Last month I was lucky enough to be whisked off to Venice for a long weekend.
I love travelling, (except for having to put my cosmetics into a plastic bag to go through security) and this was my first trip to Italy so I was very excited!
To avoid stress, I always ensure that I have my travel essentials close to hand. These include my Aspinal travel wallet, which is really handy for holding all of your documents so that they don't get lost at the bottom of your handbag, a good moisturiser (flying makes my skin dry) and of course, my wallet. I also always carry a red lipstick and a compact mirror to freshen up on the flight.. and my beloved iPad which has lots of TV programmes and films downloaded ready for the journey.
My new favourite travel companion is the Marylebone Light because it's lightweight but can hold everything I need. And it's rather beautiful..
Sights to see & things to do
When I asked friends who had been to Venice previously what to do in there, most people recommended wandering around and soaking up the culture, rather than listing lots of must-see tourist attractions.
Venice is one of the most beautiful cities I've ever visited and houses some truly stunning architecture, so you can easily spend hours walking through the maze of streets, over bridges and along picturesque canals.
Be sure to visit the Basilica di San Marco in the main square, renowned for its opulent design and elaborate mosaics the interior of the cathedral is breathtaking. You can also conveniently leave luggage in a room nearby for up to an hour.
Cheesy as it may be, taking a ride on a gondola is an essential part of the Venice experience. Gondola rides aren't cheap, but they are the best way to explore the city. If you're really lucky, your gondolier may even sing to you!
Places to eat
I had some really delicious food whilst in Venice, but two restaurants stood out.
Alfredo's Fresh Pasta To Go
This take-away restaurant had been recommended to us by a friend, so we had reasonably high expectations. Alfredo's is really small but the restaurant has built up a reputation for serving delicious freshly made pasta for reasonable prices, and it was positively buzzing both times I stopped by. There are just a few seats so most patrons choose to take it away. The Alfredo's team evidently love their job and are passionate about pasta! Certainly the best past I've ever eaten.
Alle Corone at the Hotel Ai Reali
This restaurant was more upmarket and fairly quiet, but there was a pianist in the next room which gave the room more atmosphere. I enjoyed a delicious risotto followed by a tempting chocolate dessert, and as I was in Italy, a few glasses of prosecco. From my seat I could see boats passing along the canal. If you're looking for fine dining in a beautiful setting, I would thoroughly recommend Alle Corone.
I had a wonderful time in Venice, and would love to go back to see more of the city.
Do you love to travel? Where's next on your list?