A Perfect Day in Venice
Arts & Culture
Food & Wine
To think of Venice is to conjure visions of waterways with beautiful wooden Riva boats and gondolas, palazzos on the Grand Canal and the world famous Carnivale di Venezia. Everywhere you look, Venice is pure magic and romance. There's no shortage of advice on what to see and do in this ancient city. This guide shares a perfect day taken from my personal travel log.
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Where to stay in Venice
Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice
Luxe waterfront property nearby the Grand Canal with plush rooms, a Venetian restaurant and cocktail bar.
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Discover Venetian elegance and contemporary design at Palazzina Grassi, where luxurious accommodations, canal views and a central location in Venice come together to create an exceptional stay in the romantic city of canals.
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Things to do in Venice
Facing the Venetian lagoon and just steps from Piazza San Marco, is the beautiful Hotel Danieli. It's one of my favorite places to stay not only for the location but also for the elegant accommodations and the Terrazza Danieli rooftop which offers spectacular views.
I know you are on vacation but get up early in Venice. It's a magical time of day and there is so much to see and experience before the streets are crowded with tourists. Stop to enjoy a coffee before returning to Hotel Danieli to enjoy breakfast at the rooftop restaurant. The food and the views are incomparable.
Hire a photographer to go with you on a walking tour of Venice. It's a brilliant idea because it's very easy to get lost in Venice and there isn't any ground transportation. Motor vehicles are not allowed. The method of transportation is on foot or by water. And I can tell you first hand, even with a good sense of direction, you can and will make a wrong turn or two!
Our photographer met us at the Rialto Fish Market just after it had closed for the day. The water on the stone streets makes the most beautiful reflections in our photographs. From there we spent the next three hours walking in areas away from where most tourists might venture. Both of us had visited Venice previously and agreed this was one of our favorite and of course treasured experiences.
Our walking tour ended with a spritz near the Rialto Bridge at a bar that is frequented by the locals, not many tourists. Pietro accompanied us back to the hotel where we captured some of my favorite photos of the day.
The history of the Hotel Danieli is long and storied. The building was originally built as a private residence for the Dandolo family, one of the most powerful families in Venice. The richly embellished building was one of the family's most impressive possessions. The Hotel Danieli is a photographer's dream. The stunning architecture, luxurious interiors and incredible views of Venice make it a perfect backdrop for any photo shoot.
Now it's time for a little rest, a visit to the spa or perhaps an aperitivo before getting ready for dinner.
Places to eat & drink in Venice
I highly recommend dinner at Da Fiore. It is located in the Cannaregio district, near the Rialto Bridge. The restaurant dates to the 18th century, with the current owner and chef having owned it for over 35 years. It was originally a wine bar, but it was converted into a restaurant in the early 1900s.
Da Fiore is known for its authentic Venetian dishes and is loved by locals and tourists alike. And I can see why. It is elegant and feels special, yet still comfortable and somewhat familial. The food is excellent and there is an unmistakable attention to hospitality. NB: There is a special table overlooking the canal reserved for the tasting menu. Chef's kiss!
Book a reservation if you want to enjoy Da Fiore, as they only accommodate a few guests at a time.
Now that you are well fed, make your way back to Hotel Danieli and take in some live music in the bar area before calling it a day.
Need to Know
Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Guide to the Fort Lauderdale: The Venice of America.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Venice.