48 Hours in Venice: Where I Shopped, Dined and Cocktail-ed

Big Smile Energy

At the end of my Big Fat Greek Cruise last summer, we stopped in Venice for a two day stay before heading home. (It actually ended up being three days – for others four – because of mechanical difficulties on our flight but that’s another story).

I had been to Venice years ago but only briefly and I didn’t do anything particularly touristy or research it beforehand so I was excited to experience it again as a more mature and widely traveled me. That being said, we only had two days so we had to use our time wisely.

Before I dive in, I wanted to share the best new airport bag that I will be using all summer from L.L. Bean.

This one checks all the boxes – I love the color (won’t show stains as easily as the white boat and totes), it has a lot of room if you are a carry-on type of person, it can double as a beach bag, and it is very sturdy. I love the leather handles as well.

It is also on sale now for $85. Would make a great Mother’s Day gift! I can’t wait to use mine this summer.

L.L. Bean – I went with the Large version – it is a great carry-on size.

And now – Here’s what we did with our 48 hours in Venice!

Arriving in Venice is like nothing else you will ever experience.

Day One: Arrive and settle in to the hotel (this is not easy to do in a town that operates on water – patience is required). We stayed at the Baglioni Hotel Luna which was lovely, reasonably priced and the location was PERFECT – we walked right from our hotel over to the Piazza San Marco. Another hugely positive feature of this hotel was the concierge team – we had ten women asking dozens of questions, all at the same time, making requests, changing said requests and on and on – it never phased them. They were so patient and helpful the entire time.

My room number and the Alabama area code – ha

Afternoon tour – we went on a “Venice Highlight and Aperitif” tour with a guide, which ended up being the perfect way to get a sense of the city and the history without eating up all of our limited time.

Another tip: we started the tour at 5 PM which meant that the temperatures were much cooler, and then we ended close to our restaurant around 730 – cocktail time!

Drinks at Aperol Terrazza followed by dinner at Ristorante Acqua Pazza

Day Two: Shopping! And lunch and dinner of course.

A Travel Tip:
Many of the shops are not very appealing from the outside but don’t let that discourage you from going in. And most importantly, make sure you or a friend or spouse is a master at Googlemaps – it is essential for getting around Venice.

Nerding out on the tourist guides and not ashamed in the slightest. By the way that is someone else’s vodka drink; I am not double fisting (at least not at this particular moment.)
“Research” in the lobby bar
Evelyn, a.k.a. Traveler Extraordinaire!

Shopping:

Gianni Masso Stampatore – letterpress stationary, book plates, book marks and cards – See my last post for more details on this lovely shop

Martinuzzi Venezia – Tablecloths, napkins, hand towels, placemats, glassware, and general tabletop

Antica Legatoria Ofer – Exquisite and beautiful papers, pencils, boxes, containers, and other delightful finds – this was a fan favorite for our group.

Chiarastella Cattana – incredible handcrafted linens and items for the home

Piédaterre – this is SUCH a fun store to visit – colorful, stylish, whimsical – my crew stayed in and out of this store for a long time ooh-ing and aah-ing and trying on all the beautiful Venetian slippers. It was fun to look but also tough to decide which pair to buy – they are all so cute. I ended up buying the slides and they look great with white jeans (all jeans actually), black pants, and are great for around the house too.

“Each pair is still sewn by the hands of expert artisans.”

There are multiple locations of this store – the best one is by the Aperol Spritz bar and Aqua Pazza.

A perfect afternoon into evening would be a visit to Piédaterre, a drink at the Aperol Spritz bar and dinner at Aqua Pazza.

Jesurum Venezia 1870 – The finest quality linens, sheets, pillowcases, children’s clothes, tablecloths

Fortuny – The Mothership.

Cocktails and Restaurants

Ristorante Acqua Pazza – As with several experiences on this trip, I had eaten at this restaurant on my last (and only) visit to Venice and it stuck with me for all those years (eleven, to be exact) and I wanted to go back.

It was just as memorable if not more so than the first time. The food was so good, the atmosphere was perfect and I just loved everything about it. I had a pasta with zucchini dish – amazing.

Strawberries and cream for dessert at Ristorante do Forni

Ristorante do Forni – This was a recommendation of our concierge after our original restaurant had to cancel our reservation due to flooding. I was devastated when they cancelled but shouldn’t have been – Ristorante do Forni was a gem of a spot – you walked through this tiny entryway into a magical covered space and it was just incredible. Apparently this is a common occurrence in Venice – if it rains and your restaurant is on the water, the odds are high that they cannot accommodate you due to flooding.

Harry’s Bar – An absolute must, albeit tourist trap. You have to go and have a bellini. But make a reservation!

Aperol Terrazza – All Aperol all the time. This was a fun spot to sit and have a cocktail and a snack before dinner.

Cip’s Club – I was so looking forward to having dinner here with our group but alas the reservation was cancelled due to flooding. The prime (and small) seating is located outdoors on the lagoon and it apparently overflows when it rains, which is what happened to us. Cip’s is in the Hotel Cipriani which looks super luxurious — adding to my list for next time!

Rossopomodoro – One almost mistake we made was thinking we would just “find a place for lunch” on the first day with ten hungry people in a very touristy city. Not a good idea. Although I liked where we ended up – it was delicious actually – I wouldn’t recommend winging it in Venice. It is too crowded and you could end up having a bad, expensive meal. That being said, this was exactly what we needed – a big table, lots of pizzas and salads to try and share, rosé, and a cool restaurant to get out of the heat. It is walking distance to Piazza San Marco.

Day one at Martinuzzi Venezia – I purchased the lobster and crab linen towels that you see in the photo. Absolutely love them.
The shop attendant was so accommodating – I asked to see approximately 1 million things and he couldn’t have been kinder about it.
I decided to go with the blue one vs the white with the flowers, although it was a tough choice. I was worried that the white would be prone to stains and difficult to clean.
The photos do not do these justice – they are all exquisite.
Many selections for the yachting crowd.
Cocktail napkins. I wanted to buy every single one. The little moped – love.
Antica Legatoria Ofer – We all loved this store. Everyone bought a few of their beautiful papers and brought them home to frame.
A lovely jewelry case
Trays for pencils, earrings, sunglasses, pens, keys
My friend Jane bought these beauties to have framed for her daughters’ rooms- so smart!
I bought one of these pencil cases for my son who loves to draw.
These journals also make a great souvenir and gift for yourself or a loved one.
So many great things to choose from.
Chiarastella Cattana – a linen and tabletop lover’s dream
This is one of the smaller locations. I would suggest going to the larger one.
This is not a drink I would normally like but I had approx 1 million of them on this trip
This same courtyard is home to the Aperol bar and the shoe store.
Don’t even know what we were laughing at….but it sure was fun.
Love these dear friends!

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