While we were in Italy last summer, we had a little over 48 hours in Venice. There are many faces to this ancient city you can visit again and again and keep discovering new beauty. I would like to offer some suggestions that may help to take a step back in time and see a tiny peek into the magic of Venice. This city feels like a maze and it invites you to get lost (in the best ways). If you have 48 hours in Venice here are some suggestions in no particular order.


Getting There

If you are coming in from the airport or train station, I recommend taking a boat taxi to your hotel. This will allow you to bypass the touristy shops, crowds and the parts of Venice that distract from the beauty.


Find a View From Above

Find a spot in the city with a view above the crowds. Venice is spectacularly beautiful and it is extraordinary to see it from above.


Get Lost

With 400 foot bridges that cross over 150 canals I beg you to walk away from everyone else and explore. If you are an artist/photographer (or a beauty chaser in general) this will be a gift to yourself.


Take a Boat Ride

Stand up in the back, rest your arms against the roof and try to soak it all in. You don’t need a tour or someone explaining everything you are looking at. Just be present and stand in awe of the history, ironwork, architecture and lifestyle.


The Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Take a boat taxi so you are dropped off at the entrance off the Grand Canal. The home, furniture, architecture, gardens and art are all a treasure. One of my favorite places in Venice.


St. Mark’s Square or Piazza San Marco

There is so much to do and see at the square but I would like to encourage you to sit for a bit, have an espresso at a 300 year old café (Caffé Florian) while looking at architecture that is almost 1000 years old. To add to the experience, you will get to listen to live music no matter where you are on the square. There are three cafes, each with their own quartet and they all take turns playing. It is absolutely beautiful and I didn’t want to leave.


Take a Gondola Ride

Take a gondola ride through the smaller canals. The gondolier is a beautiful part of the Venetian culture. This is an honor that is passed down from father to son since 1094.


Eat Well

Make reservations at Taverna al Remer and when you are done grab a bottle of wine from the bar and enjoy the company that gathers on the dock right there off of the Grand Canal.


Be Present

Grab your pencil and sketchbook and do some quick contour sketches. Don’t overthink it and allow yourself to document your visit in this way. Whether you make a good or a bad sketch is not the point. The point is to really see a place and sketching does this so well.


Explore Venice at Night

Once the crowds disperse and the sun sets, I think Venice truly shines. The whole city has a soft glow and as you come out of one alley and head into another, you will find small restaurants with outside dining, candles burning, white tablecloths and the most beautiful sound of conversation, laughter and the clinking of glasses. Nightfall truly washes away the world and brings Venice truly into view.


Listen to Live Music

Do a simple Google search and you will find so many different opportunities to experience live music. We have listened to concerts all over Europe this way and the tickets are usually very inexpensive and most often in a stunning cathedral. During our most recent trip to Venice we were able to listen to Vivaldi with a local string orchestra at Chiesa di San Vidal. It was a highlight of our visit.


Libreria Acqua Alta

Visiting beautiful and unusual book and art supply stores is one of my favorite things to do while traveling. Different cities offer unexpected gifts if we look for them and take the time to be present while traveling. Being present is one of the gifts of being a pilgrim vs. a tourist. I am not usually interested in any place where people are there for the selfie or photos and then quickly run off to the next place to “capture”. If my friend Karen had not suggested I go because she knows of my love of books, I would have missed coming to Libreria Acqua Alta.
It is self-proclaimed as the most beautiful bookstore in the world. I don’t know if I would agree with that, but it may be the most interesting. Mix in a bit of chaos, cats, views of the canal, books stored in bathtubs, rowing boats, and gondolas, and repurposing old books as stairs and even as an art installation and you have a space like none other. This is not a space that you will fully appreciate when it is busy so make sure to come early and let yourself browse the uniqueness of this one of a kind bookstore. And don’t just come for the photos…buy something (even if it is a bookmark) to say thank you and not just take the experience without honoring those that created it.
Celebrate Art
This year we are excited to attend the exhibits around Biennale Art. Whether you attend during a year this is going on or not, I can not stress enough how you need to search what is going on because the world of art here is rooted and overflowing!



I have created videos of our trip to Venice on my Instagram account if you are interested HERE