Today was our whole free day to explore the dreamy Venice. I called it dreamy because it was foggy and it made Venice more interesting to be in. Walking over small bridges and sideways where the front view was blurry due to the fogs felt like in a dreamland! From our hotel in the early morning, we followed the signs and walked to the famous landmark Ponte di Rialto.
Absolutely beautiful bridge and the view of the Grand Canal was magical standing from Rialto Bridge:
It was amazing to just stand here and watch the Gondolas and the architectures on both side of the canal! It was truly unique, only in Venice!
There were many shops on the bridge, shops that sell Venetian souvenirs like glass jewelries and masks. All were colorful and beautiful! We never had so much fun shopping for souvenirs from other places than Venice! Similar shops were found all over Venice! I spent most of my shopping time around the shops between Rialto Bridge and San Marco. Here are some pictures of the shops:
Beautiful glass chandeliers, I wish I could bring one home!
Venetian masks with Swarvoski crystals!
We went in many shops and trying to pick a mask that we both like so it was challenging since there were so many choices! When you walked into one shop you spotted a mask and thought that was pretty, then when you enter into another shop, you think that mask was pettier! That was exactly how I felt LOL! We finally managed to picked out a purple-colored one, and don’t forget to bargain! We saved at least 20-30 euros 🙂
Then we walked pass another store and saw another golden-colored one with Swarovski crystals and we couldn’t resist but to get one more! This one was more expensive but it was very nice! So with that said, my tip is go into the stores that look interesting to you, mark the location and price down on your map, don’t purchase yet! You might see the exact same thing but much cheaper later on! By marking down on your map, you will know how to get back, trust me you could get “lost” easily in Venice! It will be hard to remember where you see this and that by the end of the day after you went through tens of stores!!
Here’s a picture of me figuring out around where was the store we visited earlier haha:
Enough about shopping, we continued our walk around this beautiful city. The little bridges and walkways were incredible. It was amazing to walk on the bridge and then stop and take sometime to enjoy the view, there were so much details and so much to see!
Here is their “department store” – Coin, love the window shape:
We walked through this extremely narrow side street. It was quite special 🙂
A beautiful Gondola:
We would love to ride on one if it is summer but since it was March, it was pretty cold!
After zigzagging around narrow roads and bridges, we finally reached San Marco plaza. Doesn’t it sounded like we took a long time to get here from Rialto Bridge? Actually it only takes 9 minutes of walk from Rialto Bridge to San Marco Square according to google map LOL! But we were stopped by the beautiful views of the bridges and shops so it took us 10X longer!
Piazza San Marco was crowded with tourists but the square was stunning. Bell tower of Saint Mark:
I was originally planned to climb the tower to see the wonderful view of Venice but since it was a foggy day, we figured we wouldn’t be able to see much so we skipped that!
St Mark’s Basilica, very colorful:
Next to the basilica is Doge’s Palace:
Another picture of San Marco square:
Around San Marco square is where all the luxury stores located! But there were also many small cafes and sandwich shops that you can get relatively cheap breakfast and lunch! (We had some seafood sandwiches around this area for breakfast and only cost around 2 euros each sandwich!)
Our day went by quickly with the sightseeing and shopping. For dinner, we picked a restaurant with seafood menu, it was decent. We ordered fried seafood platter and seafood spaghetti around 20 euros per person with soda drink (more expensive than Rome but this is Venice!).
We went back to our hotel afterwards to pack up since we’ll be leaving tomorrow to go back to Rome! In our hotel room, we tried on our masks that we bought 🙂
Venice is truly a unique and beautiful city. It’s our #2 favorite place so far (1st is still Santorini)! It was an amazing experience to walk around this city with no car only bridges and small streets! Take your own pace and explore hidden areas, we felt 100% safe!