that walking you will be beat!
I would also recommend stopping anywhere for an aperitivo, SPRITZ (I love Spirtz!!)
(Venice, East End San Pietro Castello)
Day 2: again, get away from those tourists!! A little away from the city, (Still in Venice), there are 3 islands that are worth taking a visit to. Murano, Burano and Torcello. (if you’re in a rush I would skip Murano). Head out to the islands from the station Fondamenta Nove. Murano is a island that is known for blown glass, you will find display about how its made, you will need to pay around €2 per person to watch. Then have the opportunity to buy some of the glass from the gift shop. Following this, take a walk into the town and sightsee. The next island (that I think is the best Island of the 3) is Burano. Burano is a small village known for its lace. It is a village with many coloured houses, a market runs through the centre of the town where you can shop and eat locally. I recommend taking a walk around the whole island and then stopping for some lunch, as there are some amazing views out of the centre with lots of brightly coloured houses. Once you have explored and been absolutely mesmerised by the beauty of Burano, head over to Torcello. Torcello is where the first Venetian populations lived, until the vikings came and they all left for what we now call Venice. All monuments date back to the year 452. In the centre of the town you can find (and sit on) Attila’s throne.
Head back into the city, stop for a Spritz and then your 2nd day is complete!
(Burano, Brightly coloured houses)
Day 3: Tourist day! Today is a big day and it is the day to see all the touristy attractions.
Head over in the morning to the Rialto Bridge, there you will have the morning markets. If you want to see a church, you can walk to the beautiful Santa Maria dei Frari where you can see some masterpieces from Tiziano and Canova. Head over to Bovolo’s staircase as well. Take a ride on a Vaporetto (water taxi) down the Canal Grande towards Piazza San Marco, there you have Saint Mark’s Basilica, Palazzo Ducale. (I recommend stopping in some churches as well, they are everywhere) After having seen all of the history and beauty in the day have a Spritz and then off to bed for your last day tomorrow!
(Bovolo’s staircase. For €7 you can buy a pass to go to the top)
Day 4: The last day of all my trips are always my “whatever you want days”. So thats what it is. Do whatever you want to do, relax wake up late, have a spritz at 10am (I’m not kidding people actually drink this in the morning!! God, I love Italy!!) If you didn’t see that thing that your were totally looking forward to seeing go and see it!!! Buy that hat that you saw at that store, buy yourself a gift, “treat yo’ self” to anything you want, how many times are you in Venice after all?
(The €12 hat I bought because I was “treating ma’ self”