Two weeks ago, the five of us spent three days in Venice. Although we’re big fans of Italy, we have long hesitated before choosing this touristic destination. But the magic worked : we completely fell in love with this city, adults and children!
Venice has kept, despite the influx of tourists, its charm and authenticity. Perhaps this is due to the mix of grandiose and abandoned palaces, chic cafes and local bars, or the laundry carelessly hanging from windows .. This mix of glamor, history and daily life is captivating… It is easy to escape from the tourist places and to get lost in the maze of calli, to relax on a tree-filled terrace, or to stroll across the pretty canals.
The food is delicious and perfect for family life. We particularly enjoyed eating these delicious sandwiches that you can find in each bacaro or pasticceria: the tramezzi and brioche, rolls or croissants filled with tuna, ham, cheese and vegetables. You can also find delicious ice creams and pastries almost everywhere!
If you visit the city with young children, I advise you to avoid using a stroller because there are many bridges to cross and steps to climb. We’ve opted for the Manduca baby carrier that is up to 20 kilos and that you can use for long walks: the child is comfortably seated and he can even make long naps! Up to 4 years.
Our favorite places
We walked through the entire centre of Venice (but we didn’t have time to visit the surrounding islands) : from Cannaregio to Dorsoduro, all the quarters were charming! It is very pleasant to stroll through Santa Croce streets, to have a coffee facing the island of Giudecca, or to admire the Piazza San Marco from the bank of Dorsoduro … My advice : Don’t make big plans, and let you the opportunity to be suprised walking through the city! Magic will be there!
The city is full of palaces, beautiful churches and works of art: if you want to visit everything, you will need at least ten days … So here’s a very short and eclectic list of places that we loved :
- Of course, the Rialto market, full of vegetables, fruits and fish
- Ca d’Oro, a magnificent palace overlooking the Grand Canal with ceramics on the ground floor that have been restored in the late 19th century. An absolutely magical place for young and old ones !
- The Jewish Ghetto in Cannaregio: a district full of history, which has kept the traces of the past. An important moment of our visit was to talk with the kids about the history of Jews in Europe.
- The St. Mark’s Square and the lagon that, despite the cliches, is still a dazzling place ans the charm still works! Its great cafés with orchestra take us into a glamorous and romantic Venice … Our preference goes for the Café Florian which has kept all its charm …
- The Peggy Guggenheim collection in Dorsoduro : a beautiful collection of paintings of the 20th century and renewed exhibitions … and the most lovely terrace to have a coffee break.
Our gourmet addresses:
- The Pasticceria Rosa Salva in Cannaregio: delicious pastries, sandwiches, caffe latte and ice creams … You can even sit on the terrace on the beautiful square of San Giovanni e Paolo
- The Rizzardini Pasticceria in San Polo, just off the Rialto market : everything is so good in this historical pastry founded in 1742 : typical Venitian cookies, donuts, …
- Ice-creams :
- La Gelateria Il Doge : a delight especially for its granita and creamy ice creams,
- La Gelateria Nico in Dorsoduro, one of the oldest ice-cream makers in Venice… And the terrace has a view on the Giudecca Island!
- To eat local, fresh and seasonal, we especially enjoyed Anice Stellato in Cannaregio. A family but refined Venitian food. Do not miss!
We chose to rent an apartment in the centre (Cannaregio) to easily walk around the city and be able to rest at night after these long walks (the kids were tired). The presence of a kitchen permitted to cook local products such as artichoke hearts in olive oil, fresh pasta, peas from the island of Sant Erasmo (just off to Venice).
Our address: Ca’Cappellis : the apartment was spacious, perfect for five. Only downside: the breakfast is very expensive if you take it in the hotel (we opt for taking it at the Pasticceria Rosa Salva, much much cheaper and just a few steps from the apartment)
That’s all! I hope you’ve enjoyed this short personal view of Venice …
See you on Thursday for a Spring cake recipe! Scrumptious!!